On February 5th, Lapstone & Hammer and Mitchell & Ness, two great admirers of both ampersands and premium sportswear, come together to release a new concept in headwear: the "Destructed Denim" collection. Inspired by the look of broken-in jeans, these snapback hats are made from raw denim that has been hand destructed to reveal details of the embroidered names and logos of four NBA teams that were obscured beneath front panel. The end result is a hat that looks quite unlike any other, but what goes into the process of making these?
We pitched this idea to Mitchell & Ness knowing that they would not only be receptive to the concept, but that the quality of the materials and attention to detail would be second to none. We gave them our specifications that the hats be made of raw denim, have either a team logo or team name thickly embroidered on the front panel and another piece of raw denim sewn over over top of that panel. This is what the hats looked like when we received them from Mitchell & Ness:
From here we brought in a team of local artists and set them loose on the seemingly blank canvas of these hats. The first step was to apply a frottage technique of rubbing sanding blocks and coarse 80 and 110 grain sand paper on the relief-like structure of the obscured embroidery to bring out its initial shape.
Once the impression starts to become apparent from the first round of sanding, its time to start pulling out its finer details. To do this our team used 220 and 320 grain sandpaper to further sharpen the raised image. Razors, exacto knives and seam rippers are also employed at this stage to define the edges of the image while also initiating rips and tears to expose parts of the embroidery.
The hats are then brought further along in the destruction process with the use of Dremel handheld rotary grinders. These tools have interchangeable attachments of various size and coarseness, so that a small, fine grain bit can enable precise weathering of smaller and harder to reach details of the image, while a larger and more coarse bit can be employed to really destroy the denim and reveal more of the weft, or white cotton stands, and embroidery beneath.
At this point the destruction is essentially finished, with only some fine tuning left to complete the design. Armed with tweezers and scissors, our demolition crew put the finishing touches on the hats by pulling out and trimming down individual strands to open up the weft.
That is how a "Destructed Denim" hat is made. Each one passing through several sets of hands putting their own personal spin on the process, ensuring that every hat in the collection is truly one-of-a-kind. The collection includes eight hats representing both the logo and name of four NBA teams: the Bulls, the Cavaliers, the Nets, and the 76ers. The entire collection will be available in-store and online February 5th, and is extremely limited. Make sure you get yours before they run out. In the meantime, enjoy some more pictures of our amazing Destruction Team in action.