What's new about the stretch

Innovation at Levi's

Iconic, evergreen, long-lasting. In one word: Levi's. The brand founded by Levi Strauss in 1873 has always distinguished itself for its innovative soul, both in the past and today, with its groundbreaking vision of fashion. Innovation is the core of Levi's DNA, and this is the reason why the brand tries more and more to combine trends with performing fabrics.
This is how Levi’s® Performance Stretch was born: an innovative stretch denim created to give the best comfort and ensure the jean keeps is first shape. This is the reason why the company has used Dyneema®, the most durable and indestructible fiber in the world, and insulating, light Thermolite™ fibers to create its items in the new Fall 2016 collection. New washes, different materials that will keep the heat inside the denim and stop the cold outside.

Julie Parfaits

From offshore industry to fashion

DSM Dyneema presents the strongest fiber in the world

Can a fiber be used both in offshore industry and fashion? With DSM Dyneema, the inventor and manufacturer of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber, and the Dyneema® Project the answer is yes. Have you ever heard about the strongest and most durable lightweight fiber in the world? It is a versatile material discovered by chance in 1963, but it took another 27 years to commercialize and bring it to market. Currently it is used to moor oil rigs, lift buildings and stop bullets.
What does it has to do with fashion? In the future it will make fabrics stronger, lighter, smarter and more durable, and as a thin microfiber, today it can also be woven with other materials to create ultra-strong fabrics that are light, soft, silky and cool to the touch. DSM Dyneema has always collaborated with leading fashion brands and state-of-the-art mills, and today it launches the partnership with Italian denim mill Berto E.G. Industria Tessile S.r.l. and technical yarn spinners Filtes International S.r.l. in order to bridge the gap between fashion and technical clothing worlds. The result is the ultra-strong Dyneema® Denim, which is indestructible and outperforms typical jeans and jackets by a factor of seven in terms of abrasion resistance, durability and tear strength – while still aging like real denim. 
Even Australian motorcycling-inspired clothing label Saint uses Dyneema® Denim for its Unbreakable line of pants and jackets: the denim can endure about 30 meters of post-crash slide time over asphalt without ripping, compared to the 4 meters regular denim can handle.

Julie Parfaits

When the innovation starts from the tradition

Berto presents Blue Selvedge

The tradition of Made in Italy craftsmanship, Italian know-how, production chain and innovation work together without parallel in Berto Textile Industry, the company founded in 1887 in Bovolenta (Padua) by Giuseppe and Egidio Berto brothers.
Respecting the ancient traditions that date back to past centuries, when the company started as a manufacturer of sailcloth fabrics for the sailing vessels of the near Venice, in these years Berto has been able to innovate becoming a strong company that offers a wide and bespoke range of products, with a flexible manufacturing system. From the production of workwear, home textiles, tablecloths and shirting, now Berto is known for the incredible denim fabrics manufactured by using both sophisticated technologies and a unique artisanal approach.
Technicality and manual skills are also combined for the creation of Blue Selvedge: all the fabrics are realized by the old Picanol shuttle looms, original of the Fifties and ad hoc restored and renovated by master craftsmen that brought them back and preserved their ancient processing techniques. Everything here is handmade, starting from the looms, made of iron, wood and leather, used by skilled Italian artisans.
The Made in Italy tradition, innovation and making process are the not-so-secret key of Berto Brand and Blue Selvedge success: unique and original clothes are all soft and with a strong Italianity soul.
Have you ever thought that industrial production could be handcrafted too?

