eternal 888 denim diary: orchard mrt 12am

At work last month for an OOH advertising installation for Fisherman’s Friend along Orchard iON tunnel. It was 12am to 5am with my buddy. I’m glad it was mildly air conditioned during the installation 🙂

Cotton from China

Know your cotton to all denimheads. I have featured my blog on best cotton in the world but China wasn’t mentioned. Found this article from

Xinjiang Cotton – The Next Big Thing?

I’m sure everyone by now has heard all there needs to be known about Zimbabwe cotton, how it’s long staple can produce a weave so soft, denim mills are charging a premium for them. It has taken the industry by storm with the much accredited hype surrounding it, but has anyone heard of Xinjiang cotton? It has since been used by a select few Japanese brands in the past decade, and recently exclusively used by Chinese brand, Red Cloud & Co.  on all their denim models. I was rather curious about this cotton and began a comprehensive research on the subject matter, I shall start with it’s geography.

Xinjiang sits on the north-west portion of China, that borders Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Due to its unique location, Xinjiang’s environment is semi-arid and very cool, as expected from the Gobi Desert which spans from Xinjiang to Mongolia. This wasteland that was unsuitable for cultivation found its way to being the first nuclear test site in 1964 in Lop Nur, a province of Xinjiang. It became very much a military province, housing both a garrison and a prison. One would be surprised then, that the cultural revolution invoked by Chairman Mao had started in the 1950s, his plan was to transform wastelands into rich agricultural lands to resolve the growing famine problem. 200,000 soldiers were commissioned into cultivating the land in resource rich Xinjiang, the soldiers and several thousand civilians that were lured by false promises to Xinjiang, formed the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. Since then, Xinjiang has produced melons, tomatoes and nuts, but the most important produce has to be cotton.

China is the largest exporter of cotton in the world, and Xinjiang is the country’s top cotton producing state, with more than 30% of the entire cotton produce coming from Xinjiang, of which, the province of Shihezi is one of the primary producing areas. What makes Xinjiang cotton special is how soft it becomes when its woven into a length of cloth. I was very much surprised myself when I felt the fabric produced by Red Cloud & Co. It felt just as soft as Zimbabwe, with a nice slightly hairy texture. Honestly, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. Here’s why, Zimbabwe cotton is a long staple variety, with lengths varying between 3.8-4.5cm. Xinjiang cotton is also of the long staple variety with lengths averaging around 4cm as well. Here’s a picture that compares Xinjiang to Supima cotton.

Zimbabwe cotton staples might be a tiny bit longer, but it would make a pretty insignificant difference once its woven into cloth. I noticed a few key factors in producing long staple cotton. Both Zimbabwe and Xinjiang have semi-arid climates, and both are harvested by hand. Machined cotton harvesters shorten the staple lengths which is why Texas cotton is so short and uniformed. Hand picking is extremely labor intensive, which can only be done in regions where labor is relatively cheap, to remain competitive in the cotton industry. However, with that said, denim made from Zimbabwe cotton is much more expensive than denim made from the relatively unknown Xinjiang cotton!

With the growing awareness from consumers in the market, I expect the demand for Xinjiang cotton to increase in years to come, driving up prices and reinforcing China’s stake in the market. Look out Zimbabwe, you’ve got major competition.

Are you a denim addict?

Found this funny yet relevant article from the jeans

Welcome back for 2017. Good to see you again. Not surprising however as this is a good place to keep up with all things denim. Of course you need to visit often so that you don’t miss anything. After all, no one wants to be late to the party when it comes to the next phase of denim, especially if you want to be the trendsetter in your community. Let’s face it, that sweet love of denim is in or veins, we have blue blood. It makes you wonder, are we addicted to denim? Perhaps, but how would you know?

20 Reasons You Might Be A Denim Addict:

1. You visit The Jeans Blog several times per day.

2. Celebs in Denim and Denim Reviews are your favourite section of the website.

3. You’ve gone on a diet to save on groceries so that you have more money to spend on jeans.

4. You can go a year or more without wearing the same pair of jeans twice.

5. New jeans are considered a mandatory expense whereas everything else is discretionary.

6. You’ve inadvertently bought identical multiple pairs of jeans and not realized it for months (or years) and some of them you’ve yet to even wear.

7. Or you willingly buy multiple pairs of the same jeans just in case one pair gets ruined.

8. You can pick out 50 shades of black denim.

9. You are on so many brand or retailer notification lists that your email provider now classifies them as SPAM and automatically sends them to the Junk Folder.

10. It’s not just jeans, you have denim bags, shorts, jackets, skirts, table cloths, sheets, and shoes.

11. When you’re out, you find yourself staring at everyone else in jeans trying to guess the brand.

12. You often daydream about the next pair of jeans you would love to own.

13. When you open your laptop you immediately check the new in jeans on your favourite store.

14. Or you already have tabs for jeans open which stay permanently on your browser.

15. You style all of your outfits around your jeans, those are the most important part of the outfit, right?

16. You can’t answer the question ‘how many jeans do you own?’ because you lost track of the number years ago.

17. Your jeans storage has got so out of hand you end up sleeping with piles of denim around you.

18. You’ve thrown out your roommate because you need the extra bedroom as storage space for your jeans.

19. Your friends always come to you for advice on denim as you’re the ‘Jeans Guru’.

20. You remember more fits, cuts, washes, and denim terms than you do your friends birthdays.