Despite the odd fact that denim was originally invented in France, and jeans come from the United States, it’s in Japan where the best of both these things are being made today. Warp & Weft’s director Devin Leisher has a new documentary coming out this year titled Weaving Shibusa – the second word being a Japanese term for a kind of simple and subtle beauty.
Weaving Shibusa is about the niche world of Japanese denim. The film features interviews with the heads and creators of The Flat Head, Stevenson, and Iron Heart; the owners of Marvin’s Vintage and BerBerJin (two of the best shops in the world for vintage Levi’s); and some of the editors behind the Japanese workwear magazine Lightning. Leisher was also able to visit Shinya Mills, which weaves for companies such as Full Count and The Real McCoys. “They’re located somewhat off the beaten path in the countryside,” says Leisher. “They have somewhere around seventy vintage shuttle looms going 24 hours a day, and since the owner lives right across the street, you can hear the chatter of the looms from her home.”
Although the film isn’t slated to be released until later this year, it’s already making waves in denim circles. Enthusiasts on Superfuture and Reddit have been talking about it, and Heddels has an interview with the director. All of this is because Leisher set up an Instagram account and released a short teaser on his website (the footage is actually of Shinya Mills, and the lady at the end is the owner). We’ll have more about the film as we get closer to the release date, but for now, Leisher kindly put together an exclusive teaser just for our readers, complete with original music by Young Lee. It’s absolutely beautifully shot and edited, which we think is a sign of things to come.