FADES OF INDIGO LIVID JEANS COMPANY & OLE A. EKKER DENIMBOOK VOL II
Volume II Fades Of Indigo
Photography: Ole A. Ekker Products: Livid Jeans Words: Jens Olav Dankertsen Graphic Design: Martin KarlgĂĽrd
One single craft is often used only as a supplement to the other. Similarities between crafts are common, but the connection not always seen. There is great beauty in combining crafts because theyâ€™re able to bring forth what may be left unsaid when standing alone. Through authentic, honest and passionate work our cooperation aims to focus on artisanal aspects in both our crafts. We want to create a piece that will inspire both ourselves and others to keep on doing what they love the most, and inspire to cooperate with others as well. Not made as a tool of marketing but as an artistic piece that will live on longer as a reflection of our crafts being brought together. This is the second issue of the Fades Of Indigo. A collaborative piece between Norwegian photographer Ole A. Ekker and the Norwegian-based jeans brand Livid Jeans. Made to capture the strong bonds between people and denim and tell their stories through a variety of pictures.
NATURE NURTURES CREATIVITY
Surrounded by evidential beauty helps to forget. Even though we have a universal agreement that the constant natural scenery of Mother Nature is one of the most beautiful things in the world, we tend to miss it. - Maybe because we’re always surrounded by it. When growing up, it’s important to see things like we used to. When we were little.
Our goal is not to take the easiest path. Our goal is to do it well, and if we are able to, better, for each time we do it. Nature nurtures creativity, and we’re using it the best we can. Most part of the second edition was captured in the wild nature around the famous mountain road Trollstigen in the western part of Norway.
Livid Jeans Livid Jeans is a small artisan denim brand from Norway, created from a simple love and passion for denim and true craftsmanship. Dedicated to honor old traditions in making jeans, and inspired by a time when superior quality, supporting local trade and taking care of own garments mattered. Our company was first established as a hundred percent handmade denim brand. While continuously growing we strive to follow core values and to always create as unique and authentic products as we possibly can. Livid Jeans’ product portfolio consists of two different production lines: Our handmade line and our retail line. Both lines offering high quality garments with equal purposes.
Livid Jeans’ rabid enthusiasm for denim and its history is reflected in using superior quality denim fabrics throughout all our collections. We love the fabric, its different weaves and appearances, and especially its ability to change and create a personal and unique timeline. A bruise gives a bluish discolored appearance to your skin. A jean will do the same. Along the way, it’ll always remind you of the time you got it, and how you got it. Nothing can compare the bruising you will get from a pair of raw jeans worn for several months before its first wash. Through its livid bruising, it’ll tell a story that you’ll remember and cherish, creating a resilient relationship which will make you never wear anything but a raw denim jeans again.
JENS OLAV DANKERTSEN
OLE A. EKKER
views on photography
“GOOD QUALITY IS A PROOF OF TIME INVESTED AND IT IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.”
Fades of Indigo vol. II captures the journey. The ride to new heights. The idea of helping each other to the top. The pictures in this book has a strong connection to 19th-century German Romantic landscape painters and the book cover is directly inspired by Caspar David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the sea fog”. Standing on the edge of a mountain, wondering in that moment about the unforeseen future. You will not get anywhere without a good working relationship. It is said that you see the farthest from the shoulders of a giant. Jens Olav is my giant. But in this case he`s getting up, and in a furious pace that can be just as exciting. As inspiration, I think of him when things go on the heaviest and I know that he is simultaneously working twice as hard as me. I admire his ability to think big and sacrifice so much of his time to reach his goal. Good quality is a proof of time invested and its the way it should be. Life as a photographer can be lonely and scary. The passion is put to the test. When no one but yourself cares, it’s just to give and hope to get it back twice. Friend, teacher and mentor, GT Nergaard is the lead advisor in my photographic life. I had a show of respect for him before I even started shooting. Getting to know him while attending Norwegian School of Photography, made me aware of a man with great knowledge in the field of photography and therefore a natural man to follow and put my trust in. Have a mentor. Have multiple “giants“ to stand on and extend your view. I try to be as true as possible to myself, my references in life and who I am. That is my strength and makes sure I have the ability to distinguish myself
among the mass when making pictures. It is easy to succumb to trends and other people’s opinions, it is therefore ensuring for me to have references that have survived the ravages of time, for example old paintings. In addition, having a highly subjective expression. I mean, who will like your photographs if you don`t like them yourself? Some people have the urge to create. To impress lays deep in our prehistoric basis for the definition of beauty. Our perception of beauty is determined by our ancestors. 100 000 years ago, long before humans developed language, objects where made to impress the ladies. In this case, an ax shaped like a drop, created by good hands out of a rare material. Over the years, on the basis of this, we have many forms of beauty. We see beauty as something that is well established. A mix between virtuosity and emotion. This is universal for music, acrobatic movements, photography and fashion. Later in this book we present a series of portraits. Of costumers, togheter with their jeans. My contributions and my vision is not only personal, but the portraits in this book puts light on my fascination for the people I meet. Often friends and always someone I get to know better. In this case, in an extended state through the jeans they use.
