Tellason Gustave – My 2013 Project

As you probably know already from my previous posts, I’m a pretty big fan of Tellason jeans. Pete and Tony make jeans that are a true benchmark in craftsmanship, but the product also tells a story. When I was in San Francisco at the end of July, I had a chance to meet with Tony Patella, one of Tellason’s founders; he told me a bit about the company’s philosophy. Tellason supports unions by manufacturing their products in a factory in San Francisco, the historic birthplace of what we now call jeans. They use denim from Cone Denim’s White Oak factory, the same factory where Levi Strauss sourced his cloth from. The rivets and threads are U.S.-made, too. The patch is handmade in Portland, Ore., by Tanner Goods. Every pair of jeans that they sell is inspected for errors, and every loose thread is trimmed off prior to shipping. These guys take their denim seriously, and it really shows in the quality of the product.

Every bit of these jeans tells a story that echoes in history, from the chainstitched hem to the hidden red tab inside the back right pocket. One of Levi’s many trademarks was the red tab on the edge of the back right pocket; to copy that would be a violation of the law, but Pete and Tony have hidden a red tab inside the pocket that reads “Legal” instead of “Levi’s.” While the most traditional jeans use gold chainstitching, Tellason opts for a gold stitch on the outside, but blue thread on the inside, which gives the jean an understated appearance when cuffing. One other unique feature that Tellason uses is their yoke design. While most jeans sew the yoke under the seat of the jean, Tellason sews it on top of the seat. This means that, if you wear a backpack, friction won’t destroy the fabric on the back of the pant as easily, so you’ll get longer life out of your jean.
Here’s a little bit about the jean itself. First, it’s made of 16.5-ounce orange-line selvage denim, the heaviest in Tellason’s current arsenal. This fabric was developed specifically for Tellason and features a 24% indigo dye, and because of the relatively lower sulfur content, I expect the jean to show fairly significant contrast when it fades. They will likely be less blue than the 14.75-ounce denim that Tellason uses, but not as green/grey as their 12.5-ounce options.
From years of cycling and rowing, I have pretty beefy thighs. This means that I’ve typically had a hard time finding slim-fit jeans that fit me well. Tellason designed this cut with a significant taper and a wider thigh than you’ll see on most slim-cuts. Naturally, this means that the jean has the right fit for me, and after a week of wearing them, I can speculate that they’ll be extremely comfortable once they’re broken in.
If you’re curious about how my Ankaras broke in, I’ll be posting some pictures in the next few days. Until then, you can check out the pictures and review I wrote on Rawr Denim a few months back. After a few additional months of wear, they’re now covered in paint and full of holes.
Once the new photos are up, you’ll notice that they need some patching in the crotch region, which means that I may have to do a post about how to patch your jeans in the near future. I personally love the feeling of repairing my own clothing. Some people would opt for a professional repair, and while Tellason has a free repair service for their products, I can’t justify the shipping. I have some old denim that I salvaged from a pair of Sugar Canes, and I’ll be using that to repair them by hand. You may call the destruction of Sugar Canes blasphemy, but I call it reuse, and that’s environmentally preferable to any other option I can think of. Stay tuned if you want to learn how to do your own repairs.

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