Our Kibata denim made its debut in 2015, representing the first shrink-to-fit loomstate fabric in our core lineup. While the majority of our denim offerings are sanforized to ensure easier sizing, we wanted to add a new option to our stable that would allow the denim's character to really shine. The sanforization process simplifies things by pre-shrinking the denim, but the machines that steam and compress the denim tend to impart a cleaner, more uniform hand feel (which, to be honest, many prefer). The Kibata denim that we spent over a year developing has a beautiful low-tension weave that results in a textured, rough feel. This inconsistent hand yields beautiful and inconsistent indigo loss as the fabric wears in over time. Simply put, our Kibata jeans are a different animal. They are meant to be for customers who've worn our sanforized options for years and are looking for something unique to break in. They're also for customers who are aficionados of some of the crazier fabric offerings from specialty mills in Japan and want something at that level coupled with top-tier domestic manufacturing.
These past few months, we've been experimenting with various garment wash techniques on our Kibata jeans to try and bring a rinsed version to market. While we recognize that many enjoy the soak process, we felt that our customers would really benefit from a jean with all the characteristics we love about loomstate denim without the guesswork of shrinking them down. After trying several options, we decided against using any softeners or additives and elected instead to go with a simple cold rinse and line dry: something that would replicate a home tub soak as closely as possible. One positive side effect of performing this rinse at a professional wash house lies in the fact that these jeans are rinsed with industrial washing machines, which all but guarantees that maximum shrinkage has been achieved. Washing machines agitate the jeans much more than a simple tub soak, so we feel that it is safe to size and treat these jeans as though they were sanforized - meaning, it is safe to buy a pair that fits snug in the waist and anticipate that they will stretch out over time to fit you perfectly. The rinse also allows you to hem the jeans right away without fear of losing further inseam length on a future wash.
Anyone who's already bought and worn our Kibata jeans can attest to the fact that the fabric really comes alive after the first soak, and our new rinsed models exhibit this quality from day one - and like everything else they make, they'll only look better over time. We are thrilled with how our new rinsed Kibata jeans have turned out, and as such, all future runs of Kibata jeans will only be offered with the rinse treatment. We've delivered size runs to retailers already, and will be launching the rinsed Kibata in SL, ST and CT cuts on our website this Friday, April 26th at noon EDT. We invite you to give them a shot - we think you'll love them.