Julie Parfaits

Welcome NoStone®, the innovative, more sustainable process for denim manufacturing

Tonello and Levi's together for a green&fashion world

A big collaboration between an Italian company and a brand with a strong Italian heritage is about to change the world of fashion: from one hand Tonello, the reference point for the garment finishing industry since 1981; from the other one Levi's Strauss – which doesn't need any introduction, that worked together in the creation of NoStone®.
It was on January 2013 when Tonello Research Center and the denim brand started collaborating and rethinking how how to achieve a traditional stone-wash with XXI century innovation to reduce costs and environmental impact. The result is this new washing system already implemented in real production situations and applied in all Tonello machines.
A real advance in denim manufacturing thought to overcome economic, mechanical and environmental limitations of existing stone-wash processes. The idea is quite simple: creating a new system that will reduce water consumption, production costs, carbon footprint, emissions, processing time and manual labor. Indeed,  NoStone® eliminates the dust and sludge generated from stones (which means no more stones and related mining, transport and storing), doesn’t damage the machine as pumice stones do, and creates desired finish effects of stone-wash in both sampling and production machines. Moreover, it maintains the same load capacity while the lining can easily be removed – so the machine can also run normal washing and dyeing processes.
So, instead of the pumice, what does this new system use to replace the abrasive stone? The big new is a stainless-steel abrasive drum, fastened to the washing machine, that can create a variety of finishes through flexible abrasion adjustments to create the look and styles varieties consumers love.
We challenged our team with the dream of a viable, mechanical alternative to pumice stones. Tonello created multiple rounds of machine prototypes which were tested in our production environment. The results have been very positive and we anticipate a scalable, cost-effective and sustainable process in the very near future. This will be a win for our two companies, but also the industry as a whole. And perhaps, most importantly, the environment” said Bart Sights, Senior Director of Technical Innovation, Levi Strauss & Co.

Julie Parfaits

The secret weapons of the company founded by Michele Ruffin

Okinawa, Green and Blue-Gold

There are different kinds and colors of gold: the most famous are yellow and pink, mostly used in jewelry field, but who said gold can't be blue?
Romans used to call it isatis tinctoria and in De Bello Gallico Julius Caesar reported its use; we commonly know it as Guado or woad, and it is one of the finest and ancient natural and vegetable dyes in the world – the first archaeological finds date to New Stone Age. An old technique recently rediscovered for its uniqueness that can give a “plus value” to garments: the nature of the color, the high brightness and the light reflection are the main peculiarities that make woad so unique and chosen by many denim or label companies. Such as Okinawa.
A Japanese name for the made in Italy company Michele Ruffin founded 30 years ago: from belts, the creativity, research and experimentation of Okinawa's founder soon reached high levels that took him to expand the business moving into labeling market and using his experience in something news, such as the production of rear patches, tags and pocket flaps.
During these 30 years Mr. Ruffin and his brand have been designing and producing personalized fashion accessories on behalf of the most famous brands of fashion industry. Customers ask and Okinawa creates, always satisfying client's needs. The secret weapon? Process and product innovation have always been developed hand in hand, with significant investments in human resources and plant, structures and technologies. Hot, laser, digital and 3D printings, plating, silk screen, embroidery, application of metal plates are combined together in order to obtain the most exclusive results by guaranteeing high level craftsmanship, creativity and innovation in the name of Italian style.
But a successful future is possible only through a glorious past and stable roots, like the medieval walls of Montagnana – the small town in the North-East of Italy headquarters of Okinawa – and woad seeds previous mentioned.
High-tech and most modern technologies, accurate researches on treatments and raw materials (like woad!) right investments and a skilled team make many companies choose Okinawa, known worldwide for its green certifications and materials and for being one step ahead of market trends.

