Ohio man devoted to handmade denim apparel

Ohio man devoted to handmade denim apparel

The denim Myers uses comes from Greensboro, North Carolina’s Cone Denim Co., specifically the White Oak division. The fabric is woven on vintage shuttle looms, and its finished edge (called “selvedge”) is red, white and blue. 
Is there still such a thing as American denim? Reading Ohio man devoted to handmade denim apparel 6 minutes Next Zace American Raw Denim Goods

Pulling a protective respirator over his mouth and then sound-muting headphones over his ears, Zach Myers powered up his cloth-cutting machine, slicing through denim as if it were American cheese.

“It’s like kindergarten craft day when you’re here,” said Myers, 40.

The owner and operator of Zace Denim USA has made raw-denim overalls, jackets and jeans in Ohio for 15 years, currently working out of a reconfigured barn behind his home near the Knox County village of Fredericktown.

During the past decade, raw denim — meaning the fabric has not been washed or processed — has exploded in popularity on the international market, particularly in Japan.

Myers, who sells primarily through his website (www.zacedenim.com), ships his denim wholesale only to overseas retailers. International buyers, he said, view it as a wearable connection to the American mystique.


“In terms of the romanticism that denim reflects, it’s all driven from that late 1800s ‘Wild West’ exploration — the wild frontier, the American Dream,” he said.

The trend has spread more slowly in the United States, but Suzanne Cotton thinks a growing emphasis on ethical fashion could give the garments a boost.

“Buying pre-distressed denim uses an incredible amount of water,” said the chairwoman of fashion design at the Columbus College of Art & Design. “It’s really more sustainable to use raw denim and put the wear into them by wearing them.”