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Stronghold Selvage Denim Apron
Heavy duty, organic selvage denim. True indigo dye. Fades and wears to the way you use it. Available in long or short versions. Designed, cut and sewn in Los Angeles, California. Ships free. (
The Stronghold shop apron is made from selvage denim and dyed in organic indigo. The durability and low-maintenance of this denim can withstand any rugged manual labor, whether it be in a wood shop, a studio, a garage, or a garden.
Selvage denim is woven on a narrow-edge shuttle loom, forming a tidy, natural edge that won’t unravel. This method has been mostly out of practice for the past 50 years. Not least of all beacause it uses more yardage of cotton and takes longer to make — but the careful selvage weave is what gives vintage denim its long-lasting vigor. Selvage denim accounts for only 1% of the world’s denim; it fell out of practice in the 1960’s when most denim was changed to a wider, 42 inch loom.
Stronghold was the first denim company in Los Angeles, California, when it opened for business in 1895. It closed in 1949 only to reopen under the ownership of Michael Paradise in 2004. They vowed to retain every bit of the authenticity of the original company, both in its vintage quality and its production techniques. The 14-ounce denim is shuttle-loomed in Japan, where Americans sent their old denim looms after the war. Stronghold's weavers use organic cotton and organic indigo. The bolts of denim are then cut, sewn, and finished in Venice, California.
Plant-based indigo dye has been around for centuries. Traces of its hue are found on Persian rugs dating as far back as the 5th century B.C., but due to its expense fell out of use in denim work wear in the 1960s. The rare, deep purplish blue color so closely associated with denim was replaced by sulfur dye, which doesn’t retain its richness quite like indigo. The organic dye used on the shop aprons does not fade, even after several washes.
Use & Care
Wash selvage denim sparingly, and don't wash it at least the first six months if you can help it. The abrasion patterns and locations of wear and whiskering will appear over time as the fabric shifts and settles, and the longer the denim is kept dry the more developed these wonderful crinkles become. If its just dirt or sawdust, brush it off with the palm of your hand or shake it off. If you wore the apron while butchering a side of beef, then you'll want to wash it.
The apron is sanforized, meaning it's treated for less shrinkage, but all denim shrinks to a certain degree when washed. Best to not wash too hot and let the apron air dry.
Wash with like colors or hand wash on its own because the indigo can rub off if you're not careful.
Production & Design
The Stronghold denim apron is made in Japan using organic cotton and organic indigo. The Japanese shuttle looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim it creates this "self-edge" or selvage. It won't fray like denim made on a projectile loom with separate wefts, leaving an open edge that has to be stitched.
The denim is indigo dyed using loop dying machines which, like the shuttle looms, are rare and ancient machines. Ropes of cotton yarn are fed through vats of indigo dye and then brought outside to allow the indigo to oxidize before the cotton goes back down into the next vat. The result is a deep, rich, blue: the real color of denim. Because of the indigo dyeing process, each shop apron will fade to a patina unique to the wearer and impossible to recreate.
All of the cutting, sewing, and finishing is done in their own factory in Venice, California. The metal rivets and cotton ties are all made in the USA. The Stronghold apron has seven handy pockets.
Organic Cotton, Kaufmann Mercantile Blog
SuperDenim Encyclopedia, Superfuture
Cone White Oak Factory, Greensboro, Photo Gallery, Trynka.net
Fugitive Denim by Rachel Louise Snyder, Google Books
Short Version - approx. 27'' H x 30'' W (one size fits all)
Long Version - approx. 38'' H x 30 '' W (one size fits all)
Organic Japanese selvage denim