A revolution in laser finishing market: new colors, effects and shades


If you are looking for Made in Italy best and refined quality, Tonello is the solution. If you are looking for research, innovation and technologies, Tonello is the answer.
It was 1990s when Tonello Laser history started by creating Laser Evolution, the first laser machine in Europe for work on a horizontal sliding table. In this SS 2015, there are other big news: after the great success of the spring-summer collection, the Italian brand number one in laser treatment launches an incredible innovation that will change the way to color denim and any kind of textile. This is the Multicolour Laser, «result of an accurate investigation combining a special resin (produced by Zaitex) with Tonello sustainable technologies», as the brand commented.
The study that took Tonello creating this new technology involved many different fabrics, such as cotton, leather, seamless fabrics, each one with its own finishings and dyes. An astounding, truly revolution that will change the laser finishing market: in fact, now brands can create color and contrast effects (achievable by combining the special resin with Tonello technologies) on any different fabrics achieving amazing shades – like Tonello's Antarctic Batik, Multicolour Batik and Fading Batik by using Tonello's Batik process.
According to Flavio Tonello, managing director of the brand, Multicolour Laser «changes completely the concept of laser itself. Thanks to the in-depth study conducted by our Research Centre, we can now color garments with laser, achieving results never seen before».
In order to celebrate this great novelty and show the wide range of color and contrast effects, Tonello brand realized a new collection, Prism. Moreover, it is important to say the Multicolour Laser gave birth to other two efficient technologies, the best in terms of sustainability: Kit Batik and Laser Blaze, able to save a high percentage of water (in Batik process around 96%).
Fashion, eco-sustainability and best Made in Italy research and innovation together under one name. Tonello.

Julie Parfaits

The Garmon Chemicals new segment to their company called “The Italian Job“


The Italian job Srl (TIJ) is a design studio owned by Garmon Chemical, focusing solely on experimentation and chemistry and applying it to the finishing of casual garments, particularly denim. By creating this segment to their business, TIJ is able to create inspirational finished products to inspire clients and help them direct and develop their ranges. We have noticed this shift in the market over recent seasons: as designers’ research time and resources are cut, they require more and more input from their suppliers to realize their vision. Alberto De Conti, the general manager of the Italian Job told us they are just starting work on surface design for F/W 15, as their clients (the wash houses, mills and laundries) are putting S/S 15 to bed and will be shortly looking forward to the new season. They need to be several steps ahead of the trend curve to compete in this fast-pace market.

Credits: Stylesight

What Makes Japanese Denim So Special?


Selvedge denim is produced worldwide, but in the denim enthusiast community, Japanese denim is often praised above the rest. Many denimheads consider Japanese fabrics to be the best of all – but what, exactly, makes Japanese denim stand out in the minds of so many when compared to American, Italian, or Turkish denim? Is it all just hype, or are there real differences that give Japanese denim a unique edge?
The answer is, honestly, not necessarily. Not all selvedge denim is created equal, so while most selvedge denim is high quality, that selvedge line doesn’t automatically mean that it will age in a distinct manner or wear well over time. Denim produced on a Japanese selvedge loom can have radical variations in color, weight, and texture from one fabric to the next. By understanding how different characteristics affect denim’s aging, longevity, and appearance, you’ll be better equipped to find the right kind of denim for you and judge the quality of any particular denim.


First of all, Japanese denim is often made on old shuttle looms – not American Draper looms imported to Japan (as is sometimes thought in popular myth), but vintage Toyoda looms. When the Toyoda Model G was introduced in the 1920s it was a major advance for fabric weaving machinery, creating such loyalty that looms descended from the 1924 models are still used today by Japanese mills. Vintage Toyoda looms make fabric in very limited quantities – the typical roll of denim will be a little under three feet wide and the weaving processes is much slower than on modern machines.
Modern looms, in comparison, are very fast and efficient plus make a precise and consistent fabric. The thing is, experienced denim fans don’t want precision – it’s actually the variation and imperfections of the weaving process that lend character to the best Japanese denim.
When comparing a nice sample of Japanese denim to a typical off-the-shelf pair of jeans, you’ll immediately notice the difference in texture – most jeans have a smooth surface, but Japanese denim is often surprisingly hairy or rough. This can often be quite intimidating at first for someone used to wearing soft, pre-faded jeans. Pue Blue Japan is renowned for its slubby fabric, faded Sanurai denim has a complex, grainy texture, and The Flat Head is known for its heavy vertical fading. These qualities are accomplished by modifying the looms to chatter as they weave, creating a unique texture. Such brands often keep their exact weaving methods a carefully-guarded secret, such as Oni.
In contrast, selvedge looms set up to weave an even, neat roll of denim can produce a fabric that (aside from the selvedge line) is virtually the same as non-selvedge projectile denim. It’s worth learning as much as you can about the denim on a pair of jeans before you buy in order to determine what the fabric has to offer beyond a selvedge line. Just because a fabric is selvedge or even made in Japan doesn’t mean that it’s better than any other denim.


