David Keyte, co-founder and designer gave us a rundown on 'Handloom Denim' a much loved fabric featured in our SS21 collection.


You can view our Handloom denim selection here.

"Indigo dyeing of fabric was not invented in the US or in Japan but in India. The long and rich history of indigo dyeing of fabrics using real plant-based dye continues to this day, mostly confined to small scale production by village artisans on handlooms. In the case of our own ‘Handloom Denim, it is produced by small scale production in Gujarat, India, a traditional skill being preserved and encouraged by locally based nonprofit organisations to support local business and local employment and to prevent further migration to the cities, thus maintaining those traditional techniques.


We produce two weights of fabric through this method; one shirt weight and one a more true denim weight using locally produced slub yarns with an ecru or natural un-dyed warp and indigo weft - producing what we think is a wonderful irregular and unique fabric. Made in lengths of cloth approximately 20m long and 90cm wide, each piece will make approximately 5 jackets and with the hand-dyeing of the yarns and nature of the hand process of the weaving, it really means each piece is truly unique.


Over time this will fade and create a history of its own. Indigo dyeing also comes with a word of warning... Real Indigo - so loved by the Japanese - can create quite a shock for first-time wearers as the colour can be somewhat transferable. It will come off onto your white T-shirt and your white leather sofa ( if your living in the 1980s) so be careful for the first time you wear it. The transfer decreases as you wash and we also wash each garment once before we package.


universal works directors wearing handloom indigo denim


Stephanie wearing the Handloom Tie Front Jacket, David wearing the Handloom Labour Jacket II.


universal works denim



You can view our 'Handloom Denim' selection here.