We get asked a lot what’s the difference between Turkish and Japanese denim. They’re both good and have their unique qualities. We use a combination of Turkish and Japanese denim, with customers asking which is better. There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ as we use best mills in the world offering the best denim on the market. We want to shed a little more light on the differences so that it can help inform your choices and purchases.
Ultimately, the cotton used in Turkish denim manufacturing travels a shorter distance, which for us is a great bonus when considering air miles and carbon footprint of a pair of jeans. Then, take into consideration the closer proximity to us (compared to Japan) in having the denim delivered to us in London.
We use Isko, who has become a global benchmark maker of denim. It works on a centralised manufacturing model where there entire manufacturing operations are based in one location, with two plants where the company works in an ethically and eco-responsible manner. They recently joined the international Textile Exchange organisation, adhering to recommendations in ethical manufacturing.
The nature of the denim has a smoother, more all-round quality. Turkish denim uses less starch in its manufacturing, so the jeans already start off a little softer and easier to break in. It wears very well, and washes evenly, keeping a uniform fade across the garment. They also produce in a mass quantities so are able to keep prices competitive.
Japan needs to import its cotton from further afield, so the carbon footprint is already far greater even before it gets to the looms. Costs are therefore higher due to this initial factor. This isn’t a bad thing, but just to be aware of.
Japan takes its making very seriously and their approach is of a more artisan approach and looking at the finer details when it comes to cotton selection, dying and making. A lot the looms were acquired from American companies, most notably Levi’s, which they set about replicating the hardwearing quality that the original denim and jeans were made. Japanese denim use more starch in their making, leaving the jeans more rigid when you buy a new pair, meaning it might take longer to break in (even after washing), to achieve a softer feel.
We use renowned mill Kurabo, who have the enviable title of being the first company in Japan to produce denim. They have a very high standards which carries over to their dedication in wanting to produce a more slubby vintage looking denim. They developed the MR slub yarn, which recreates the non-geometric slub shape and thickness of natural vintage denim – meaning that over time, you jeans will end of with a slubbier look, perfect for vintage denim enthusiasts.
All in all, the denim we have chosen for our evergreen fabric is of the highest quality in both Turkish and Japanese variants. We are also working with Kurabo and Isko to supplier our evergreen denim in organic cotton which we should be able to roll out in the coming months. Ultimately, comes down to what you prefer in terms of end result and which denim you’re happier to break in. If you still have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in-store or write to us.