Photos: Joseph Chin
This Friday, alongside the highly anticipated release of the Selvedge Fleece Crosscut Westerns, we’ll also be debuting our first delivery of SS21 which features a longstanding 3sixteen style alongside a brand new silhouette for the season. While this release is small in size, it exhibits the wide breadth of capabilities that our manufacturing partner in India has to offer. From handloom fabrics to garment washes and expert finishing, this release has a lot for us to talk about.
The first shirt in this release is the Handloom Crosscut. This piece, to us, is a perfect representation of why we fell in love with Indian manufacturing. Let’s start with fabric itself: first, soft cotton is spun into irregular yarns with varying thicknesses. Next, the yarns for the shirt are hand dyed in natural indigo vats - the slubby yarns take the indigo on in different amounts, leading to a beautiful variance in color. Then, fabric is loomed on traditional wooden handlooms by skilled artisans into a grid-like fabric that’s reminiscent of military ripstop fabric. Because of the multiple points of artisan hand done work, every yard of fabric is unique and we’re thrilled with the end result. The chatter and irregularity of the handlooms is something we’ve long appreciated but never been able to achieve with modern power looms. The variance in indigo color is something that’s only possible with hand dyed yarns, and once these indigo yarns are run through the handlooms we see further depth and inconsistency of color emerging. Put two of these shirts side by side and you’ll see that each one has its own unique spirit.
After finishing, each shirt is given a garment rinse to eliminate major shrinkage, soften the fabric, and further bring out the pops of indigo. We felt that the shirt really comes alive after this wash too: the fabric develops a cushy hand that almost feels like a waffle knit thermal, but with much more ventilation. We then finish the shirts with our enamel-coated metal buttons that start off in a uniform cream color but will chip and age as the shirt is worn and washed further by the wearer, ensuring that this garment will continue to change over the next few years. All in all, we’re left with a shirt that’s like nothing we’ve been able to achieve before.
The Handloom Crosscut is accompanied by a new style, something very unique: the Poncho. We’d been toying with the idea of producing a lightweight and functional layer for the misty spring days - something unique and easy to wear. Oftentimes ideas for our collection sit dormant for a year or two until we find the right fabric that we feel matches what we’re trying to accomplish with the garment. This particular piece of the puzzle was found two years ago when we stumbled across a really interesting Japanese fabric made of densely woven cotton. What made it unique was that it had the handfeel of a normal cotton, yet we were told it was water repellant. Our first question to the mill was what the coating was, since most water repellant cottons are given some type of DWR coating; and to our surprise, our agent explained that this fabric has no finish at all. Extra long staple (ELS) cotton fibers are woven incredibly densely - that’s it. ELS fibers are difficult to come by, as only 2% of the world’s cotton can provide fibers that meet this standard. When the fabric gets wet, these yarns expand and create an almost impenetrable barrier against the water. The resulting fabric has the hand feel, drape, and breathability of cotton with the technical properties of a synthetic fabric.
We decided to use this fabric on two different silhouettes: the Poncho and the Mac Coat, which will release as part of our second delivery. Our Poncho is an updated version of a classic shape: it features a wide wingspan and semi-cropped length for easy wearability. Lightweight snaps are employed on the throat closure and under the arms to adjust the fit and keep the elements out. The front features a dual functioning patch pocket that’s a kangaroo hand pocket and top entry storage pocket with hidden snap closure. It’s not just the detailing that differentiates this Poncho from others, though, it’s also the finishing. Every seam is carefully considered - from French seams to tight single needle felled seams - which allows the pieces to be tough without sacrificing the natural drape of the fabric. Our factory’s experience proved to be indispensable for this piece. In sum, it’s a functional piece that’s also fun to style.
The release marks the first time we’re offering Made in India products on a wider scale. If possible and if it’s safe to do so, we urge you to visit your local retailer or our stores to check out D1 person. These are really items that deserve to be felt, tried on, and enjoyed.
The Handloom Crosscut retails for $198 while the Poncho retails for $285. You can find them at participating retailers worldwide, as well as our NY & LA flagship stores, on March 12th. Remaining units will post to 3sixteen.com the following Friday, March 19th.
Berkeley Supply (Denver)
Iron Shop Provisions (Lafayette)
Brooklyn Clothing Co (Calgary)
Brooklyn Clothing Co (Vancouver)
Earl's Authentics (Ketchum)
Franklin & Poe (Philadelphia)
Guevel (Kansas City)
Homme Essentials (Richmond)
Indigo & Provisions (Christchurch)
Iron Shop Provisions (Lafayette)
Muddy George (Toronto)
Office Hours (San Luis Obispo)
Reserve Supply Co. (Houston)
Rivet & Hide (London)
Rivet & Hide (Manchester)
Silver Deer (Mexico City)
Thirdmark Supply House (Rockford)
Withered Fig (Online)