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Levi’s Leads the Future of Jeans Production With Lasers

Don’t go jumping on your soapbox just yet, robots aren’t taking over the world. But they are helping redefine production methods for companies around the world, including those used to make denim. First covered on the Denim Dudes blog by Amy Leverton, Levi’s just dropped a video explaining their brand new, fully digital denim distressing software, which employs laser beams to create vintage looking whiskers and wear marks that could be mistaken for jeans with five straight years of a wear — and those lasers can do it in about a minute and a half.

Eureka Lab is the central nervous system of this new operation, residing in the heart of the company’s hometown, San Francisco. Vice President Bart Sights and his team have been chipping away at this for a while now, and they ultimately figured out a way to replicate fades earned after years of wear in literal minutes. The process goes from studying legit fades, drawing a computer-generated version, and letting the lasers do the rest.

Willingness to innovate is what helps apparel giants like Levi’s survive in an ever-changing fashion environment, but moves like this don’t just do some good for their own company, they also pave the way for a new, brighter way of thinking. Don’t mistake this applause as an endorsement for laser induced fades, but I am a fan of what this does for the industry, which is cutting down on the amount of waste normally required in the arduous process of creating distressed denim. In an industry leading the way in environmental damage (only behind big oil), this is hopefully one significant step in the right direction.

Check out the video and read Amy’s in-depth coverage at Denim Dudes.