-Ole A. Ekker
Livid Jeans first started out as a dream I shared with three friends of mine. We’d been working with denim in a retail chain in Norway for many years, and had sort of established a huge enthusiasm for denim and jeans in general. We wanted to create a familiar work environment where we would work towards a common goal and at the same time be able to work with denim based on own principles, day in and day out. We officially started our brand in May 2010, with no clue on what we were doing, or how we were going to do it. Obviously, we dreamt big on making collections, traveling and working together. But as we drew more and more behind the curtain and learned what it was really like to run a company we all kind of realized that it was not only fun and glory, but a lot of hard work. We slowly but surely started to lose confidence in our dream and suddenly passion was the only thing left to inspire us. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, my friends decided to go different paths. After my friends decided to focus on studies and jobs, I kept running towards my goal, with a lot of disappointments along the way. I first started out searching for patternmakers and sewers who could help make my first pair. – In which seemed to be harder than I first imagined. (Luckily) I didn’t find anyone who had the prior experience in working with denim. So after a while considering if I was even going to attempt it I decided to do it myself. At the end of that year, I bought my first sewing machine and a while later, I was making jeans. Shortly after I found myself surrounded by big industrial machines, sewing and constructing patterns for 8-10 hours of every day while still having a full time job on the side. It took me about a year before I was confident enough to sell my first garment. A while after, orders started piling up. Not only from friends and family, but even from complete strangers and honestly, at that time, I couldn’t quite cope with the idea that people would actually pay to wear it. Along the way, a frequent problem for me was having too many plans and projects at the same time. And sometimes I really had to sit down, think rationally and restrain myself. But I also think that was what kept me going. Starting from not being able to make anything to being able to make something that people actually appreciated, amazed me quite a lot. In august 2011 Livid started to grow. I’d been having my little factory in a 12 square meter attic, stuffed with five big industrial machines, making everything at home. So, I started renting a small studio in an old warehouse in the middle of the city of Trondheim. The plan was simple. If I could sell only one jeans a month, I would be able to pay the rent and keep working my trade.
Days literally started running like hours. I wanted Livid to be successful in five rather than ten years. And if I was to fail, better to fail in two than in five. With that in mind, working hard never was a problem. Actually, then again, when working with something you love, it really never is. Since the start I had a dream of making everything in-house at our own factory in Norway. To me and to some, it sounded very inspiring and do-able. To others, kind of idiotic. Often getting the question of why anyone would produce clothes in one of the most expensive countries in the world did the opposite of distract me. It actually made me want to do it even more. So I started trying to figure out how. During the year of 2011 we created the Livid Jeans business plan, which included our new product portfolio that would define our whole future production structure. To be able to produce in Norway rationally we needed a more effective and constructive production. In other words, more machines, more knowledge, more people. But we also needed a steady income, because making clothes in Norway would never generate money or the necessary growth for the company. But we would only choose a steady income that would pursue the same purpose as our handmade line. We immediately started looking for the right production facility that could do the job. After a lot of research we found a little family owned factory in Oporto, Portugal. Their in-house production plant had 15 non-automated machines still doing all the products handmade and only four people working in a good working environment. Exactly what we were looking for. Our retail line was born, now making us able to open our products for retailers as well. Our first launch came in February 2012 with 400 limited edition dry denims made out of a beautiful Japanese fabric. At the same time we expanded our handmade line with 10 new industrial machines and a master sewer. A more effective production with specialized machines now made us able to deliver 15 pairs of handmade jeans a week straight out of our own factory in Trondheim, Norway. Our first goal was set. A product portfolio of two production lines featuring high quality handmade garments, both lines serving a common purpose. Currently, living our dream doing exactly what we wanted to do, we couldn’t be happier. Most of all we feel extremely humble and honored to be able to do what we are doing. All thanks to our customers, friends and followers for supporting our visions and dreams. Yours sincerely
“IF I WAS TO FAIL, BETTER TO FAIL IN TWO YEARS RATHER THAN FIVE”
factory in Norway. Created to last, be loved, make value and establish a long lasting relationship with its new owner.
MADE IN NORWAY
Itâ€™s our responsibility to keep old trade and the conventional craft of making jeans alive. While all in-land production is being shut down or moved abroad, we are expanding and holding true to our roots. The once blooming textile industry in Norway is gone and the fine craft with it. While industrial jobs is being replaced by corporative, our handmade line aims to withhold the old traditions, and work towards being an inspiration against the competitive force of poor products made unsustainably.
