About Iron Heart | Where are your clothes and other products made?
All items are manufactured in Japan, unless specifically mentioned on the product page. We also stock a few carefully selected, high-quality goods from outside Japan, but only items that we feel complement our core Iron Heart collection of clothing and accessories.
About Iron Heart | What is the philosophy behind Iron Heart?
Our aim is to create clothing and accessories in classic, timeless styles constructed from the finest materials to the highest standards. We take no notice of fashion trends and we care not that other jeans manufacturers have jumped onto the heavy denim bandwagon in recent years. We are actively involved in the full life cycle of a garment, from the selection of the type of cotton we use to weave our denim and the design/production of bespoke fabrics, through to the application of the tags and labels. The mills and workshops we use are small, in the main family-run, concerns who take as much pride in their products as we do ours.
About Iron Heart | Who runs Iron Heart?
Shinichi Haraki created the Iron Heart brand and heads up a team in Japan. He works closely with the Japanese fabric and clothing factories, and is responsible for all sales and marketing in Japan as well as product design and manufacture. Giles Padmore heads up international sales and marketing, a separate business based here in the UK, working in close partnership with Iron Heart Japan.
About Iron Heart | When did Iron Heart start making clothing?
Early in 2003. The first pair of jeans was completed in March of that year. Shirts and other tops started to appear early in 2006.
About Iron Heart | Where is Iron Heart based?
We are a small team based in Gosport, Hampshire, UK. All our online orders are fulfilled from here. The Japanese team is based in Hachioji in Tokyo Prefecture, Japan.
Cotton | Where does the cotton that your denim is made from originate?
Most of our cotton is sourced from the USA, we also use smaller quantities of Aspero cotton from Peru for our ultra heavy flannel shirting fabric.
Cotton | What is special about this cotton?
The US cotton has very long fibres, this allows the threads to be made with less twisting than normal and the end result is that the denim is surprisingly soft to the touch.
Cotton | What is Aspero cotton?
Aspero is a naturally occurring wild cotton that is found in the foothills of North East Peru: being a tree it is not farmed and so is one of the purest, most organic cottons available. As it cannot be mass-produced it has been highly prized for generations by the indigenous Peruvian population for its qualities of fineness, softness, volume and also strength.
Denim | Where is your denim made?
All our denim is woven in Japan, much of it on vintage shuttle looms, in specialist mills in Kojima, a small town in Okayama Prefecture.
Denim | What is selvedge (selvage) denim?
Selvedge (or selvage) comes from the phrase "self-edge" which refers to the edge being finished by the loom instead of sewn together after weaving. Selvedge is the term commonly used to refer to denim that has been produced on a shuttle loom. Since the amount of fabric produced from a shuttle loom is significantly narrower than a projectile (wide) loom, the cotton consumption is higher and the manufacturing time required is greater. Our selvedge denim usually has a red thread running vertically down the cloth, this identifier is know as the selvedge ID. We use other selvedge fabrics, for example chambray, for shirts and other garments, which have different selvedge IDs.
Denim | How is your 21oz denim constructed?
The warp (indigo) thread is one size 4 thread. The weft (white) thread is made out of two size 5.4 threads twisted together.
Denim | How is your selvedge 21oz denim constructed?
In exactly the same way as our standard denim, but the weft (white) threads are much slubbier than in our standard denim. This gives a more uneven,"hand-made" look to the denim.
Denim | What looms do you use to make your denim?
Our standard denim is made on a 57" "KAKUSHIN-SHOKKI" projectile loom. Our selvedge denim is made on a 30" Selvedge "RIKI-SHOKKI" shuttle loom.
Denim | Isn't 21oz denim rough to wear?
No. Because we use the highest quality USA long fibre cotton, we need to twist the fibres less to get a strong thread. This results in a lovely soft touch to the denim.
Denim | So how heavy is 21oz?
Most denim used to make other brands of jeans and jackets is between 13oz and 15oz, so 21oz is pretty heavy. We have a range of denims, the heaviest being 25oz which is on the limit of what can be woven and stitched.
Denim | What is “raw” denim?