The dyeing process is traditionally a crucial ingredient in giving the best Japanese fabrics their flavor. Japan has a rich history of textile dyeing, dating back to kimonos from hundreds of years ago, a technique preserved today in techniques like kasuri dyeing. Likewise, Japanese denim is created with a variety of different proprietary dyeing processes.
One of the most striking properties of Japanese denim is the variation in color from one brand to another. While many recent Western brands use the same (admittedly high-quality) Cone White Oak selvedge denim on their jeans, this means that one pair will fade very similarly to the next.
On the other hand, the faded color of Japanese denims can be dramatically different from one brand to the next. Some brands, like Fullcount, Denime, or Warehouse excel in reproducing vintage American-style denim with a lighter overall color. Brands like Tenryo, The Strike Gold, and Pure Blue Japanproduced dyed weft fabrics to give their denim unique fading properties, such as a gray or brown overcast. The Flat Head and Eternal use an extra-dark dyeing process to create denim that fades to a rich turquoise blue over time.


Another element of Japanese denim is the weight. While Japan produces plenty of lightweight fabrics, most denims of 20 oz. or more comes from Japan. Comparatively, most other types of denim weigh between 11 and 14 oz.
While weight is largely a matter of personal preference, the added durability of a heavyweight denim makes it appealing to many denim enthusiasts. Besides the additional toughness and warmth in cold weather, heavyweight denim tends to give thicker creases, and thus often faster or more defined fading than lighter materials.  However, just because denim is heavyweight, doesn’t mean that it will be longer-lasting than regular denim. Heavier denim puts more stress on the stitching, which can lead to faster thread breakage in some cases, especially on jeans with all-cotton stitching.


Another important factor in giving denim its character is the post-weaving processing involved – or a lack thereof.

Sanforization is the most familiar process, by which unwashed denim is “shrunk.” While unsaforized denim will experience considerable shrinkage from washing, sanforized denim usually doesn’t shrink much. Sanforized denim generally lasts longer than unsanforized; the main tradeoff being that it fades in a much softer manner, and high contrast doesn’t come as readily to sanforized denim. Sanforized fabrics are softer and smoother than unsanforized when new.

Singeing is the process by which the loose, hair-like fibers on the surface of the denim is burnt away, contributing to a smoother feel. Like sanforization, this process is extremely common on mass-produced denim. Most large companies are concerned with producing a fabric that’s immediately soft and comfortable. However, many high-quality raw varieties of denim are singed as well, such as some of R.J.B.’s fabrics.

Calendering – Calendering is a process where denim is evened out by passing through heavyweight rollers. Heat and pressure create a smoother, more comfortable fabric. Calendering contributes to the uniform appearance of most denim, like the other processes.

Mercerization – This process involves soaking the fabric in a chemical solution, which causes the fiber to swell. Mercerization also gives the denim a smooth sheen. It’s one of the final processes the denim undergoes.

