Friday, 4 March 2016

OldBlue Co. Duck Canvas Jacket

When people think of quality selvedge denim what automatically pops in to the mind is Japan or the USA.

However, there’s some great things coming out of places like Indonesia. One such label is Oldblue Co.

New Utility - Old Blue Duck Canvas Jacket

Can a Man Have Too Many Jackets?

Founded in 2010, Oldblue Co. is, perhaps unsurprisingly, inspired by work wear of the late 1800's to the 1950's. The label take a lot of their styling from Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC.)

I’d been on the look out for a duck canvas jacket for a while so when I saw this one I knew it had to be part of my collection. I must admit here that I own far too much denim... I couldn't justify buying more of the indigo stuff, so duck canvas seemed like a good compromise.

New Utility - Old Blue Duck Canvas Jacket

An Alternative to Levi's

As with the LVC original, the first jacket the company ever made in 1878, the key features of the garment are characterized by the triple pleats front and back with box stitching, round bottom pockets (with no arcuates) and a cinch back. The waistband has a little tilt on it, so shorter in length at the back than the front.

New Utility - Old Blue Duck Canvas Jacket

Old Blue added their own details to the jacket. The front pockets are larger and they’ve added a hidden pocket on the left chest. All the seams are felled for added strength. There’s black selvedge line detailing on the hang loop and down the centre seam.

The cut is also more like a modern jacket, longer than the original vintage blouse, cut to sit on the hips.

You Want Duck?

For fabric Oldblue Co. use an 11oz brown duck selvedge. (It says 12oz on the label and 11oz other site, I suspect the former is the post wash weight.)

The duck fabric is produced by Cone Mills, their famous vintage shuttle looms using single continuous threads to produce a tighter, heavier and more durable fabric. (The same mill where the bulk of LVC’s fabric is produced.)
This duck fabric starts out quite rigid and gets heavier after it’s first soak

For the hardware Old Blue have used Japanese made 100% copper washers - burr rivets and silver "Laurel Leaf" iron plated doughnut buttons. The custom-made brass cinch back hardware is made in Indonesia, and given an antique copper finish.

New Utility - Old Blue Duck Canvas Jacket

The leather patch is a bison hide imported from its origin, USA. According to Old Blue it varies in thickness, 3-4 oz on average, or 1.4 – 1.6 mm. Genuine American bison leather is more than 40% stronger than the traditional cowhide and known for its strength and durability. Compared to the cowhide, bison leather grain is more pronounced, and the fibers are also thicker.

New Utility - Old Blue Duck Canvas Jacket

The fabric sanforised, however after a first soak there's just under a centimetre of shrinkage on the sleeves and the jacket in now nice and snug across the chest.

So, the verdict? This is great little jacket and very well made. I hope labels like this grow and thrive to make the denim industry, or the selvedge part of it at least, a more diverse place.

The jacket is available from Oldblue Co. here.

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