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Stronghold Hickory Stripe Apron
Work-horse apron made with organic selvage denim woven on antique looms. Long or short versions with purposeful pockets. Designed, cut and sewn in Los Angeles, California. Ships free. (more info)
The Stronghold shop apron in hickory stripe is made of selvage denim from alternating strands of organic, undyed cotton and indigo dyed lots. This durable, low-maintenance denim can withstand any rugged work, whether you do yours in a wood, bike, or flower shop, or at home in your kitchen, garage, or garden.
Selvage denim is woven on antique narrow-edge shuttle looms, forming a tidy, natural edge that won’t unravel. This method has been mostly out of practice since the 1960s, when most manufacturers switched to a wider, 42-inch loom in order to save cotton. Although selvage denim takes longer to make, its weave is what gives vintage denim clothing its long-lasting vigor. Shuttle loom denim now accounts for only 1% of the world’s supply.
Hickory cloth, a traditional American textile similar to denim, is often associated with clothing worn by working men. Often characterized as being as "rugged as hickory," it was used by miners in the California gold rush days and later in fatigue pantaloons and shirts during the American Civil War. No one is exactly sure when it was first seen on railroad men; it is certain, however, that it is an excellent choice for work in harsh conditions.
The Stronghold Store in Venice, CA
Stronghold was the first denim company in Los Angeles when it opened for business in 1895. It closed in 1949 only to reopen in 2004 under the ownership of Michael Paradise who vowed to remain true to the original brand by following its production techniques and striving for the same level of quality that made Stronghold great.
Plant-based indigo dye has been around for centuries. Authenticated hues of indigo have even been found on Persian rugs dating as far back as the 5th century B.C. This durable dye was also widely used in American workwear in the earlier part of the 20th century. It is indigo dye that gives old denim that rare, deep purplish-blue color. Due to its high expense, however, indigo fell out of use in the 1960s and was replaced by sulfur dye, which doesn’t allow denim to retain its color quite as well. Fortunately, Stronghold makes historically-accurate denim dyed with organic indigo, making their shop aprons more resistant to fading.
If possible, avoid washing the apron for the first six months; abrasion patterns, locations of wear and whiskering will appear over time as the fabric shifts and settles. The longer the denim is kept dry, the more developed these patterns become.
Brush off any dirt or sawdust by hand. If necessary, hand wash or machine wash in cold water with like colors to reduce chances of bleeding. Though Stronghold aprons are "sanforized," or treated for less shrinkage, all denim will shrink to a certain degree when washed. Allow the apron to air dry.
Neatly folded, nicely worn in Stronghold Apron
Uncut Stronghold denim is made in Japan using organic cotton and indigo on old shuttle looms which were sent there after the war. Cotton is first dyed using antique loop dying machines, which, like shuttle looms, are rare. Ropes of cotton yarn are first fed through dye vats and are then brought outside to allow the indigo to oxidize. The cotton is then dipped into the next vat to deepen the color. The result is an intense, rich blue, the color of traditional denim.
Shuttle looms then weave the cotton 14-ounce denim with one continuous cross thread, or "weft" as it passes back and forth down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim, it creates this “self-edge” or selvage. For this reason it won’t fray like most denims, which are made on a projectile loom with separate wefts, leaving open edges that have to be stitched). The hickory stripe, running along the warp, or vertical length of the dim, is created by aligning several dyed threads alternating with several white ones. The bolts of hickory denim are then cut, sewn, and finished in Venice, California.
All cutting, sewing, and finishing of both indigo denim and hickory denim is done in the Stronghold factory in Venice, California. All metal rivets and cotton ties are made in the USA.
The Stronghold Store, 1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
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
Short size Stronghold Apron