Our handmade collection line is the core and heart of Livid Jeans. We want to make unique products of value. Something that we can be proud of and share with our customers and friends. Our handmade line represents uniqueness and authenticity, with irregular stitching giving each pair the character it deserves. While some jeans are made with twenty hands, our jeans are made with only four. All hand-felled seams and cut and sewn together with only a few handpicked non-automated industrial machines. Mostly made with a single needle lockstitch construction and crafted at our very own production facility in the heart of Trondheim, currently being the only established jeans
For our handmade line we only use the highest premium quality selvage denim fabrics from the known Japanese and American mills Kurabo, Kuroki, Nihon Menpu and Cone mills. Our handmade line follows a made to order business strategy and is available for purchase through our store in Trondheim and through our online platform.
OUR RETAIL LINE
Two times a year we launch a new collection for the season. These collections are for our retail line. A collection of uncompromising garments in different quantities that is available at a variety of retailers who shares the same passion for denim, jeans and other well-made goods. We always strive to follow core values and to make products that are transparent, honest and unique. Products from our retail line are no exception. Handcrafted by a small family-owned factory in Barcelos, Portugal. Made on non-automated industrial machinery and crafted by only a handful of dedicated crafts- men and women. Made from the highest quality materials by the known American and Japanese mills, Kuroki, Kurabo, Nihon Menpu and Cone Mills.
We take huge pride in having some of our production in Portugal as itâ€™s not only inspiring working with truly dedicated people, but weâ€™re also able to follow up all aspects of our production closely. Regarding both to demand of quality and a good working environment for all the individuals making our goods.
Narrow shuttleloom selvage denim Selvage denim is a narrow woven denim fabric that is made on old-style shuttlelooms rather than wide modern projectile looms which creates a much wider fabric. Selvage is woven using one continuous cross thread throughout the entire fabric bolt. The weft cross thread goes back and forth rather than individual threads for each cross weave, creating a selvage edge on each side of the fabric. Normally distinguished by a colored thread running down the fabric bolt, the most common being red. Selvage denim has a much slower production than conventionally produced denim. The old narrow shuttlelooms produce three meters of around 75 centimeter wide selvage denim per hour, while being frequently oiled and closely supervised by experienced craftsmen. With such a slow and expensive production, selvage denim is usually made with only the highest quality of raw cotton materials. This combined with a low speed production in which produces far less stress on the yarn makes the fabric a softer and more durable fabric. With the enormous increase of popularity in raw denim the last couple of years the term selvage has become widely known as a very high quality denim fabric. Unfortunately, today, selvage comes in a lot of different qualities and does not necessarily equate to high quality denim, as well as wide-loom denim not necessarily being synonymous with mediocrity. Even though selvage is mostly known by its unraveling edge it has a lot more to it. Itâ€™s all about the raw material used, the color, the fabric feel, its premium construction and the skilled, traditional and artisanal craft required to make it. The known Japanese and American mills Kurabo, Nihon Menpu, Kuroki and Cone Mills, manufacture all fabrics used in products by Livid Jeans. All woven using high quality long staple raw cotton materials like - amongst others - pima cotton. And woven on the known old style shuttlelooms, Draper and Toyoda. Besides using selvage denim we also take huge pride in the use of wide-loom Japanese denim woven on modern projectile looms with the highest quality of raw cotton materials.
THE BEAUTY OF DRY DENIM IT’S PERSONAL AND IT’S YOURS One of the beautiful aspects of the denim fabric is its astounding way of telling stories through a natural fade. Starting fresh with a untreated raw denim jeans with months of wear before the first wash, will in turn give a personal and unique wear-pattern to your denim, and will probably make you never wear anything but a raw denim jean again. The concept of creating your own fade is mostly relevant for raw unwashed dry denim fabrics, and will only be a successful project through months of wear before the first wash. To better understand how the natural fade works, we need to go more into the specifics of how the denim fabric is made. Before denim is woven together into a fabric, it consists of lots of threads of cotton spun yarns. The warp thread that covers the topside of the fabric is dyed in the blue color indigo, while the weft remains un-dyed. After dyeing they’re interlaced with each other and woven into the fabric, denim. Indigo in its raw form is not soluble in water, which makes indigo dye a challenging dye to use. To dye cloth, indigo needs to undergo a chemical change and needs to be made into a soluble form for it to be able to enter the open spaces of the cotton fiber. The insoluble indigo dye is therefore synthesized into a water-soluble form. When the raw white cotton yarns are dyed in the bath of water-soluble indigo, it attaches into the fibers. When it again comes into contact with air, it oxidizes back into the insoluble blue indigo compound. Since indigo has a low affinity for cotton, blue dyeing is only obtained when dyeing and oxidizing are repeated several times. In other words, the more the yarns are dipped into the indigo bath, the darker the indigo color gets. After dyeing the indigo color “sits” on top of the fibers. When the fabric is exposed to stress, the color will tear off the surface of the fibers, and the raw white cotton core of the yarns will slowly appear. This will in turn leave beautiful fading, such as whiskers and honeycombs on the upper thighs and behind the knees, which are generally the most exposed areas. Before the first wash, we want to tear off as much color on exposed areas as possible. The longer we wait and the more we use our jeans, the more beautiful genuine fading will appear. Because the indigo doesn’t bind that well to the fibers the washer will remove more indigo color from the surface of the fabric. Friction in the washer makes the color fall out of the fibers, both in areas with more or less stress, leaving contrasts and wear patterns. After each wash, your jeans will actually fade more and create a beautiful look, in which no other wash can compare with. It’s personal and it’s yours.