This is what we call denim that is “loomstate”, that is to say that it has not been treated or altered in any way. Raw denim is less stable than sanforized denim (see below) and will shrink when washed. Many denim aficionados prefer to buy raw denim garments, created from denim in its pure, untreated state and are happy to deal with the vagaries and uncertainties of shrinkage. If you prefer to “play safe” you should purchase jeans where the denim has been sanforized, or at least one-washed.
Denim | What is “sanforized” denim?
Sanforization is a post-weave process that dampens and compresses the fabric to prevent further shrinkage. Jeans made from sanforized denim will not shrink unless harshly treated (for example being washed very hot or tumble dried at high heat).
Denim | How many different denims do you have?
Lots! Please click here for a description of our various models of jeans and the different denims each is available in.
Denim | Does the denim shrink much?
Garments made from raw denim will shrink, the estimated degree of shrinkage will be explained on the product page. Garments made from sanforized denim will not shrink. We do shrink-tests to ascertain the amount of shrinkage that is likely for each denim, BUT shrinkage is not an exact science and we cannot accurately predict exact shrinkage as it depends on many factors. For more information on shrinkage please see Sizing FAQs.
Jeans | What is your largest waist size?
All regular models are now made up to waist size 40", and some jeans – including our "signature" IH-634S - are available up to 44" waist. Please contact us if you’re not sure what’s available in your size.
Jeans | How long can I expect my jeans to last?
How long is a piece of string? The longevity of your Iron Heart jeans will depend on many factors: how often you wear them, where you wear them, how you look after them etc. etc. Our jeans are made from cotton and, whilst all our denims are hard wearing and we use the strongest poly-cotton thread we can source, they will (like all cotton clothing) wear out over time. So we certainly don’t make any claims on how long the jeans will last, as it depends on the use and abuse they are given: we know from experience with our customers that a construction worker wearing them to site every day can trash a pair of 25oz denim jeans in a few months, another person wearing the exact same jeans just for lounging around at the weekend will keep them intact for years. One reason denim jeans have been popular since the day they were invented is that no two pairs stay the same, and we love the way each pair develops its unique character with wear and tear.
Jeans | What’s the difference between all the Iron Heart jeans models?
Here is a description of our models, showing what denims they are available in.
Jeans | What’s the difference between all the different denims your jeans are made in?
Here is a description of the various denims and canvases our jeans are made from.
Jeans | Do your jeans shrink?
Some will, some won’t – please see FAQs under Denim and Sizing.
Jeans | How will Iron Heart jeans fade?
It depends on the denim: our “signature” 21oz denim is specially treated so that the indigo fades very slowly, this results in fading with great contrast between the darker unworn parts of the jeans and the worn areas. To see examples of worn jeans and how the different denims fade, please visit our forum where you can find a thread on each model of jeans with customers' photos of how their jeans have evolved.
Jackets and Shirts | What’s the largest Iron Heart jacket/shirt size?
Sizes range from XS to XXXL and we do not intend to do any larger sizes, certainly for the foreseeable future.
Jackets and Shirts | Do your denim jackets and shirts shrink?
Most won’t, some will – and this will be advised on the individual product page. Please see FAQs under Denim and Sizing for more information.
Alterations and Repairs | Do you offer an alterations service?
The only alterations we offer are jeans/pants hemming, which can be ordered online and western shirt snap upgrades (only applies to a few shirts where it is shown as an option on the product webpage). We don’t make other alterations, and we wouldn’t recommend you try to make major alterations to any Iron Heart garments, although of course minor alterations can be made by a local tailor if you have one you trust!
Alterations and Repairs | Do you offer a repair service?
We can do minor repairs here at our workshop in Gosport, for more major repairs we can send the jeans to Japan - it really depends on what repair is needed. If you send us a photo of the worn area we can usually tell if it repairable, and if so we’d ask you to send in the jeans for us to decide if we can mend them here or if they will need to go to Japan. A price for repair and associated shipping costs will be quoted before any work is carried out. If you have an area of wear or broken stitching, we recommend you have repair work done sooner rather than later - “a stitch in time saves nine” is really true! Many minor repairs can be done at home, we are always happy to advise.
Washing | How should I wash my jeans and other IH garments?
