Before a new line of Levi’s indigo blue jeans appears in a store, Bart Sights and his team at the Levi’s Eureka Lab have worked hard to perfect the perfect pair.
“Natural indigo is finicky, and for the jeans Levi’s produces on a mass scale, the company uses primarily synthetic, the industry norm. These kettles of dye, with their rich fish-sauce stink, are mostly kept around as inspiration, a link to a previous era that, given Levi’s role in the early years of denim jeans (“waist overalls,” as they were originally known), is a constant reference.
‘Really, it’s like our blood,’ Mr. Sights said. ‘This is what we came from.’
…The lab contains not only vats of indigo and an atelier where jeans are cut and sewn by hand (“It’s totally ‘Dior and I,’ ” said Jonathan Cheung, 49, Levi’s senior vice president for global design), but also lasers and washing machines that can be pumped full of enzyme solutions and age-simulating pumice stones or jeans-fading ozone gas.”
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Images: New York Times