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Author Topic: Wabash - What Is It?  (Read 17254 times)

Offline Giles

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Wabash - What Is It?
« on: September 21, 2012, 01:05:04 pm »
Wabash looks like quite a formal fabric, but in fact it was commonly used for work wear from the early 1800s through to the early 1900s, very often as uniforms for the massive US railroads work force.  Finding out a lot about Wabash is very difficult, but we believe there were 2 ways in which the dots were originally “applied” to the base fabric: 1) the pattern would be applied as a block print to the undyed fabric with a starch based “resist” and then dyed, the dye not adhering to the resistant pattern; and  2) the fabric was dyed and then the pattern bleached into the fabric - this was done by applying a mildly acidic solution to the cloth via copper rollers with the pattern raised from the surface of the roller, a process known as discharge printing.

Perhaps the most famous of the American Wabash dying and printing companies was J.L. Stifel & sons set up in West Virginia in 1835.  They called their product "Indigo Wabash Stripe" and it was often characterized by an impressive assortment of dots, triangles and diamonds.  A few examples of these can be found in "King of Vintage vol 3" by Rin Tanaka.

Our latest Wabash fabric, designed from first principles by Haraki, is created utilizing the discharge printing technique.  Both the weft and the warp are separately indigo rope dyed and then woven to create a 12oz denim fabric.  This fabric is then discharge printed to create the dots.  Because we use a rope dying technique for the base fabric, the garments created from it will age with great character.
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Giles

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 03:25:12 pm »
Kiya has just sent me this update...

 "wabash" comes from the Indian Wabash tribe of the American mid-west.  They modified workwear staples which were made of denim and then traded them to the white men which worked in manual labor positions as "decorated workwear".
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Seul

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 03:26:55 pm »
Interesting stuff G!.. Brilliant fabric  :-*

Offline Sugar Mountain

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 04:19:57 pm »
I really enjoyed reading this info in the latest newsletter. Dropping some heavy knowledge and Kiya's contribution is the icing on the cake. Cheers.

Offline Giles

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 04:22:28 pm »
Thank you.  And, I welcome further additions, corrections or critique...
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Sugar Mountain

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 04:44:52 pm »
How is the fabric on the old IH wabash dyed? I'm wearing my 55 today and would love to know.

Offline Chris

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 04:47:15 pm »
Pretty sure it's a discharge print, just like the new version.

Offline Giles

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 04:51:09 pm »
That was fabric dyed.  The woven fabric was dyed in an indigo bath.  It was then discharge printed.  The "problem" we had, was that indigo bled very very easily, too easily in fact, so Haraki garment dyed the discharge printed fabric with a pale brown fixing dye.
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Sugar Mountain

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 04:51:36 pm »
But there will still be fading in areas of wear, correct?

(just not as much as the new wabash is my understanding)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 04:53:22 pm by Sugar Mountain »

Offline Giles

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 04:54:47 pm »
Yes, I am getting a shit load of fade out of my chopped IH-811's....
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline FurattoHeddo

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 07:15:27 pm »
Old wabash is perfect for those who seek a quick evo fix ...
"Don't ever be sorry"

Offline urbanwoodsman

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 05:06:29 am »
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 05:09:51 am by urbanwoodsman »

Offline Megatron1505

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 06:40:51 am »
Great images Urb.
Made in England, clothed in Japan, fed in America and drunk in Belgium !

Offline Giles

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 08:40:33 am »
Thanks Urbs
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline MikeC

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Re: Wabash - What Is It?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 03:08:52 pm »
Check out e-workers.net. He's the dude that went to Virginia and found the old wabash directions in the basement of a mill. He then had a Japanese mill reproduce the exact fabric. I'd love to see the directions and if they call the twill weave a 2x1 denim or something different.