Macher:innen - Handmade jeans by Johann Ruttloff

pictures of Julius Erler

If you open the heavy iron door in front of Johann's studio, you seem to travel back in time and enter another world. The large room is full of old sewing machines, one more extraordinary than the other. There is a Merrow M-3Q-3 standing next to an old Cornely, all of them were personally selected by Johann and put back into operation. Its individual teamhe calls her affectionately, we could not have come up with a more appropriate term. 


In the back of the room, the eye quickly falls on a huge wall, full of various denim fabrics and patterns. The studio captures the atmosphere of Johann Ruttloff's work quite well: They still do real crafts here. 

He has taught himself exactly this craft, from the selection of high-quality fabrics to the smallest seam, completely by himself. The old machines are his passion, they are not only important for his work, but also for his wealth of ideas, because Johann simply assembles his tools himself as he needs them. 

Perhaps this was also the reason why it took a total of 5 years until the results of his work were really worthwhile. 5 years in which he converted the old machines, screwed a lot and processed the most different fabrics to jeans, with whose quality he was satisfied.

He is a perfectionist with a strong will and incredible stamina. This perfectionism has also been evident for more than 10 years in the selection of his fabrics, which he obtains from Japan. The country is still one of the few that pays fairly for the production and the work involved in making these fabrics and shares the same high quality standards as Johann. 

It was only this year that he himself was on site to take a closer look at the textile factories, but also at Japan. He talks enthusiastically about the traditions and culture of the country and somehow you get the feeling that these are also reflected a little bit in his jeans. 

Most of the trousers are made to measure and he pays particular attention to the durability of the jeans. Johann can only shake his head when it comes to fast fashion, as he takes into account the changes in fabrics over the years and the comfort of the trousers right from the concept stage, before the actual sewing. They should be practical, aesthetic and high quality, three words that describe his label quite well. 

Even for broken jeans or small holes Johann has a solution at hand, he has a Fine Art Repair Service. This service seems to be the perfect alternative for fast-moving fashions, because instead of throwing away all garments with small flaws immediately, you can simply have them repaired by him. 

Let's be honest - who of us doesn't know it when our favourite trousers suddenly seem to dissolve by themselves and we look behind them with a sad eye? With Ruttloff jeans this would not have happened. 

But if we put the discussion about fast fashion aside and take a look at Johann's studio, we can still learn a lot about the origin and manufacture of jeans. Nobody tells more passionately about cuts, fabrics and unique machines, that alone makes a visit to the seamstress from Dresden worthwhile.