All a matter of personal preference. The dyeing process with Iron Heart jeans and other denim products means that they do not fade too much but, to get good contrast, heavy wear and minimal washing is recommended. Raw denim jeans should be washed before wearing to embed the constructional stitching. Always wash garments inside out, this will avoid getting unsatisfactory faded crease-lines in the darker areas. Some of our fabrics, for example superblack denim and cotton duck, are susceptible to white marks/creases if not washed carefully and dried flat. We send product care guidelines with every order, and if you have any questions we welcome you to contact us and we’ll do our best to advise. Click here to see our Product Care Guidelines.
Washing | What if I don’t want to wash my jeans… ever?
Again, a matter of personal choice. But ingrained dirt will eventually rot the fabric and reduce the life of the jeans. Also, with raw denim, washing once before wearing is important to bed in the constructional stitching. So not washing at all can cause problems, but washing just occasionally is a good way to get great fades (and keep your friends).
Sizing | How can I determine the size I need to order?
We understand that, when ordering online, determining your sizing can be difficult. We try to give you all the tools and information you need to work this out, and are here to help if you have any questions. Firstly, you should measure a garment that fits you well like this. Each product page on our website has a chart of measurements specific to that garment, so you can compare to find the closest match. When measuring jeans, remember to take into account possible shrinkage, and stretch with wear. Measurements can vary slightly from item to item in the same model and size, so let us know when ordering if you’d like us to check any specific dimensions before we ship. Please bear in mind that sizing on Iron Heart garments may be very different from other brands.
Sizing | I am tag-size X in my current jeans, will I be the same in Iron Heart?
Please don’t assume that you will be the same tag size in Iron Heart jeans (or shirts or jackets). The sizing of Iron Heart garments may be very different from other brands you wear. Please take accurate measurements like this and compare them with the measurements on our website (each product page has a sizing chart specific to that item). We will happily give you as much information and advice as we can, but please don’t expect us to determine your sizing for you – that decision has to be yours, and we cannot possibly judge the size you need from the tag size of another brand.
Sizing | Will my jeans shrink?
Garments made from raw denim will shrink, and this will be pointed out, with an indication of the amount of shrinkage to be expected, on the product page. The denim will stretch back with wear to pre-shrink size (but not the leg length, so shrinkage needs to be taken into account, especially if you want to have the jeans shortened before soaking/shrinking). Sanforized or one-washed jeans will experience zero or minimal shrinkage provided they are not treated harshly (very hot washing or tumble drying), but will stretch with wear by approximately 1” on a 33” waist. So our advice is that with raw denim jeans you look for a pre-shrink fit that you want to finally achieve after some wear, and for sanforized denim jeans you look for a snug fit that will loosen slightly with wear.
Sizing | What shrinkage can I expect?
With sanforized denim jeans, none. With raw denim jeans approximately an inch in the waist and an inch in the inseam on a tag size 33 (depends on the tag size, obviously smaller sizes will shrink less and vice versa due to the quantity of fabric, and also depends on how carefully or vigorously they are washed). With all jeans, the legs will ride up a little after a few weeks of wear, this is caused by heavy denim creasing behind the knees. BUT, they all stretch with wear, depending upon how much pressure is put on the waist band, you can get up to 1.5" stretch. For a discussion on stretching, take a look here.
Sizing | How can I work out my raw jeans post-shrink measurements?
Shrinkage is not an exact science, and it is impossible for us to provide accurate post-shrinkage measurements. We give pre-shrink measurements and an indication of what shrinkage to expect. Our denims do not shrink massively, and generally you should look for a pre-shrink fit that is what you want to achieve as your final fit, as the denim will shrink and then stretch back out with wear to approximately pre-shrink size. Shrinkage will depend on how hot you wash them, for how long, what washing agent is used, how much agitation is given – so it can be controlled to a degree by erring on the side of caution. PLEASE NOTE that the leg length will shrink and (because it will not subsequently be put under pressure with wear, like the waist/top block) it will NOT stretch out again, so you need to take this into account, especially if having the legs shortened. Our raw denim jeans are made over-long to account for shrinkage.
Sizing | Will my jeans stretch?
