The Birth of a Leg-Breaker
When SOSO was still a very young brand, Johan and Jannis met Brandon Svarc, Founder of Naked & Famous, in Bangkok. He showed them a pair of the brand new Naked & Famous 32oz superheavyweights, and the SOSO Brothers were blown away. It opened their eyes to how far modern engineering could push selvedge denim. They wanted to see if they could push the limits even further.
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The Spark: Naked & Famous 32oz Denim - Now Extinct[/caption]
They started asking denim mills to help them produce the heaviest denim in the world. Their first attempts broke the looms. It took the mill two months to produce enough yardage to make the first pairs, and the problems didn't stop when the denim rolled off the looms. The heavy denim broke the sturdiest sewing machines they had in the workshop. They kept at it, repairing the Jukis, Brothers, and Union Specials as they went, determined both to break the record and to break it with a wearable and durable pair.
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The First Generation of SOSO's 33oz Breaker of Legs (the pockets are now considerably smaller)[/caption]
With each new iteration, they've improved. They worked with their first 33oz customers to address the problems they had, repairing or resizing as necessary. Sometimes, this meant making adjustments at their shop in Umea, Sweden, but they also encouraged customers to seek more local solutions—picking up the tab for these repairs whenever tailors have been willing to feed the needle-breaking denim into their machines.
They've noticed a dramatic drop-off in problems since they introduced the latest version of the Breaker of Legs in 2021. They've adjusted the patterns to make it easier for the tailors to get the sizing on the nose, and they've tweaked the construction, using heavy-duty Coats Dual Duty poly-core threads to make them more durable in the areas where they were prone to breakage. This thread change has been, they say, a "game changer".
They've also started to use long-staple, family-farmed Australian cotton. The move away from the Xinjiang cotton they used for their first 33oz pairs to the ethically sourced cotton they're using now is an important step for the brand. The community was quick to point out that the deeply problematic Chinese cotton was a deal-breaker for many, so SOSO corrected course, locating a cotton farm more in line with their (and their customers') values.
The cotton is first ring spun and then rope-dyed. It is dipped in a synthetic indigo bath 8 times, which is higher than average, but lower than some of the more deeply indigo-saturated denims out there. Every step in the process has been engineered with fades front of mind. The denim is extremely stiff, and the SOSO brothers know that it takes a brave soul to challenge this pair. They want to reward that bravery with thick combs, whiskers, and stacks. They might come slowly, but when they do finally come, they are utterly brilliant.
The denim is woven in China on vintage GA1515 shuttle looms (China's oldest selvedge looms). It's a 3x1 twill that uses 5-gauge yarns (the same kind of yarns that you might find in heavy rugs). The the mill has twisted three of the heavy-duty yarns together to form the warp and two of them together to form the weft.
What this means is that the dark warp yarns absolutely dominate the surface of the jeans. A flash of white pokes through here and there, but the white yarns all but entirely disappear when you hold the pair at arm's length. There is definitely texture here, but it is in the hand, not the eye.
The SOSO Brothers say that the Breaker of Legs remain a work in progress, but, with hundreds of finished pairs behind them, the hardest work is in their rearview mirror. The three latest 33oz denims (the classic indigo x white, the double black, and the double indigo) feel in every way like a fully mature product. The tweaks they've made to the construction seem to have paid off in a big way. The pair feels bulletproof, and, based on my examination, it doesn't look like there are any weak spots. They're braced and squared away. Give them both barrels.