We’ve recently covered the Trucker Jackets and Heavy Flannels of Japanese denim kingpins UES and who would we be if we didn’t cover their sweatshirts? Long term fans of layering, we at Heddels are always partial to a good sweatshirt. And these UES Puca Purcara made in Japan numbers fit the bill perfectly. Started in 1994 under Masaharu Matsumoto, UES “aim for making things that can be used to the end with affection” and place emphasis on the production of garments which their customers will want to use for many years.
Much like their trucker jackets and heavyweight flannels, the UES Puca Purcara sweatshirts are made with the finest components in order to create a garment that’s hard wearing and reliable. The sweatshirts are made from Aspero cotton which is produced high in the Peruvian Andes mountain range, in what is said to be the oldest cotton cultivation area in the world. Another unique aspect of Aspero is that it’s cultivated with little use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which results in a low yield with only a small amount being picked each year. However, as a result of the environment in which it grows, the cotton is thicker than normal cotton and has a texture closer to wool.
The Puca Purcara sweatshirts are also knitted with hanging machines, which will create that textbook texture over time. With few of these machines in existence and requiring an expert craftsman to fine tune them, production is limited and in high demand. Hanging machines are much like a beloved shuttle loom for denim production; an old horse of a dying breed. While efficiency is lower than mass production methods, hanging machines do not apply extra tension to the split yarn, which gives the fabric its soft texture. Another unique by-product of this production method is that the yarns will not loosen, even after washing.
Offered in solid grey and oatmeal and grey, the Puca Purcara is a classic heritage sweatshirt that everyone needs in their rotation. With so many imitations of mid-century athletic sweatshirts out there, it’s refreshing to find one which is made with the highest quality components and historic production methods, just like they did back in the day.
Available for $146 at UES.