Sanforized or one-washed jeans will experience zero or minimal shrinkage provided they are not treated harshly (very hot washing or tumble drying), but will stretch with wear by approximately 1” at the waist (maybe a bit more or a bit less depending on how small or large the original waist size was, and how much pressure the waistband is put under). Garments made from raw denim will shrink, and this will be pointed out, with an indication of the amount of shrinkage to be expected, on the product page. The denim will stretch back out with wear to pre-shrink size (but not the leg length, so this needs to be taken into account). For a discussion on stretching, take a look here. Our advice is that with raw denim jeans you look for a pre-shrink fit that you want to finally achieve after some wear, and for sanforized denim jeans you look for a snug fit that will loosen slightly with wear.
Sizing | Is the waist size of jeans the only measurement I need to check?
Waist sizing is important, but depending on your build you may wish to check other dimensions. For example, if you have well-muscled thighs you should check the thigh and knee measurements. To help decide which cut will suit you best, a comparison of our different jeans models is here, and please contact us with any questions or if you’d like us to check any specific measurements for you.
Sizing | How do you measure your jeans and other garments?
Please take a look here to see how we measure our jeans, jackets, shirts and vests. Using the same measuring process will help you – and us – determine the size you should order.
Sizing | Are the measurements on your website accurate?
Each product page has a measurement chart specific to that garment – we measure one (or two) of each size. We strive for sizing consistency, but different fabrics behave differently from each other (and sometimes from one production run to another) so there are differences between sizing from one model to another. With each model the measurements can vary slightly, so if a dimension is important to you (for example thigh size on a pair of jeans, sleeve length on a shirt) then please make a note in your order and we’ll check this before we ship.
Sizing | Can you tell me what sizes you make your jeans and jackets in?
The sizing of our Iron Heart garments does not compare with many western makes, and sizes can vary from model to model, so we measure all products individually (one or two of each size for each product) to provide a sizing guide for that garment. We ask customers to check measurements carefully - on each individual product page you can click on a sizing tab, which gives the actual measurements for that product model. There are often small variations in measurements in the same size garment, so if you have a specific request please include this in your order and we will happily check for you before shipping.
Sizing | I have very long arms, can I double-check the sleeve length before you ship?
Of course. When you place an order (or before) you can contact us with a note to check any dimensions of a garment that are particularly important to you. It is not unusual for us to check – say – 8 pairs of the same size/model of jeans to see if one has a slightly larger thigh, or smaller waist. If you tell us what you need, we will see if we can find it.
Sizing | The jeans will be too long, can I get them shortened?
Yes, we can shorten all our jeans on our vintage Union Special chain-stitching machine and usually will only add a day or so to delivery. Go here to see how we do it. Please note that once shortened jeans cannot be returned for exchange or refund, so if you are in doubt about your sizing we recommend you take jeans unhemmed and have them shortened locally (or return to us for chain-stitching once you know the fit is right) We can also shorten other pants, either with a chain-stitched hem, or with a flat seam hem, as preferred.
Shopping | Do I have to register on your website to order?
No, if you wish you can check out as a guest, but we recommend you create an account which enables you to save your addresses and view your order history.
Shopping | How do I pay using my American Express (Amex) card?
You need to check out as a PayPal guest - please see a short video of the process to follow here.
Shopping | How do I know if my order was successful?
As well as confirmation of payment, you should receive an email from us confirming the order details.
Shopping | The price of the item I bought recently has been reduced, can the difference be refunded?
Sorry, no - we don't apply any special or sale discounts retroactively.
Shopping | How do I redeem a gift voucher?
When you are ready to check out, at the bottom of your shopping cart summary you should see a “Vouchers” box - please enter the voucher code in the box and press “OK”. If you have any problems redeeming your code please contact us for help.
Shopping | Do you deliver internationally?
Yes, we ship world-wide and orders above USD200 (or GBP/EUR equivalent) include priority shipping via UPS or Interlink/DPD (and in a few instances EMS).
Shopping | What are shipping costs?
Shipping is free for orders of USD200 (or GBP/EUR equivalent) or more. If your order is under this value you will be charged shipping (cost varies depending on the country we are shipping to). If you plan to order again and want to avoid paying shipping, you can select “Stacking” which means your order is kept here and shipped with subsequent order(s) once the cumulative order value is USD200 or more.
