Big Denim Brands Turn Out for Isko Workshop on Wash Treatment and Finishes


Japanese denim expert Yuji Honzawa

In the world of denim, innovation is the key to success.

So when Isko, one of the world’s largest denim makers, based in Turkey, held a seminar in Los Angeles on its fabric treatments and washes, some of the biggest Los Angeles premium-denim makers showed up.

There were representatives from Levi Strauss & Co., 7 For All Mankind, J Brand, Hudson Jeans and Citizens of Humanity. It was like a mini premium jeans–maker convention.

One of those who showed up for the Aug. 27 event, held in conjunction with Invista at the Caitac Garment Processing center in Gardena, Calif., was denim legend Adriano Goldschmied, who co-founded Diesel and AG Adriano Goldschmied. He is currently working on his own label, Goldsign, and is the executive vice president of product development for Citizens of Humanity.

Goldschmied said that even though he doesn’t currently use Isko denim in his products, he is always chasing the next wave of innovation and denim treatments. “I have to give attention to what happens in the denim world. Isko is definitely a market leader and strong in innovation,” he said. “My job is to keep my eyes open.”

Until now, Goldschmied has favored denim made in Italy and Japan.

One of the representatives from J Brand was Erin Meehan, manager of fabric and wash for the Los Angeles denim label, founded by Jeff Rudes and sold recently to Japanese retailer Fast Retailing.

She was attending to learn about new and innovative wash processes and technologies. “That is my job,” she said. “You never stop learning.”

The approximately 80 people who showed up at the garment wash house—a location chosen for its denim-centric ambience and use by Isko partners—gathered in a warehouse space that had been converted into an urban, chic meeting area.

Crystal chandeliers hung from the open wood-beam ceiling. People sat at industrial-looking wood-and-metal tables. Corner spaces were decorated like mini living rooms with leather arm chairs and side tables.

Hamit Yenici, a textile engineer and Isko’s product-development director, gave a rundown of the various denim treatments and looks Isko has developed and trademarked recently. “We have no fear in trying something new,” he told the crowd of denim experts. “We try to make denim attractive with visual effects.”

Isko started out on the trail of innovation by making a mark in color and then working on the feel of the fabric. “In Los Angeles, soft is popular, so we try to make denim soft. But in some cases we will make it stiff for other parts of the world,” he said.

Isko has also been working on fabric performance to help with the fit of a jean. “Our aim is to try to find something perfect for a good body fit,” Yenici said.

Isko developed Isko Reform using “recall in shape yarn technology” that allows highly elastic fabrics to recover their shape and eliminate baggy jeans. It also gives more structure to garments while being very elastic.

Reform has four times more hold than a traditional jegging fabric. “It has a true denim look and feel,” Yenici said.

Another innovation is LoomFX, which replicates a raw premium denim with visible twill lines but with the advantage of comfort stretch.

A range of Isko-developed denim coatings and finishes was also discussed. One is Spectra, which has a shiny look but now has an improved, softer hand and is offered in neutral and vibrant colors.

Yuji Honzawa, a Japanese denim expert known as Dr. Denim, gave a presentation on Japanese trends, noting that skinny jeans are not as popular as they used to be in Japan. Instead, an updated boyfriend fit that has a tighter fit is moving to the top of the denim chart for women.

For men, rigid denim with a clean, sharp finish is popular.

White denim for both men and women is selling well in stores.