It’s long been impossible to find women’s riding denim that fits right, looks dope and doubles as a protective barrier between your arse and the asphalt. But all that’s changing thanks to American Motorwear company, Tobacco. They say there’s absolutely no need to sacrifice style for safety. And it’s this exact have your cake and eat it kind of mentality that’s seen the modest Kickstarter project – one that raised six times their original $20K goal, mind you – become a riding denim revolution, particularly for women.
Before Tobacco, most riding jeans relegated the girls to pillion passenger. They came with poor cuts, visibly stitched-in Kevlar panels, bulky armour insets, horrible colour selections and shit like pink embroidery. So they looked terrible, your arse-crack hung out, and you were bathed in those tired old tropes about girls and pink. None of it reflected the modern female rider. None of it put her in the rider’s seat. In fact, if a girl was looking for a pair of quality riding jeans she had to wade through websites with women arse out, heads between their legs and always wearing a pair of stilettos. Seriously. All of it highly sexualised and none of it offering a single thread of style. But Tobacco say ’women riders deserve solid protection and demand first rate style.’ So they went about delivering it with premium denim from the best mills in the world.
Tobacco use raw selvedge denim in all of their riding jeans. Raw denim is denim fabric that hasn’t been washed following the dyeing process. It also hasn’t been sandpapered, sandblasted, ripped or rolled in drums with stones to distress and weaken the denim either. Heavier and more rigid than standard denim to begin with, raw denim breaks in over time and shapes to your body, creasing and fading in places prone to high stress and abrasion, acting a little like a blank canvas in that your life, your style, and your body-shape paints the final picture of the denim finish. Tobacco suggest that this makes their denim a ‘perfectly fitted second skin,’ and one completely unique to each rider.
The “selvedge” in your raw selvedge Tobacco’s relates to the tightly woven edge of the denim fabric, produced on shuttle looms, to stop the fabric sheet unravelling. Jeans constructed from selvedge use those edges on the out-seams of each leg. It makes the denim more durable, far more so than seams finished with an overlocker edge, and the distinct seam finish on a pair of raw selvedge denim is a trademark of high quality. It’s how you know your Tobacco denim will go the distance.
They’re lined with Dupont Kevlar, stitched into the seems to avoid unsightly stitches messing with the clean lines of your raw selvedge jeans. And it’s highly durable stuff. There’s a short video clip on the homepage of one of the principle consultants in the design of Tobacco’s female range being dragged behind a bike, over three seperate times, at over 30mph, in the same pair of jeans! Literally putting her arse on the line to ensure Tobacco are as safe as they are stylish. And they are stylish.
Tobacco offer a high-waisted, five-pocket style raw selvedge denim jean with a slim leg and 2% stretch to provide a little extra comfort. They come in two colours: indigo and jet black. The thing that sets Tobacco apart from the competition is that their denim appears no different than your everyday, go-to pair of jeans. And that’s entirely the point. These are riding jeans that look and feel like you favourite pair of jeans. While the kevlar panels offer protection and the raw selvedge construction makes them highly durable, they also get better, more comfortable and more distinctly personal with age – the way all truly great denim does.
If you’re interested in owning a truly great pair of riding jeans, all the information on Tobacco’s range of female riding denim can be found here