Designer jeans: a term that has become as "mainstream" as any "mainstream" jeans. But, by saying this, one has overlooked Dutch designers duo G+N. Instead of stitching the seams, they simply glue them together, and they lay on the glue very thickly, indeed! Their unique look has been awarded by the 2008 Dutch Design Award. Initially, the jeans were glued by a solvent-based glue. In Holland, G+N assembled the jeans making use of a completely manual process. But for ecological reasons, G+N desired to stop using solvent-based glues and for economic reasons they wanted to switch to a more automated production process. To realise both objectives, a project was set up with the financial support of the European WORTH channel that promotes the collaboration between designers and scientific research instances. After a simple Google search, G+N discovered the Centexbel website. They contacted us and made the acquaintance of an enthusiastic knowledge partner. It was a real challenge to find an alernative to the manual production process based on the use of solvents. As a matter of fact, the look had to be exactly the same, with the glue "oozing" out of the seams in a quite irregular way. All existing production processes are indeed designed to avoid this very effect! Moreover, we had to search for a manner to apply enough glue to obtain the flowing effect. The solution was found in the use of a hotmelt glue. Hotmelt is a 100% system that is applied immediately after it is melted. Because of the absence of water and solvents, the process has a very low environmental impact. After application and pressing the seams, the glue solidifies and the joint is made. The glued seams are nearly as strong as stitched seams. The glue is coloured beforehand by mixing a pigment via the compounder throughput, resulting in colour variations. The glue is applied by using a hot glue gun. Although this is still a manual process, the production time is much shorter compared to the previous manufacturing process and the desired look is maintained. Provided the necessary machine developments, it is possible to fully automize the process. In this respect, large-scale production runs are within reach.

WORTH: G+N and Centexbel from WORTH on Vimeo.

If you have an enchanting, rather out-of-the-box idea, do not hesitate to contact us. Myriam Vanneste Ine De Vilder