Although many Japanese mills make fabrics with all of these processes, the high-end artisanal brands like Strike Gold and Studio D’Artisan, among others already mentioned, forgo these processes completely. This is called loomstate denim, and a few Japanese mills are among the only places in the world where true loomstate denim is still commonly produced.
The manner of processing can have dramatic ramifications for the feel, durability, and aging potential of a pair of jeans. For example, a pair that’s been sanforized, singed, and calendered, such as 3Sixteen’s SL-100x or Iron Heart’s 634S, will be comfortable when new and won’t need to be soaked before wearing. The wearer can enjoy a raw pair of jeans that will have a unique shine before the first wash, and if well-maintained the denim will last for a long time due to the even composition.
By contrast, a pair of loomstate jeans, such as Samurai’s S710xx or Flat Head’s 3005 will have a much rougher, hairy, and uneven feel and appearance. These jeans can be harder to deal with, between trying to correctly determine your size and effectively shrinking to the proper size, and the less uniform nature of the denim can make it less durable than sanforized fabrics. However, the payoff is a sharper, more defined quality to the creases and points of stress, as well as a more textured appearance to the denim.
It’s worth pointing out that just because denim is Japanese, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will have these characteristics. Many Japanese fabrics are sanforized, treated, and have a less complex texture. Just because a brand boasts that their fabric is made in Japan, there is no certainty that it will have any of these qualities. The best Japanese denim is distinguished by the indigo dyeing processes, the weight and weave of the denim, and the texture of the final product. All of these factors contribute to a pair of jeans that is designed to show optimal evolution over time.
It’s this combination of qualities that give Japanese denim a unique character rarely seen on other fabrics. While other denim mills are quite capable of producing denim with similar qualities – particularly when it comes to forgoing post-weave processing – most are more concerned with speed, efficiency, and consistency.  By re-discovering the virtues of a rough and unrefined fabric, other denim mills might one day produce their own fabrics rivaling the qualities of Japanese denim.
Particularly due to the rising interest in jeans made entirely in America, Cone Mills has experienced a resurgence of activity; however, their denim is mostly sanforized and undergoes other processing.  Last year, however, the mill introduced their first loomstate fabric in over sixty years, made exclusively forRoy. Perhaps someday soon, some enterprising individuals would be willing to start their own denim mill on American soil, dedicated to special batches of artisian denim on the same level of uniqueness as Japanese fabrics.

Credits: Rawrdenim.com



A three days Denim workshop organized by Italy's premium Denim Mill Candiani that invites visitors to create their own pair of jeans putting to use the finest Italian craftsmanship. It only happens twice a year at the Bread&Butter trade-show in Berlin and entertains more than 4000 people during three days.

Laboratorio was created by three of the most important and influential companies of the global textile industry:
Candiani, market leader in Denim fabrics production.
Elleti, the Italian laundry for high end brands.
Okinawa, the labeling genious.
The three companies conveyed their experience and craftsmanship to Bread & Butter recreating the whole manufacturing process of the 5 pocket jeans.

Visitors can put to use the know how of the Laboratorio experts to create their own pair of jeans. They can choose the style, fabric, treatments and finishings of their jeans and experience the entire production process from sewing to washing, to the customization of the label and accessories.
The proceeds of Laboratorio go to two Non-Profit associations:
The social brand Valemour di Più di un Sogno Onlus - Fondazione per la disabilità intellettiva, helping young adults with intellectual disabilities find employment.
Laughing Hearts, who supports orphans and socially disadvantaged children in Berlin in a long-term partnership.

Laboratorio is made possible thanks to the collaboration with the manufacturer Confezioni Crivellaro and Cobra, the leader in the production of metal buttons and accessories for the fashion industry.

Laboratorio is a fun way to learn about premium denim while supporting two great charity projects.

Get your own Italian Denim handcrafted

B&B.Berlin Laboratorio

After the success of the first edition in 2009, Laboratorio strikes back with an even more spectacular workshop at Bread & Butter displaying the refined quality of "Made in Italy" Denim.

Laboratorio is a workshop and community created by three of the most important and influential companies of the global textile industry:

TRC Candiani, market leader in Denim fabrics production.

Interwashing Group (Elleti),  the Italian laundry for high end brands.

Okinawa, specialized in research and development of accessories for the textile industry.

