@riss: I don't think any of the denim makers actually "handspins" the cotton.... do you realize what that means? Also, I have yet to see a 45RPM denim made with authentic indigo denim, that is, the original vegetal indigo (from plants, not chemicals) - the colour is totally totally different. Â The only ones I have seen using original vegatal indigo is Nudie.
T4, this is from another website and it is posted by someone who gets a bit deeper into the denim game than I do, but it addresses both points I quoted you on and seems to generally be the consensus on SuperFuture, a message board with members who can get extremely serious about this kind of thing. 45rpm is made this way. "True premium denim in many instances is made from zimbabwe cotton, which is usually considered the best in the world. This cotton is refined into a thread that often has been hand dyed using organic vegetable pigments (true indigo). This is a relatively long and painstaking process usually done by hand, particularly when done following traditional methods such as using clay vats kept out doors. The number of times the cotton is dipped and what pigments used define the base color of the denim, and most the time involves multiple trips into the vat, often with substantial drying times between dips. This cotton is eventually used to create the selvedge denim, by being woven on machines often dating back to the 1940's or earlier to achieve the traditional selvege denim. Depending on how much coarsness (character) they're trying to achive in the fabric, they'll slow the machine down further, but due to the limits of the equipment and the desire for a relatively specific uniqueness achieved from a hands on process, the look (character) is sometimes specific even to the individual batch being made. These machines generally aren't (and usually can't) be run fast enough to make enough fabric for more than a niche brand. Further, the machines are getting increasingly rare since their re-built/overhauled vintage machines. By automating the process, you're cutting out alot of what defines the denim and what arguably gives it it's unique character. Further, changing the process severely affects the way the denim wears over time, particulalrly using synthetic dyes over natural ones. Part of what's so great about buying denim from a brand like 45rpm is how the color of the denim gets more texture and character over time, as pigments from the various ingredients bleed, run, and fade emphasizing imperfections from the crude methods used to weave the fabric, or the fact that no two are alike. "[i]