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A Visit To Blackhorse Lane

Posted 15.03.19 - Craft

The reputation Blackhorse Lane Ateliers has around the world is understood as soon as you lay your eyes on a pair of their jeans, or in this case, when you visit their factory in Walthamstow, North London.

Opened in 2016 by Bilgehan ‘Han’ Ates, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is an open plan workroom with a retail shop and restaurant located at the far end of the building. It is a space open to the public during the day, allowing visitors to take a look at how every pair of jeans is made before getting to browse the finished products. Should you wish to explore for a little while afterwards, the husband and wife duo behind Gather E17 will ensure you stay well fed at their pop-up restaurant. Championing the maker community within Walthamstow, the workroom is also home to artwork and paper restorers, weavers and fashion designers.

The ateliers, located on Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow

Mirroring our core brand values, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers stands for quality, community and eco-consciousness. The fact that our previous shirtmaking workroom was located not too far up the road from them, simply strengthened the synergy. In terms of a collaboration, it was more a case of when rather than if.

The retail shop, and factory view

The Weekend Collection is designed with an off-duty sensibility in mind, and one of the staples that every man should have in his wardrobe is a quality pair of denim jeans. We visited the workroom, where Han and Annie Gurney took us through the development and creation process, in turn providing a detailed look at what makes our collaborative jeans truly special.

Behind-the-scenes of the Weekend Collection photoshoot

The fabric is a 14oz. 3:1 right hand 100% cotton twill (including 20% recycled cotton made with pre-consumer waste) created in old traditional shuttle looms in Okayama by Kurabo - the first mill to weave denim in Japan. By rope dyeing 100% pure indigo, the dye range is equipped to reduce chemicals, water and energy through the oxidation process, ensuring it keeps its features. A property of indigo denim is the natural fading after a few wears which provides a distinct individuality: adapting to every wearer, no two jeans will ever be exactly the same.

During the visit, Han showed us a literal example of how denim can develop after time. Wearing a traditional work shirt, Han’s sleeves and pocket areas had extra wear due to natural movement resulting in more friction. He then brought out the same shirt, unworn, and the contrast was eye opening. See for yourself, below:

Han takes us through the characteristics of denim

Annie then took us through the smaller features of the jeans, before showing us around the wider factory. The gun metal buttons and rivets of the jeans are complemented by an orange selvedge line thread. The jeans’ trouser patch and pocket linings are made using the same cloth as our cotton and cashmere blend shirt, with the back trouser patch remaining unbranded, keeping the nod to the limited edition collaboration subtle.

The fit has a medium front rise with a relaxed silhouette that straightens from the knee down. It was designed to be worn casually, whilst having a clean, smart finish which lends to a variety of outfit styles and choices. The wider Weekend Collection features shirts that are more relaxed in style, and complementary in colour. Whether you have a penchant for Marlon Brando’s approach to Western shirts or are more inclined to wear a brushed cotton puppytooth, the jeans are created with versatility—and the weekend getaway—in mind.

Top: Annie of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. Bottom: The trouser patch and pocket lining is made from our cashmere shirting cloth

One of the key reasons for working with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is their stance of eco-consciousness and sustainability. By using organic cotton, they minimise their environmental impact as well as offer a lifetime repair policy discouraging fast fashion, as we do with our shirt re-collar and cuff service offered in stores.

Using a mix of tailoring innovation and heritage construction to create garments of unmatched quality, Turnbull & Asser and Blackhorse Lane Ateliers showcase unrivalled British quality and craftsmanship. By purchasing these Selvedge Denim Weekend Jeans, not only do you have a collector’s item, but a collaboration that stands the test of time.

To shop the full Weekend Collection, click here.

Rikesh Chauhan Words & Images, Turnbull Editorial Team

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