Stronghold was the first denim company in Los Angeles, California, when it opened for business in 1895. It closed in 1949 only to reopen under the ownership of Michael Paradise and Michael Cassel in 2004. They vowed to retain every bit of the authenticity of the original company, both in its vintage quality and its production techniques. The 14 ounce denim is shuttle-loomed in Japan, where American’s sent their old denim looms after the war. Stronghold’s weavers use organic cotton and organic indigo. The bolts of denim are then cut, sewn, and finished in Venice, California.
Plant-based indigo dye has been around for centuries. Traces of its are hue found on Persian rugs dating as far back as the 5th century B.C., but due to its expense fell out of use in denim work wear in the 1960s. The rare, deep purplish blue color so closely associated with denim was replaced by sulfur dye, which doesn’t retain its richness quite like indigo. The organic dye used on the shop aprons does not fade, even after several washes.