Lots of denim enthusiasts prefer a chain stitch finish on their hems because it creates an effect which is commonly called 'roping'. The stitch that is made on a chain stitch machine has a specific loop and tension which makes the rolled denim warp and 'rope'. When the hem ropes it fades in what would be considered a classic jeans hem look. A lot of companies use modern chain stitch machines but we have found they can't get the results that we can from our collection of vintage machines. Our tool of choice is the Union Special 43200G. Originally used for decades by the pioneers of denim, Levi Strauss, this machine is now out of production, but we've built up quite a collection and so will be providing authentic chain stitch services for years to come.
Absolutely they can be saved! At Soldier Blue we never turn down a job. We would highly recommend bringing them in or posting them to us. We are using vintage Singer (47w70) darning machines to reconstruct worn out denim in a way which makes them both durable and comfortable. This is absolutely the best machine to be used for getting the darning done correctly. The darning arm on these beautiful machines allow us to get right in to the difficult to reach areas and repair them authentically without needing to add heavy patches! We really believe that people should repair rather than re-buy for two reasons. The first is that we can provide a hard wearing repair which will give your well worn jeans a new life for a fraction of the cost of a new pair. The second being that repairing is better for the planet. We want to help your jeans live longer so that our world can live longer.
We have built up our collection of vintage machines over the years because, to us, they are beautiful. Each one has their own characteristic and purpose, and because they are all manufactured for a specific reason, they do their individual task brilliantly. The phrase which comes to mind is "the old ones are the best!", and we believe that whole heartedly. Not only do the machines look amazing and provide incredible finishes, they also tell a social/political story; many of them manufactured specifically to mass produce garments quickly during wartime, like our running fell machines. Some of them were made to create beautiful displays of opulence, like our embroidery machines. Each machine has its own tale to tell if you look closely enough.
As you probably know, if a jean has a selvedge edge then it is considered sacrilege to taper them from the outside of the leg. So, to avoid making the selvedge wider, we always recommend tapering form the inside of the leg. If you look at your jeans now, there will be a visible line running up the inside leg to the centre of the crotch (Usually a gold colour but can be anything depending on brand); that is the top stitch which holds the inside seam down. It's basically there to make sure that the jeans keep their shape better. It also gives them a crisp finished look.
Two of the most interesting and complicated jobs that we do at Soldier Blue are waist adjustments and pocket bag repairs. Each jean is different and we generally have to plan a specific job according to the garment. When it comes to waist adjustments, the completion of the service depends on the jean itself and how much material needs to be taken away for them to size correctly. Whilst an alteration form the seat gives the most natural and organic effect in most cases, we sometimes take from the side seams when two inches or more need to be removed. This is mostly down to the positioning of the back pockets. If too much material is taken from the centre of the back of the jean then the pockets can become too close and looks awkward. Therefore, if there is more than two inches to be removed from the waist, we would take some from the seat and some from the sides. Waist alterations of more than two inches would incur an extra charge as it is a very complicated job. Our goal is, of course, to make sure that the jeans don't look like they have been altered at all and so it would be a good idea if you can, to come and talk to us about your jean and we can advise you on the best way to complete it.
Absolutely! The pockets are one of the most common places that a jean wear out as they are probably the most used features of a jean. The keys, wallets, phones, and loose change all contribute to the rapid downfall of a pocket bag. It's a problem that we know all to well. But, as we are creatures of habit, we have become specialists in pocket replacement and repair services. Sometimes only half of the bag needs to be repaired but we also have all the tools needed to do a complete pocket replacement. It can be an absolute nightmare job, but we are very patient and precise in our work and would love to sort them out for you.
It is important to wash your jeans before bringing them in to us for two reasons. The first reason is that, as you will know, your denim will shift in shape as you wear them and then reduce back once they have been washed. If we alter your jeans when they are stretched out it, the desired effect could not be the same once they are washed. We believe that it is important to let your jeans move and stretch with you as naturally as possible.
The second reason is that, although our team of denim tailors always enjoy a challenge, the reality is that they have to get very up close and personal with your garments, and indeed spend a good deal of time on each service. Denim picks up everything that our bodies and the streets put out, therefore we feel that it is fair to ask that any items brought to us are laundered to make the experience an enjoyable one for both sides.
This is a common problem, especially for cyclists and folks who hang their keys from their belt loops. Ill fitting jeans can often require a belt to hold them up, and the constant hoiking them up puts a lot of strain on those little loops. Most of the time we are able to completely replace the belt loop with one which matches the colour and size of the original and using the same stitching. However, if you are particularly attached to the old one, we will do our very best to repair it!
We love a good old fashion set of brace buttons on our jeans and we know a lot of you do too. That’s why we offer a range of buttons which we will add to the waist band of your jeans to create that classic pre-WWII look.
Whilst we are currently experiencing a high volume of requests coming through we are still committed to completing your service in seven days or less. We are always careful to keep you in the loop with timescales and will advise on request if a larger job will take any longer than the week that we normally aim for.