Shopping | What is your “Stacking” shipping option?
We have a system we call “stacking” whereby you can avoid paying shipping on orders under USD200 (or GBP/EUR equivalent) by having them “stacked” which means we keep the items until such time as your cumulative orders reach USD200 or more. This is useful if you want to buy an item under USD200 – for example a t-shirt – that may sell out quickly, and are happy to wait for it rather than pay shipping.
Shopping | Can I come and look at and buy Iron Heart products in person from you?
Yes, we are delighted to have personal visitors to our office/workshop. We'll even give you a 10% discount for making the effort. Please contact us before you travel to make sure we will be around - our regular opening hours are 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, but we are happy to see visitors at the weekend by prior appointment.
Shopping | What does "Extant", "Endangered" and "Extinct" mean on the product pages?
Extant: A regular production item. If we are not showing your size, then please complete this form.
Endangered: A one-off production run that is severely limited.
Extinct: sold out and no more will be made.
Shopping | Do you accept payment in different currencies?
Our base pricing is US dollars, but you can also view and pay in euros and British pounds.
Shopping | Do I have to order through the website?
No, you can order with credit card over the telephone.
Shopping | What if you are out of stock of a particular item?
Please firstly check the product page to see if it is "extant" (a regular production item) as these will be re-stocked. If the product is "endangered" the page should say if it may be possible to get further restocks or not. Then please complete this form and we'll let you know when we get a re-stock (or will contact you if no re-stock is planned to discuss alternatives).
Shopping | Which shops sell Iron Heart?
A current list of retailers is shown here on our forum. Or drop us an email and we’ll let you know if there is an Iron Heart stockist in your area.
Payments and Currencies | What currencies do you accept?
The base currency for prices for all products on the website is USD. We are happy to receive payments in EUR, GBP and USD (no matter what country you are ordering from – it’s your choice). By clicking on another currency symbol the website will automatically show you prices in that currency.
Payments and Currencies | Why has the GBP/EUR price suddenly changed?
Unless we increase or reduce the price of a product, the USD price is fixed. GBP and EUR pricing is automatically updated every 24 hours with prevailing exchange rate, so you may see fluctuations in GBP or EUR pricing from day to day.
Payments and Currencies | How can I pay?
We have two payment methods: the first is via our credit card processing portal which accepts most major debit and credit cards, but not American Express; the second PayPal where you can pay with your PayPal account balance or via a credit or debit card, including American Express.
Payments and Currencies | Why is my card being refused?
If you have difficulty paying by credit card it may be because your card is not authorized for foreign payments and you’ll need to contact your card provider before placing an order.
Payments and Currencies | Why did my PayPal payment fail?
We get no feedback from PayPal on failed transactions so cannot say what went wrong. If we see a payment failure we will contact you to try to help (we can often resolve by sending a PayPal invoice).
Payments and Currencies | Why is there an extra charge on my card statement?
Many card providers charge an extra percentage for orders placed outside of your country or in a different currency. These charges are made and kept by the card provider (not us) and we have no control over them. If you want to check if additional overseas charges will be levied, please contact your card provider before placing an order. If you regularly use a credit card for overseas purchases online or when travelling, we recommend you find a card that will not charge extra for this.
Shipping | How much is shipping?
If your order is less than USD200 the applicable shipping cost will be added to your total order value at checkout (UK USD8, Europe USD20, Rest of World USD35).
Shipping | When will you ship?
We try to ship the same or following working day from receipt of order, especially straightforward orders. However, before we ship we will often contact you to check sizing, and these conversations can sometimes take a day or so, especially if there is a large time difference from the UK. If for any other reason we cannot process and ship your order quickly, we will email you with an explanation and order status.
Shipping | How do you ship?
In UK we use Interlink/DPD. For international orders we use either Interlink/DPD (for Germany, although we will ship UPS if preferred – please make a note in the order), UPS Standard for the rest of Europe and UPS Express Saver for the rest of the world. In special circumstances we ship EMS (Parcel Force), but this is not our default shipping and will only be used in areas where UPS deliveries are problematic.
