In general, any brands start production at least half a year in advance so that it's normal to design some winter coats/Jackets in summer and vice versa. But if I do say so myself, I'm not that diligent or punctual of a guy. I mean I can't come up with any good ideas for the winter in the scorching summer in Japan. Thinking about any wool fabrics in the summer just makes me sweat a lot but that's what everyone does in the fashion world that TCB also belongs to.
However, lucky me! Because I have my own factory so I usually think about new shorts in July and some jackets or coats in October, which is fair to say that I'm disqualified as a good designer/maker though, but that's been the TCB style since the beginning so it's all good.
(I have to say though that I'm a nuisance for the stockists all over the world since they order based on their seasonal budget... But hope this TCB style of doing things at least gives some good surprises to our stockists.)
But, I've had one thing I haven't been able to make so far.
I've been thinking for long time that I myself want a warmer jacket in Jan or Feb when it gets below 0 even in Kojima but I don't wanna wear any non-cotton jacket, let alone a down jacket. ...I've got it! Why don't we make a wool lined denim jacket!
But in order to make a good quality wool fabric reminiscent of something vintage, it takes at least 3~6 months. In the past 3+ years, I've always had a passion to make them but TCB guys are like men of no plan so we have actually had mentally and physically cold winters.
In 2020, I finally started to kick my own lazy butt and started to find a suitable weaving factory with my vintage wool lined jacket in hands.(too small for me to wear) but in Okayama, there were very few factories who specialize in wool and I had many difficulties in trying to developing top-notch wool fabric here. After all, Okayama is the city for denim, not for wool fabric.
When I was almost ready for giving up on the wool lined jacket this year again, My old friend, Taichi from XX Development, searched and ran around on behalf of me to find an authentic wool weaving factory with all the vintage machines equipped in Ichinomiya, Aichi, Japan. (the city of TOYOTA)
I asked the grandmaster of the factory when he started his job and he said in a murmur, " Back when we had Isewan Typhoon(1959).
Pic No: 7~
The vintage Schoenherr looms working for 61 years
I'm more used to the denim shuttle looms in Okayama so I was quite surprised about how slow the shuttles were moving. The moves could be actually caught by my eyes but it is said that the slow speed gives the fabric the feelings very similar to the hand-woven stuff, which made total sense to me.
When deciding the yarn count for the fabric, I discussed it with Taichi and the grandmasters there and we reached the golden blend: two folded yarns for the warps and the triple ply yarns for the wefts both developed exclusively for this wool lining.
The pitches and the widths of the stripes are totally the same as the vintage and what I also wanted to reproduce was the pinkish color for some true vintage vibes. We had some ready-made pink yarns but they were not up to the quality I wanted so this pink color is also a custom-made color for us.
It's usually a bit time-consuming and laborious to convince the grand masters of anything since they are known to be super professional and in general pretty stubborn about what they do but I was glad to see their smiles when we created the perfect vintage-looking fabric right under our eyes.
It's a bit unusual for TCB to write such a long fabric description(is it even a fabric description...?) but finally, we are ready to open the curtains on this product.
Hope Santa Clause will deliver this warm, lined jacket to you! Stay tuned on TCB!
Comparing the wool fabrics, the tinge on our fabric look a bit darker but we have counted in the fades on the fabric so when it's worn well the hue will be pretty close to the vintage piece. The pitches and the widths of the stripes are authentically reproduced from the vintage 517XX we own.
For the lap seams, we use our vintage Union Special with the sewing width of 9/32 inch. Speaking of the process of doing the lap seam, we do it separately for the denim and the wool fabric first and then sew them together on the armpits.
If you look at the around-shoulder lap seams on the inner side of the vintage, they are sewn staggered to avoid that the fabrics overlap a lot and get too thick to be sewn. So, we have sewn them in the exact same way as the vintage piece.
The finishing on the cuffs opening was the most difficult part and is quite difficult to explain by writing though but it really gave me a headache.
There is one part to cut on the cuffs of the outer material(denim) and the same principle goes for the inner material(wool) but the wool fabric of the vintage was not cut there so I could finally solve the puzzle to finish the cuffs in the same vintage way.
