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Jeans quality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by A Harris, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 6, 2003
    I was quite shocked to see the prices some jeans are going for these days. Is there really any difference in construction quality between a $300 pair and a pair of 501's? Or are you paying for a name, a cut and perhaps fabric finish? And if there is a real difference in quality who offers the best value for your dollar?
     
  2. davei

    davei Well-Known Member

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    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    In the $300+ range, you're mostly paying for a cut/finish/name (i.e. designer jeans from the likes of Dior, Margiela, YSL, etc.) Â High prices often limits availability (as with most designer stuff) which lends an air of exclusiveness. There's lots of value in the $100-200 range. Â With specially distressed/treated denim, there is often lots of hand treatment/sandblasting/staining/etc. which can be time consuming, even if you're paying sweatshop rates (of course, depends on where the jeans were made.) Â If you go to the paperdenim&cloth site (www.paperdenim.com) they go into a bit of detail on their process. Â PDC jeans are in the middle range of the price scale, expensive but not excessively so (most of their pieces are $120-150.) Fabric makes a big difference as well. Â LA Guy is probably the expert on this, but here's some info as a primer: the actual yarn used to make the denim cloth can be spun in two ways: like a cotton candy machine (I forget what the process is called), where the cotton is rolled around and forced through a tube (the twist of the yarn is achieved through the rotation of the machine), or in a ring (what's called "ringspun" denim) where the cotton is pulled through and twisted on itself (as how wool is typically spun and twisted, think of an old lady at a big wheel [​IMG] ) Â The ringspun method yields softer yarn, but is also more expensive and more delicate. Â How the yarn is woven into cloth also makes a difference - if you look at a pair of jeans, the surface will either run in a right hand direction ///// from bottom left to top right, or in a left hand direction \\\\\\ from top left to bottom right. Â The latter (left hand) produces a softer weave than the right hand weave, which is more widely used. Â Â Higher quality jeans will usually utilize ringspun yarn woven in a left hand weave - however depending on the finishing effect desired, this can always change. Â The benefit of the ringspun/left hand weave is that the garment is soft feeling right away - you don't have to wash it a million times or distress it like crazy to make it soft. Â Naturally, it's also less durable. The denim market is so specialized these days, and jeans so individualized, if you can find a pair you like the look of, that fits great, and won't break your wallet, go for it. Nothing wrong with 501s - in Europe, they go for double what they do in North America [​IMG]
     
  3. davei

    davei Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada

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