OUR STORE THE ONLY ESTABLISHED JEANSFACTORY IN NORWAY.
Our factory is located in a 200-year-old warehouse just next to the quiet river of Nidelven, in the heart of Trondheim, Norway. What used to be a loading dock for ships back in the old days has now been transformed into the Livid Jeans headquarters. With management, design and development, as well as our own in-house handmade production facility, located all under the same roof. To us, transparency is number one. While the clothing industry keeps changing with strong competitive force, creating a market where origin and craft has been completely wiped away from the customer’s process of buying, we aim towards a hundred percent transparent way of working our company. Since we moved into our studios we’ve been working hard on making it our own. Today we’re proud to share a place where our customers can view the entire production process from design and development to the finished product. In addition to this we have our very own retail space for customers to be able to purchase all products by Livid Jeans. Even highly limited pieces only available through our factory floor.
LOVE & CARE Caring for denim properly is an important step in creating your denim wear project or just to prolong the life of your jeans. Your favorite pair of jeans is probably your oldest pair, and unfortunately it won’t last forever. Take care of your jeans, and treat it with love & care, and it will last longer. Soak your jeans Soaking jeans were usually referred to the “shrink to fit” concept in the old denim days, which were mostly relevant for the non-sanforized denim fabrics. But giving your jeans a soak before wear actually includes many advantages also to sanforized denim fabrics. Nowadays sanforized denim is the most common and will shrink from 1-3% depending on fabric. Soaking may prolong the life of your jeans by getting a softer fabric, which in turn may prevent crotch blow-outs and butt rips. Other advantages are removal of chemical coating and excess indigo, increased fabric density & strength, corrected stitch tension and better fit. Every jeans from Livid are sanforized and will shrink 3-5 % when washed. Now, this is how you do it. Turn your dry denims inside out, fill a tub or sink with low temperature water, and lay something over your jeans to keep it still and so the water
covers all the fabric. You should only soak your jeans for 1-2 hours, before you hang the jeans to dry. Repair your jeans After months of wear before the first wash, your jeans will look fantastic. And they will have a genuine and beautiful look that no other wash can compare with. The first usual wear and tear will be crotch blow outs and butt rips. No worries! We will gladly repair old Livid Jeans up to three times free of charge. If you have to send it to us, shipping charges will be added. For repair of old Livids, contact us at email@example.com // (+47) 46 94 01 90 For other repair inquiries: Contact your local tailor and get it repaired. Not only will you give more character to your jeans, - You’ll also support your local tailor. Washing For best result wash after minimum 6 months of wear. First wash: Wash your jeans at 40-60 degree depending on how much contrast you want. Wait another couple of months till the next wash. Then wash on 30 degree. Remember to always turn your jeans inside out. No fabric softener, no tumble dry.
A vision to capture the strong bonds between people and denim.
Denim brings people together. We present a handful of Livid Jeansâ€™ friends and customers, projecting the amazing characteristics and variety they have. The fades on their jeans tells us something about who they are, and how they use them. Their style, facial expressions and body posture, presented as a short story about their lives. This is a study of caracteristics of people and jeans. The true fact and pleasure of looking at people`s portraits with calmness in their eyes, is that it`s intimate and strange, but also very interesting.
Jakob Slim, worn for 17 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 9 months
Roald Tapered, worn for 9 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 8 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 6 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 10 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 2 weeks
Jakob Straight, worn for 1 month
Jakob Slim, worn for 10 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 3 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 4 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 5 months
Edvard Superskinny, worn for 16 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 7 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 1 month
Jakob Slim, worn for 4 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 18 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 18 months
Roald Tapered, brand new
Edvard Skinny, worn for 9 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 26 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 12 months
Jakob Straight, worn for 2 months
Jakob Straight, worn for 1 months
Edvard Skinny, worn for 9 months
Jakob Slim, worn for 21months
This is the second issue of Fades Of Indigo. A collaborative piece between Norwegian photograper Ole A. Ekker and the Norwegian based jeansb...