Inspired by classic garments, KATO focuses on combining the modern need for comfort with the love for vintage pieces. Taking inspiration from hardware, stitching, and even machinery used and blending it with innovative blends of fabric and new fits, KATO is dedicated to creating timeless pieces that you’ll hold on to for years.
We’ve developed signature materials like our 4 Way Stretch that consists of combining traditional Japanese denim and a 4 Way Stretch material allowing us to create the most comfortable pair of selvedge jeans from day one of wearing them. That innovation also led KATO to develop Denit®, a new knit material that looks like denim but essentially feels like loungewear giving you comfort and style wherever you go.
We’ve always put quality first. All of our garments are made at our workshop in Los Angeles, California. Our selvedge denim is created just outside of Tokyo and then imported into the U.S where each pair of jeans goes through a long process from pattern making to sewing, washing, and durability tests. This allows us maximum control to continuously put out the best quality possible.
Our garments are inspired by classic menswear designs that have stood the test of time with fashion for decades. Our goal is to produce pieces that you’ll be wearing for years to come by combining our passion for vintage menswear with the modern need for comfort.
Our premium denim is inspired by the classic vintage blue jean. Our Premium Japanese 4-Way Stretch Selvedge denim story starts in Japan where our fabric is developed at one of the oldest denim mills. We blend a unique 4-way stretch material with selvedge denim to create a specific amount of stretch and comfort you wouldn’t typically get with selvedge denim. This 360 degree of stretch gives the wearer comfort from every angle no matter what they are doing.
Our 4-Way Stretch selvedge fabric is weaved using vintage shuttle looms. Rolls of denim fabric are then brought into our workshop in Los Angeles where each pair goes through a 60 to 90-day process of cut, sew, washing and testing. With 4 fits available in multiple weights (see fit guide) and washes, the style options are endless.
Initially known as 'self-edge', the selvedge is the narrow, tightly woven band on both edges of the denim fabric. A selvedge end prevents the edge of the denim from unravelling and shows a clean, finished look.
Old shuttle looms produce denim where selvedges are closed. Alternatively, on larger modern weaving machines, the weft yarn is cut on every pick, resulting in a fringed edge.
One way to identify selvedge from non-selvedge is what is called the selvedge ID. Selvedge ID colour varies with the brand and producer. For instance, the coloured thread was used by Cone Mills to identify the particular fabric used by its major manufacturers. Vintage Levi's jeans were originally an all-white strip and later had a single red striped selvedge. Lee's had a blue or green stripe along with one and Wrangler's was yellow. Nowadays, many selvedge denim brands get creative with their selvedge IDs because they know that customers love to show them off. As you can see below, KATO' enjoys this detail of expression.
Will it fade like non-stretch selvedge denim?
Yes! It will fade like traditional raw vintage denim. Here is the picture of our signature 14oz Raw 4Way Stretch Selvedge after about a solid year of wear.
The lineup of KATO' Selvedge ID's
The weight of denim is quite significant to the feel, fit, and durability of the fabric. The weight refers to the weight in ounces of 1 square yard of fabric. At KATO', we produce 10.5oz and 14oz. The 10.5oz is going to be a little lighter and cooler as the fabric can breathe more than heavier fabric. The 14oz is going to be a little more rigid, durable, and capable of good fading with time passing. There certainly is no answer to which one is better, each one has their respective strengths. With non-stretch selvedge, the heavier weights can make the denim significantly more uncomfortable and tougher to break-in. With KATO's 4way stretch material, both the 10.5oz and 14oz weight options are ready to wear and comfortable from day 1.
Vintage shuttle loom weaving selvedge denim at Kaihara Mill
Every day someone is making the leap into breaking in their first pair of raw denim or adding another pair to the collection. Our 4Way Stretch Selvedge has the fit, look, details, and comfort that will satisfy everyone from the seasoned "Denim-head" to the conservative customer trying their first pair of raw jeans. Our 4Way Stretch Selvedge Japanese fabric has the perfect amount of 360 degrees, multi-directional movement. The jeans will fade like a dream, except they are more comfortable than any other authentic selvedge jeans on the market.
Made In Los Angeles, California
All our garments are proudly made at our workshop in Los Angeles, California. We use premium fabrics and hardware to ensure durability and strength when constructing all our garments.
One year of wear
KATO' 14oz Raw 4Way Stretch