The jeanealogy of denim

The Japanese Influence

Denim started in Europe and became jeans in America. The best were made of raw denim, woven on shuttle looms with a self edged stripe.

Jeans went from worker wear to the uniform of rodeo riders and outlaw bikers. The movies added the magic and then everybody wanted some.

Mass market production went into full swing and denim started being woven on faster more productive looms. It was no longer selvedge but full width instead. Stretch, stone wash and artificial wear and tear were introduced.

Our denim experience started here as kids in the 1970s when we nagged our parents to buy us a pair of the newly fashionable blue jeans. We didn’t know then that the best jeans were the old dark blue ones. They appreciated this in Japan though and with their love of vintage Americana, the old pairs were hunted down and then the denim itself was reproduced. So started the modern jeans revival that spread from Japan back to Europe and America, completing the circle. And that’s probably the reason you’re now here.

It's in the details

100% Cotton

a blend of USA and Brazilian long staple cotton

Raw denim

Unwashed denim in its raw form. Wear in your own fades


to limit first wash shrinkage. None in the waist. Up to 1″ in leg length (we include an extra inch to allow for this)

5-button fly

for a quicker draw

Solid brass buttons

of which 80% is recycled. No toxic finishes. HebTroCo skull top button. Made by Berning in Germany

Strong bar tack reinforcements

for strength and durability all around

lining for strength

in the bottom of back pockets

Selvedge denim woven by Collect Mill Japan

Renowned for their development of traditional raw denim

Selvedge stripe

Visible when worn with a turn-up (ships without turn up)

Sewn with Tencel™ thread

No plastic shit here

proper belt loops

that take a 1.5″ belt

Leather patch

Chunky leather you can feed your belt under. Featuring our new design inspired by the Calderdale moors

5-pocket design

secret pocket

built into the pocket bag of front left pocket

Heavyweight 11oz pocketing

made from 100% cotton

An updated pattern, new thread, all-brass buttons, leather patch.

The M16 is one of our best selling fits and here’s the latest JP version. We’ve evolved the design, fit, environmental impact, cloth and quality of make. It’s proudly made exclusively for us, right here in Britain.

All the fabrics and threads used in the M16-JP are made from naturally occurring, biodegradable materials: 100% cotton denim, 100% cotton pocketing and labels – all sewn together using Tencel™ thread derived from wood pulp. The solid brass buttons can be removed and recycled when the jeans eventually reach their end of life. Stronger, harder wearing bar tacks replace rivets giving reinforcement to key stress points.

Denim from Collect Japan

Collect Mill was established in 1992 in Kojima as part of the Japanese old-style-denim renaissance. Along with other renowned mills they started to reproduce traditional raw denim, weaving on old shuttle looms to make characterful cloth with a signature selvedge stripe. This helped lead the way in what is now a worldwide culture of denim craft and appreciation.

They have an artisanal approach to denim production with an emphasis on taking more time to make less cloth better. Highest quality cotton only is selected and blended. The tension and stubbiness (uneven thickness) of yarn is varied by experienced specialists to define the final look and feel of your jeans.

Everything is rope dyed rather than on a beam. The yarns are twisted together and cycled through repeated dipping and oxidisation. The process results in deeper darker tones and gives a ‘3D colour’. Again this involves a greater investment of time.

Characteristics of the M16-JP

The denim we’ve chosen is Collect’s “1942 Heritage Woven Style”. Made from a blend of long staple cotton from the USA and Brazil. It’s a 16oz raw denim that’s been sanforised for stability. The variation in the thickness of the yarn gives a gentle slubby look. You see this in the occasional ecru vertical lines that contrast with the predominantly dark indigo shade.

When new, you’ll find these jeans feel quite stiff. This is down to the combination of heavy 16oz denim and the starch applied during the dying stage of production. Such rigidity is characteristic of Japanese denim and quite normal. It will help them develop great fades from distinct creasing at the hip, back of knee and so on – much loved by denim heads. You will find they take a couple of weeks to soften up and become more comfortable. Be patient and that great look of your jeans  – different to anybody else’s – will come in time.

Made for us in London

The M16-JP are made for us by Blackhorse Lane Atelier in London who have the reputation of making some of the very best jeans in the world. Like us they’re small scale, independent and value quality above all else.

What's new with the M16-JP?

If you’ve worn a pair of our original M16s you may be wondering if the changes we’ve made will affect the fit? Well it’s all good news in that department, they’re only going to feel better.

We’ve made small adjustments to our original pattern to improve wear comfort without losing this style’s signature look.

The most visible change is the adjustment to the shape of the yoke (triangular section below belt loops and above back pockets). The result is that your bum will look better and, in keeping with HebTroCo tradition, your crack will continue to remain hidden.

No more rivets they’ve been replaced with stronger sewn bar tacks at the key stress points.

Zero visible overlocking inside the jeans. If you thought they looked tidy before, wait until you take a look inside your pair of M16-JP. We don’t do ‘fur coat and no knickers’ here. 

And finally… an extra button in the fly for a quicker draw.


The M16-JP jeans are made from raw selvedge denim. Please follow the wash and care instructions included with your order to avoid f*cking it up.

Raw denim is not colourfast and requires special attention when laundering. 

For the best fades, washing less often will yield better results. Take a look at our denim care online guide for a comprehensive overview on what’s required.

Sizing Guide

Ed is 5’8″ / 10.5 stone and wears 30 waist, 28 leg.

Turn-ups: We’ve styled the M16-JP to be worn without a turn-up. If you prefer to wear your jeans with a permanent turn-up, choose a longer leg length to accommodate this. For example, if you’re a 30″ leg and you’d like to fold in a turn-up, choose a 32″.

  • CM
SIZE 30 32 34 36 38 40
1/2 Waist (A) 15.6 16.5 17.5 18.5 19.5 20.5
Inside Leg (B) As per your selection
Leg Opening (C) 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5
SIZE 30 32 34 36 38 40
1/2 Waist (A) 39.5 42 44.5 47 49.5 52
Inside Leg (B) As per your selection
Leg Opening (C) 17.7 18 18.3 18.6 18.9 19.1

Your HebTroCo jeans are made with an extra 1-inch in the leg to compensate for first wash shrinkage (e.g. a 30″ will measure 31″ before first wash). Any shrinkage will be in the leg, not the waist. 

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