Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Month of Denim - Day 28

Danish denim history is hardly worth mentioning, if you want 5 pocket jeans. But if you are into workwear history, I think Danish denim history is very interesting.  Two of the biggest makers of workwear in Denmark, F Engel and Kansas, were both founded by men, who had been to the US and seen how well denim served the labourers.

Over the years I have found several interesting workwear-related denim garments in thrift stores in Denmark. I have passed on many and many I have passed on to friends, but I have never found anything for myself.

It's not unlikely, that Kansas will be covered at some other point, if I find something interesting from them and tomorrow I'll probably also be writing about Danish denim history - showcasing denim workwear from F. Engel. But today we will be looking at a denim coat from EK, that I found and passed on to my good friend Rasmus, who both contributes with a lot of photos for AtD and occasionally writes a post.

Now on to the jacket.

As you see the model is a pretty standard chore coat, however the bottom of the front pockets are lined. If I were to determine the age of it, I would be guessing, that it is from the 50's or the 60's. Other than that I'm guessing that it was made in Denmark, using fabric that was also woven in Denmark in the mills of Grenaa Dampvæveri, which closed its doors 10 years ago. I have no information on the company EK.

With nice brass buttons and keyhole buttonholes.

The denim is selvage (it runs down both plackets) and it is quite slubby or it has some irregularities. The cast is greyish light blue. As you can see all seams are felled and triple stitched. Lastly it has been hemmed using chainstitch.

Notice the selvage detail on the locker loop. 

The pockets have all been bartacked with a contrasting red thread and this particular jacket has a very nicely made embroidery that says BD

But what really makes this jacket jacket stand out and makes it very special, is the interfacing or backing of the embroidery. This is made by old news papers or what I'm assuming is news paper. You are able to make out actual words on the backing, which is really funny. I have never seen embroidery made like this. In order to fully appreciate this jacket, you have to know about this great, little feature. As you know, God is in the detail.

If you like workwear, I can't recommend Mono's Workwear magazines/books enough. Although all text is in Japanese, you can just browse the wonderful images.

More importantly if you have any stories, info or details on the Danish garment industry, please do share them with me - either in the comment section or via e-mail.


  1. What a beautiful jacket! - the triple stitching, the brass buttons etc - very similar to LEEs Loco jacket, but then again with its own fine details.
    //Henrik Brund

  2. Hi Henrik, I'm glad you like it. I think a lot of these work jackets look very alike.

    I remember reading the founder of Post O'alls commenting on the fact, that innovation stopped around the 40's, when it comes to these work jackets, because the factories focused on mass-production from then on. So basically nothing significant happened to them from then on.