Tanuki PJKT Denim Jacket
Tanukis designer went on a flea market in Tokyo and found and old racer jacket that people used to wear in Japan to drive around in old convertible cars. He loved the shape because it was a trimmed down and slim, but based on a denim jacket. So he worked a long time on type3 shape that has a little broader shoulders and little bit longer sleeves while having a good taper at the hem (it has a bit of a tailored look). People might not see this immediately or might not notice at all, but the shape is really nice. When he was done, he knew he had to ask the mill guys for a special fabric! Something that was worthy of his design and they proposed to do a limited run of out N-fabric but play around with the cottons. As I have said before, they threw in some supima cotton in there to make the Texas cotton „smoother“. The shuttle loom they weave it on is freaking old and while newer machines were designed to get a really uniform and even fabric, the old shuttle looms creates many amazing irregularities that give the fabric so much character. The natural indigo Tanuki uses for this fabric comes from india and they are the only one using this dye in Japan. Usually, the fabrics dyed in natural indigo are three times as expensive but thanks to this special indigo from India and a combination of three different dyeing techniques, they managed to bring the cost down AND allow the fabric to fade really nicely.
This jacket is made of a limited edition of Tanuki’s N fabric, called P fabric. It’s a very slubby natural indigo fabric, with a beige weft and a really interesting fuzzy surface. They use a combination of Supima and Texas cotton (the cotton staples have very different lengths which results in the slubby and fuzzy appearance of the fabric). Their regular N fabric is only Texas cotton, the supima cotton lead to a different chemical reaction with the indigo dye and therefore you can see a very, very subtle purple hue in the weft. It’s an amazing fabric at 16.5oz and it will fade very nicely. It’s also a limited edition: the combination of Texas + supima is a technical challenge like nothing they had done before and it’s very, very costly. Usually, natural indigo dye penetrates the core of the yarn. However, Tanuki managed to combine different dying techniques and this fabric does fade really well.“
The brand sometimes do limited editions with fabrics that they will never bring back. People complain about that but I would like to explain why they do it because they’ve thought about that a long time: First of all, for a costumer it’s nice to have limited edition because these are collector’s items. I personally love all jeans and jackets I have which were limited editions. But that is not what motivated them to do it. We live in an age where everything seems to be available all the time. Everything can be bought whenever you want. Therefore nothing is really special anymore. Life is about accepting that things are rare and won’t come back! I don’t mean to sound esoteric but their RedCast, Purple and Black fabric are one time only items. They will not bring them back. Don’t you think that in a few years when your PJKT is worn in and has aged well, you will love it even more because you know that you cannot just buy another one? We believe it makes things even more personal and people will care more for these items because they are really precious.
As you might notice by looking at the jacket you can see the buttons are a bit out of line because Tanuki used a shrink to fit denim for this jacket. Its twists a little just like the old Levi’s 501 with its twisted legs.
This is part of the WABI-SABI philosophy.
The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” And this is what really gets to me.
Doing all this effort to make a fabric thats so hard to make, to dye in a way thats so hard to dye and then use a shrink to fit fabric which you know will twist when you soak it…..
It took me 20 inutes to adapt to this philosophy and then i really digged it. All the things im really hooked on took me time to get attached to. This is with music, shoes and my nicest jeans i own.
The guys Tanuki works with, have been working with denim for 50 years. 50 years! They know how to make things that only become great if you invest time in them, They are the antithesis to fast fashion – it’s not for everyone, but that’s ok. Tanuki is not for the masses.
but im sure many people will like their producs, love for denim and the way they approach clothing.