raw jeans men

Continuing with our series about “serious” jeans for denimheads, today we’d like to talk about something called natural Indigo.

I first heard this expression during my Q/A with Stefan Miljanic from New York based brand, Gilded Age, a couple of weeks ago.

Natural indigo – what’s this all about, is it some kind of sustainable indigo, why haven’t we heard this expression before? And is it sustainable?

We checked back with Stefan and asked him to explain:

“Indigo is one of the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing. The oldest known fabric dyed indigo dating to 6,000 years ago was discovered in 2009 at Huaca Prieta, Peru. Soooo. Sustainable?? It did sustain people in craft for at least 6000 years without any damage to the environment until the early 20th century when the synthetic colors started to be used… like plastic. etc. 
Natural dyes general are sustainable as long there is the land to cultivate  the plants.

Synthetic Indigos use heavy metals to fix the dye to the yarn, which eventually  has to be filtered and processed, and still some of it  ends up in the ground. Natural indigo oxidizes in a natural way and dyes the yarns, all that ink is a natural base and dissipates into the ground without  ham, since it comes directly from plants and  uses natural processes  of fermentation and oxidization.

Natural Indigo was the original dye of all blue jeans manufactured in the beginning of 20th century. Since then almost all blue jeans are chemically dyed, using synthetic indigo.The art of organic, natural indigo dying has almost disappeared. There are very few companies in the world that are making natural indigo jeans.


Gilded Age Jeans are dyed with the color of the actual indigo plant. The shade is distinctive and recognizable by its deeply hued appearance. The process of making natural indigo jeans is time consuming, slower and more labor intensive then all methods used today. It takes a lot of highly skilled hands taught over generations to use this process.”

Here is the perfect example: the 1011-TOYO- HI Raw Natural Indigo Jean, available now on the Gilded Age website.

“13.5 oz real McCoy woven and made in Japan selvage Natural Indigo raw jean.  No synthetic chemicals, no water used, just a raw jean made of the rope natural indigo dyed cotton yarns in super durable and gutsy Gilded Age denim jean. The color of this jean is a rich true dark blue color which beautifully ages over the time, as only natural color dyes can. The built of this jean starts inside. Reinforced back yoke and pocketing done in Gilded Age signature red twill is a hallmark of the America’s best denim jean. Clean finish back waistband, signature prints, and hardware, chain stitch, reinforced bartacks*.  This jean is cut in our signature mid waist rise and straight leg Baxten jean fit.”

{*The crotch seam where the left and right leg pattern meet combined with front and back rise, the fabric – SPECIALLY HEAVIER FABRCI like 13.50 – 14 oz denim are too thick, and sometimes the denim machines close over this area with looser tact just to pass this knot of the  folder and tucked fabrics. That  at times causes  the crotch part to unravel and if not done well the  stitches loosen up. That is why Gilded Age uses Reinforcement barrack to reinforce that area, just  as we do in the other pressure points where the barracks or rivets are needed. This is  the extra that Gilded Age  builds into our jeans that now one knows and can not see, but that produces stronger jeans that last longer.}

And if you are not comfortable in just ordering a ready-made size online, Gilded Age offers you the possibility to e-mail them: [email protected] They will gladly provide you with the measurements in your own size. How’s that for customer service!?!

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