Shipping | Must the delivery be signed for?
Yes, our default is to send your order with signature on delivery. You can request the signature requirements to be waived at your own risk.
Shipping | Can you change my delivery details once order has shipped?
No, we cannot usually make any changes to the delivery once the package has left. Our experience is that we can only intervene and request changes once at least one delivery attempt has been made.
Shipping | Can I change my delivery details once order has shipped?
With Interlink/DPD, yes you can. You will receive text/email notification of the shipment which allows you to request changes such as delivery on a different date or to an alternate address. With UPS you can only make changes to your delivery if you are signed up to UPS MyChoice, which we strongly recommend you do if you regularly receive packages via UPS. With EMS (Parcelforce) you are unlikely to be able to make any changes before a delivery attempt has been made.
Shipping | How long does shipping take?
UK is next day delivery, most countries in Europe 2-3 working days and the Rest of World 2-4 working days.
Shipping | What if my order goes missing?
Because we use reliable, tracked shipping services instances of non-delivery are very rare, but it is our responsibility to get your purchase delivered so we would re-ship or refund your order. The only circumstance when we would not accept responsibility would be if you had requested that signature on delivery be waived and the package had gone missing after arrival at your local depot.
Shipping | What is your “Stacking” shipping option?
We have a system we call “stacking” whereby you can avoid paying shipping on orders under USD200 (or GBP/EUR equivalent) by having them “stacked” which means we keep the items until such time as your cumulative orders reach USD200 or more. This is useful if you want to buy an item costing less than USD200 – for example a t-shirt – that may sell out quickly, and are happy to wait for it rather than pay shipping.
Returns | If I order the wrong size, or it doesn’t suit me, can I return it?
Of course, we offer a “no quibble” returns policy whereby we accept returns for exchange or refund providing items are unworn, in a fresh, resaleable condition with all tags still attached and are returned within 28 days of you receiving the order. Please pack item(s) with care so that they arrive in a presentable condition for subsequent resale. Please note that we cannot accept returns on any item that has been altered specifically to a client's request (e.g. hemmed jeans or “pimped” shirts).
Returns | Am I responsible for the cost of return shipping?
Yes, returns are at customer’s expense.
Returns | I’m worried about the cost of a possible return, will it be expensive?
You can order your return shipping via our website at a fixed and reasonable cost, please see here. Of course you do not have to buy our return shipping, you can use whichever method you wish, but costs can vary enormously so check beforehand.
Returns | What courier/postal service should I use for my return?
You can order your return shipping via our website at a fixed and reasonable cost. Of course you do not have to buy our return shipping, but please remember it is your responsibility to get the goods back to us, so we recommend you use a reliable, tracked delivery service as we cannot accept responsibility for the loss if your return goes missing.
Returns | What if my return package goes missing?
It is your responsibility to get the goods back to us, so we recommend you use a reliable, tracked delivery service as we cannot accept responsibility for the loss if your return goes astray.
Returns | I received some stickers, must I also return these?
No! If you received any stickers (or other small promotional gift) with your original order, please do keep them if you wish to.
Returns | I’m returning from a country outside of Europe, do I need to do anything special?
If you order your return shipping via our website then we process the shipment at this end and you simply have to print a label and follow instructions. Other shipping agents may require you to complete customs forms/invoices and we ask you please to mark the items as a return, please also declare the value at no more than USD30. If your order was received via UPS please also complete the self-adhesive label we included with the original UPS waybill number. If you don’t follow this process, we will end up paying taxes and duties on the item for a second time around.
Returns | How will my exchange be handled, what about shipping costs?
If you let us know which size/model you wish to exchange for, we will take the item out of stock (to avoid selling out) and will ship the exchange as soon as the original item arrives back. For orders of USD200 or more we will ship the exchange for free again, BUT if you choose to return the item a second time then we will charge shipping on a subsequent exchange or deduct the applicable shipping cost from your refund.
Returns | How will my refund be handled and how quickly?
Refunds will be made by original payment method, please allow 2 working days for us to process your return once it arrives, and a further 3-5 additional working days for the funds to show up in your account.
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