These companies conveyed their experience and craftsmanship to Bread & Butter giving birth to Laboratorio, an Italian project that recreates the whole manufacturing process like in a real Lab, bringing in qualified workers, machinery and tools to make the five pockets jeans "LIVE." Visitors could put to use the know how of the Laboratorio experts to create their own pair of jeans. They could choose the style, fabric, treatments and finishings of their jeans and experience the entire production process from sewing to washing, from lasering to the customization of the label. The proceeds went to the social brand Valemour di Più di un Sogno Onlus - Fondazione per la disabilità intellettiva, helping young adults with intellectual disabilities find employment. Laboratorio was made possible thanks to the collaboration with Confezioni CrivellaroCobra Accessories and this edition's special guest Jeanologia, the Spanish company specialized in product and process research and development, engineering solutions for garment production and sustainable technologies. More than 5000 visitors and many of the most influential designers in the fashion industry have appreciated Laboratorio and enjoyed the involving experience of Italian Denim manufacturing.

Do the right thing

Candiani talks about sustainability

Sustainability simply means "do the right thing": the right product, at the right price. Right means that the product has to respect the people (from the worker to the consumer) and for the environment. Sustainable products, especially in the garment industry, used to be "less attractive" and more expensive then the regular ones.Today it's different. Innovation is finally meeting sustainability. The product looks good, or even better then the others, and has the same price as the other, or less.

What does Candiani do?

We are working in two different areas:


We launched several new shades, 100% indigo and 100% sulfur, which work perfectly with laser and ozone treatments. Laundries are able to wash our Denim with less chemicals and way less water.


We are able to recycle most of our waste, from the dyeing to the weaving, in order to make a new weft made of recycled cotton, that we can re-introduce in our fabrics. We are also starting to cooperate with some important customers with the recycling of their used or second choice garments. 

On top of this, Candiani is a proud partner of ECOM / BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), a non-profit organization that grows cotton in different areas of the World, supporting the farmers to build better working conditions. Candiani is based in Italy, under the strict regulation of the EU, which is extremely severe in all environmental matters. "Made in Italy" becomes in this case a certification of "made in the right way" more than exclusive, elegant or high end product.


Better Cotton Initiative - TANGIBLE SUSTAINABILITY

Introducing Ecom and BCI

Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd is a global commodity trading and processing company specializing in coffee, cotton, and cocoa in major producing and consuming countries, with ancillary agricultural operations in oilseeds.

Ecom is differentiated by being an origin-integrated company, purchasing directly from farmers and processing products for export, with operations in more than 30 countries around the world.

Despite different conditions and needs in each country all of Ecom’s operations, farmer development programs share a common structure:

  • Engaging with farmers directly and through farmer organizations
  • Providing training in good agricultural practices, leading to certification according to the internationally - recognized sustainability standards, demanded and rewarded by clients
  • Providing access to better inputs and credit
  • Providing access to better plant stock and farming technologies

The cotton supply chain is considerably longer than that of other commodities. Because there are so many widely dispersed intermediaries, the market signals are weaker which also makes it less transparent and increases the counter-party risk.

Ecom’s strategy has been to work with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to help it to become a mainstream program for the cotton sector. This is part of Ecom’s strategy to use independent 3rd party certification/ verification programs to distinguish and support better farmers, creating a reliable supply of Better Cotton, and linking with buyers beyond its direct clients to reduce risk.

ECOM sees BCI as an important tool for creating more stable, longer-term relationships in supply chains. Taking risk out of supply chains through better practices and better relationships is better for buyers and better for farmers. This is neither an opportunity for windfall profits nor is it charity. It is about building a better, healthier cotton sector globally. In 2011, Ecom made the first purchases and sales of Better Cotton, from Mali, Brazil and India and worked with BCI retailers on innovative commercial supply chain projects. The new gin and its associated agronomy and finance program in Tajikistan is Ecom’s flagship cotton project.


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