A while back we covered a brand from Colorado called White Horse Trading Co which is owned by Ryan Martin, the sole operator of the brand making everything from start to finish. For Martin, White Horse was an experiment to test fits, fabrics, and techniques and in that respect, it was a great learning experience and overall huge success.
Since then, however, the brand has moved on from the experimentation phase with a fuller line up of fits, as well as plans to add on Ready-To-Wear garments to their bespoke offerings. With that significant change comes a new name. White Horse Trading Co has now become WH Ranch Dungarees.
Under the new moniker, Martin now offers three fits of jeans and a denim jacket. All the garments feature a 15 oz. shrink to fit selvedge denim from Cone Mills that will serve as the mainstay fabric for WH Ranch Dungarees. It’s important to note though that during the White Horse Trading Co. phase, Martin had a chance to test out all sorts of fabrics and developed an extensive knowledge of different denim available around the world.
As a result, he will be regularly offering limited runs using different types of fabric alongside the 15 oz. STF denim. Those who follow him on various social networking sites and apps recently had a chance to purchase the jeans made from a very limited Nihon Menpu 16 oz. Sugar Cane denim. It’ll be very interesting to see what else he has up his sleeves in the coming months.
While fabrics choices are an important part of what makes an article of clothing worth looking at, it’s the construction of the garments that really sets WH Ranch Dungarees apart. Everything is still done from beginning to end by Martin using only single needle construction and self enclosed components so that there are no raw edges and overlocked edges.
They all feature a seemingly endless list of details such as heavy 10 oz. drill cloth pocket bags, heavy Tex 80 cotton/poly thread, roped hems, YKK brass buttons, hand branded hair-on-hide patch and copper rivets and burrs. These details shows where Martin’s attention is focused and it’s clear that his goal is create clothes that are durable, will age gracefully with time, and feature aesthetically pleasing but functional details both on the outside and inside of the clothes.
In terms of fits, there are three options available: the R1901X Icon Fit (straight), R1911 Slim Boot Cut, and R1914 Vintage Fit (tapered). The R1901J is a modified type II jacket with one front pocket, cinch back, hair on hide patch, and single needle triple stitching throughout.
In the spirit of collaboration and experimenting with different fits, fabrics and ideas, Martin has also teamed up with photography Cory Piehowicz (also known as the Bandit Photographer) and the North Carolina retail shop Old North to create a brand called, The Lower 48.
The Lower 48 will be an ongoing collaboration that focuses on workwear inspired clothing with a nod to the old western styles. The first run from this partnership is a double knee jean made from a 15 oz. pink-lined black Japanese selvedge denim. Named the Roughneck, the jean features many of the same construction details as the jeans from WH Ranch Dungarees but adds a double knee for durability, side entry pockets, a utility pocket, and a cinch back on the waist. It’s a true workwear jean that is meant to last a long time for those who put their jeans to the test.
If 2013 was any indication of what we can expect from Ryan, then 2014 will prove to be an exciting time to watch what WH Ranch Dungarees will have to offer. Keep up to date on their website.