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Today we’re looking at the 1941 straight cut Kevlar lined selvedge denim motorcycle jeans. The intent with creating these jeans was to produce the highest quality, most stylish pair of motorcycle jeans on the market. What that means is there’s no cutting corners by using cheap materials or cheap labour when putting these together – we use the highest quality materials. Whether that’s the selvedge denim, the 100% DuPont Kevlar, or the hand-crafted Italian buttons and rivets. The jeans are made in Los Angeles, the home of premium denim. There’s a whole industry of premium denim manufacturing in Los Angeles, and we use that expertise to craft our product.
The jeans are designed by our designer, Satish Tailor. Satish brings his experience of having lead the team for Puma, who created the Moto GP race suits. He’s got that experience on one hand, and on the other, he’s a denim head. He’s got all this experience designing denim, he collects denim and he knows all things that are needed to know for selvedge denim jeans.
The straight cut 1941s have two pieces – the outside which is the style piece and the inside which is the protective piece. We’ll go through the outside first. All of our jeans are made using selvedge denim. This run is made using Cone Mills 13oz selvedge denim and what you can see if you look at them, is that they look like a normal pair of jeans – that was the point. We wanted a pair of jeans that we can wear on the bike and are going to protect us, but a pair we can also wear off the bike and not look out of hand – if we want to go into a pub/restaurant for dinner, or want to go out with mates – we’re not going to be stuck wearing our Power Ranger suits. But again, we’re still protected on the bike.
It’s a basic five pocket jean – you’ve got the hand pockets, the ticket pocket, and the back pockets. What sets these apart are the traditional jean features, which are put in there as functional motorcycle components. What’s predominant on the rear is the cinch back. This is a traditional feature that people used to keep their jeans tight in the back before they had belts. What that does is keep the jeans hiked up a little bit when you’re in the riding position. The rise on the straight cut jeans is a little bit longer – when you’re in the riding position they stay up, covering your lower back. Another feature we have are the suspender/brace buttons. Again, what we want to do is keep the jeans up when we’re in the riding position and suspenders do that really well – they keep them up over the lower back so it’s not exposed.
All of the buttons and rivets are made by an Italian craftsmen. We went searching for a great hardware supplier because we wanted a really hard wearing, sturdy bit of kit that would accentuate the jeans as much as possible. They’re custom made for us and they’ve got the Maple Jeans logo on them.
When we were designing them, what really put me off the jeans I was looking at were those tell-tale stitch marks where the companies had sewn in the Kevlar. What we’ve done is make a pair of jeans that look like a pair of jeans. Satish used the existing seams to sew in the Kevlar, and thus you don’t have any external stitches, other than on the back where we use a tonal stitch – but you can’t see it on the outside. The inside of the jeans are lined with Terry Knit DuPont Kevlar, which is used as the abrasion resistor. If you come off your bike and slide down the road wearing a regular pair of jeans, the denim will tear up almost immediately, leaving your skin as the next layer that’s going to get torn up. The Kevlar is highly abrasion resistant, so after the denim has been eaten up the Kevlar remains intact, taking away the risk of harming your skin.
In the front, the Kevlar is lined all the way from the top of the jeans, right down to your shins. And in the back, on your backside. In the research that Satish did whilst he was designing the Moto GP race suits, he found the highest abrasion points in a motorcycle crash are mostly your knees, your hips and your backside. With that in mind, we also added impact resistance. We’ve got pouches on the inside of the jeans for removable knee and hip armour which is provided by Forcefield and is CE approved. The knee armour has velcro on the back so you can move it up and down to make sure it covers your knees, as not everyone’s knees are in the same place.
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