tcb

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck Collaboration

TCB (Two Cats Brands) has partnered up with vintage denim collector Viktor Fredbäck, know of the must-have denim book True Fit. Their collaboration is called ‘Viktor’s Voice Project’ as it’s based on rare archival pieces from Viktor’s private collection, a blouse (jacket) and waist overalls. Both items are available in Logwood Brown and Natural Indigo. They’re ready for pre-order, and will be delivered this September.

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

How The Collaboration Started

The idea of the collaboration started when both had a video call and Viktor showed them his new house and some pieces from his archive. The eyes of TCB felled immediately on a very rare pair of Olympic Brand (back then a sub-label of Levi’s), the only known pair in the world. Soon they started talking about how, and if, they could replicate this unique piece the best way possible. And, so their journey started…

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

The Logwood Dye Technique

First, they searched for the perfect cotton, and they ended with EMOT cotton (East Memphis, New Orleans, and Texas). This cotton type is blended with some Pima cotton from the southwest of the state. Pima gives a nice and creamy brownish tinge to the threads and this blend was a perfect balance. The fabric is a fine 12.7oz quality.

They dyed the threads with a Logwood dye technique to achieve the right color, the same as the original piece. Logwood, or Bloodwood, is a tree that is native to the West Indies and South America. When the ground heartwood is soaked in water it makes a blood-red liquid which can be used as an indicator solution, changing color depending on what is added to it. Used as a dye it can produce a range of colors from black and purple to a delicate fawn.

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

The Blouse Style

The outcome of the collaboration is that everything is reproduced as best possible with the vintage version as a reference, from fabric, stitches, patch to the buttons and rivets (they made a special mold to replicate them). They created two pieces with this fabric type, a jacket (they call it a blouse), and an early 1900’s waist overall.

The armholes of the blouse are cut straight so that some vertical creases on the chest will occur as you wear them, which will produce some unique fades. The collar is cut square, exactly square and the selvedge can prove it, which is one of the unique details from old jackets.

The less angled collar, the more classic it looks. The front pocket is positioned low, much lower than vintage Type 1 but I think this is way more convenient. Same as usual for TCB, size above 40 will have the separated back, also called T-back.

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

The Natural Indigo Technique

For the natural indigo versions of the blouse and the waist overall, they used the authentic rope dye technique. The dyeing process was done by Sakamoto Denim in Okayama. Natural indigo rope dye requires some confidential know-how so that TCB couldnʼt even get in the factory for photo shooting. As far as they know there are only 1 or 2 factories in Japan that can do it.

The threads of this pure indigo fabric go into the pool of indigo 16 times. Their aim on the new fabric is strong stubbiness and strong irregularity on the surface. To achieve that, they need to speed down the rotating speed of the shuttle as much as possible.

The 10.7oz fabric is woven at Nihon Menpu as their shuttles are a bit bigger than normal ones. Wefts are cast into the warps by these shuttles moving laterally, but because these shuttles are big, the heddles which move the warps up and down need to move much more than usual. As a result, the texture of fabric get soft like a hand-woven fabric as well as get natural slubbiness.

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

The Waist Overalls

The patch of the waist overall is made of linen. As you wear it, it gets rubbed off like vintage. TCB decided not to have their brand name on the patch this time because the vintage doesnʼt have the name, Levi’s, either. Old jeans donʼt have belt loops and so do their jeans but if you look closely at how the patch is sewn, itʼs done in one stroke when sewing the upper seam of the waist belt.

Each detail on the waist overalls is reconstructed, from each stitch, thread color, button, rivet, placement of the pockets, cinch back, and so on. They detailed everything very carefully to achieve the same result as the original.

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

TCB X Viktor Fredbäck

Pre-order the items here: https://tcbjeans.myshopify.com/collections/two-cats-brand

Showcase your brand or product on Long John to reach your target audience, read more about it here, or send an email for the possibilities: wouter@long-john.nl

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrating my 10th anniversary with Long John this year.