A Conversation With Hawksmill Denim

Hawksmill Denim Co is a British premium denim brand founded in 2015 with the aim of making the best jeans available in the market today. Using authentic manufacturing and materials to create garments that shun fashion trends in favour of good design and longevity. The jeans are manufactured in Europe with painstaking attention to detail, the result is a product built to last, that combines functionality and character.

To investigate the story behind the new pieces we made in collaboration with Hawksmill Denim, we caught up with the team and posed a few questions.

Hawksmill flies the flag for quality denim done the right way, where is the collection made?

The collection is made in a family-run factory in Portugal that we have been working with since we started Hawksmill in 2015. We work with them because the employees are some of the best denim craftspeople in the world, who have been making jeans for decades. We worked closely with them to develop the construction techniques that have become our signatures to give our jeans their durability and strength.

Denim requires custom machinery, which is now often hard to come by. What gear do you use to create the Hawksmill collection?

We bought special vintage machinery which are used exclusively on our products at the factory. We sourced a Reece 101 buttonhole machine otherwise known as “ The Iron Duke”. One of the first machines capable of sewing an imitation hand stitched buttonhole and recognised throughout the industry as probably the best key hole machine ever made.

We have two different Union Specials. Our Union Special 35800 is used to create the flat-felled inseam, which is the strongest, most durable and cleanest method. The other, is the much sought after Union Special 43200g which creates the iconic chain stitch on the hem, which gives a beautiful roping effect when the jeans are washed or worn in. It took a long time to track down the right machinery but they are essential for authentic production.

The Jeans have a chain stitched hem using a Union Special 43200g, originally manufactured in 1939. Production ceased in the late 1980s

How about the dyeing process? We’re intrigued by the richness in the indigo and the method involved in producing the stripe.

The Hickory stripe denim is from a Japanese company that has been weaving and selling cottons for 268 years. It is made from indigo dyed warp yarn & a sulfur-dyed weft yarn. The fabric is woven very slowly on an old shuttle loom to bring some volume and character to the fabric. Some resin is put on the fabric during the finishing process which helps give shape to the fabric when the garment is worn.

 

 

Taking a closer look at the pieces, there is many details which set them apart from the pack. What informs the cut and detailing for the collection? The jackets in particular have an interesting touch.

The jacket is an adaption of Hawksmill’s best-selling MK2 shape. It takes details from classic American denim jackets with button flap pockets, front and back pleats. It’s a wardrobe staple that doesn’t date. We use our classic Iron Duke button hole machine to give the button holes their heavy cording.

The jeans take Hawksmill’s best-selling Loose Taper fit, a classic 5 pocket relaxed fit jean with tapered leg and mid length rise.

All our construction details mean these are built to last. For example, belt loops are folded under the waistband for extra strength, the pockets are heavy duty sail cloth, and the flat-felled seams and chain stitch on waistband and hems use the original Union Special machinery. We use branded nickel-free copper rivets and stainless steel buttons.

 

It’s the question everyone wants to know once and for all – how should it be washed! If at all?

There is fierce debate about washing or not washing denim. With the raw denim the longer you can leave them between washes the better if you want really nice fades and patina, particularly the first wash. Hand washing is good (a bath is probably the best place) or a cold gentle wash in a washing machine with the jeans inside out can work. (If possible, set the machine to minimal or no spin).

Never tumble dry denim.

The Hickory stripe items have already been rinsed and will be fine washed on a cold gentle cycle, turned inside out and drip dried!

What about stain removal tips?

Some people ‘refresh’ their jeans with denim sprays, vodka / vinegar concoctions or put in the freezer to kill off bacteria between washes.

 

 

Explore The Complete Collection Here