In addition, I'd like to show you Taichi's comments from XX Development who played a significant roll in creating this wool fabric and who is one of my best friends. Both he and I talk/write a lot but hopefully you can feel the thoughts and the passion we both had for this project.
■Comments from Taichi below
I think I have reached the answer as to what the reproduction should be.
Because we both have our own factories, this might be the answer we naturally drove ourselves into, I'd say. In our younger days, we both had some longing or passion towards jeans, American cultures, vintages, etc, eventually leading to us having sewing machines, making clothes on our own, and having like-minded guys around us while we had to jump over such hurdles as management and financing.
Speaking of the sewing factories in general, they receive orders and do exactly what they are instructed to do without thinking too deeply about what they are being asked to produce. They do the production solely according to the instruction to earn money, ultimately to make a living.
However in our cases, we also have a passion for what we want to make so we find the time to make our passions form into our brand's line while doing those orders perfectly. But we just do it truly out of our dream or our admiration for vintage style/items so it always gives me a headache thinking about how we are supposed to reproduce this or that, which is also the very fun part of making clothes or the reproduction though. We don't say this aloud to customers or write a lot about all the failures and the mistakes but we always hope you could feel any of the commitment or professionalism behind a product.
Finally, speaking of Mr. Sato, the grandmaster of wool weaving, he's been doing this for 61 years! He even told us he's been living with the vintage Schoenherr weaving machines. Isn't it just amazing? Mistakes happen/happened to anyone and I'm sure he's been through numerous mistakes so far but I think he's already at the level where he can actually talk with the machines. If I do say so myself, we improve by making mistakes. If you keep doing it for 5, 10, 20 years, you'll eventually be able to make good stuff.
When we brought the sample wool fabric to him, the reaction of Mr. Sato was something like " What? is this really what you want to make? " For him, it must have been the quality he already reached 5 years after he had started the job. Thinner, lighter, more beautifully woven fabric is the general direction of improvement in the industry. Therefore, it was literally rewinding the clock on the mastered skills for him. I remember he murmured that he was worried a bit about woven defects due to the way the vintage one was woven... but of course, those blankets do rip if you look at any vintage items.
Mr. Sato himself must be nonchalant when it comes to fashion but his skills are purely authentic backed by the experience and the knowledge accumulated over more than 60 years.
This is a reproduction from the vintage piece that is more than 60 years ago and the reproduced wool fabric is mixed with some cheap cotton to stay true to the vintage, woven with a vintage machine of the same construction as back then and created by a grandmaster of 60 years, which is already a very intriguing story but he also added some improvements to the fabric by using the two folded yarns for the warp to achieve more durability and he also pre-dyed some yarns to make the color more true to the vintage. I felt really grateful fo his consideration and I appreciated that he poured all of his knowledge into what young boys like us passionately wanted to make.
Taichi will also release a special item made of this wool fabric! So please check out XX Development website or IG.
It's just a stupid story but any clothes are made by someone. The fashion sense and trends come and go like the waves and tides and I'm happy to see the new improvements on the sewing works or the pattern making. But at the same time, we both love vintages so we are dedicated to the vintage ways of making clothes but even in these fields we can find new techniques and new improvements, leading to raising the reproductions to the next level. I don't mean to brag about what we've made this time or anything but I'd rather brag more that we could work together with the grand master like Sato-san! I'm more feeling fulfilled and happy because we could make things together with TCB Hajime and the grandmaster, Mr.Sato, not so much because of the quality of what we did or how accurate to the vintage the wool fabric is.
The size chart is based on the actual measurements of one washed jackets taken when laid flat.
Model：5'9" (180cm)/ 180lbs (79kg) Nude chest: 96cm wears size 44.
Other TCB jackets he wears in the similar fit.
New 50's Jacket: 44
30's Jacket: 44
Cat Boy Jacket: 46
The sizing is pretty similar to our New 50's Jacket. If you compare the size charts of the two, this wool lined jacket measures larger than the new 50's Jacket but the fit will be very similar between the two since the lined ver needs more room to accommodate the lining.
If you plan to wear a sweater or heavy flannel shirt underneath, we suggest you size up!