From the Dust Bowls
You may be asking yourself, "what is heirloom quality?" A lot of words get thrown around these days rather casually. They sound good, but what do they mean and do they translate to a better product? To be sure, there is no school that teaches "heirloom construction techniques" as far as I know. This word is important though and does have great meaning to me. Heirloom quality is a phrase I use to convey the generations of knowledge, five to be precise, that have been passed on to me that are used on every single product from W.H. Ranch Dungarees.
Not too long ago I was having a conversation with my grandmother about this very topic. I rattled off a few of the techniques I seem to use everyday (sorry, no details, family secret). These were techniques that I was taught since the young age of seven, as soon as I could reach the foot pedals of the sewing machine. I asked her if these were the same techniques taught to her. Of course they were she said. She explained that the way we all learned to sew goes all the way back to the Dust Bowl days in Kansas when clothing had to be durable and last literally generations. Back then I also discovered, no one in my family sewed with the luxury of patterns! They used, as near as I can tell, a basic draping method of cutting away fabric and it was all then sewn by hand. Anyone hand sew a shirt with thread and a needle lately? Then came the part that I loved, because I discovered where my attention to detail (OCD) came from: If a stitch wasn't properly done she explained, you ripped it out and started over because that shoddy work wasn't going to cut it! Mystery solved. So, there you have it. Heirloom Construction rooted in the Dust Bowl Era.