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Your favorite jeans reborn as furniture

It's as comfy as an old pair of jeans. Wait, it is an old pair of jeans. Halo Styles has taken blue jeans casual to a whole new level with a line of upholstery covered in vintage Levi's from the '60s and '70s.

The collection, which includes sofas, chairs and bar stools, fits in with the British based Halo Group's signature style of edgy rustic-industrial-country.

"Our designer is a super fan of Levi's," says Halo spokesperson Erica Whittington. "He is keen on the design, cutting and washing and feels these features (as well as the quality of the brand) are very important for the outlook of the furniture."

On average, it takes two days for two workers to finish one three-seater jeans cover, cut piece by piece and sewn by hand, according to Whittington. The framework features pocket springs, high density foam and triple A poly fiber.

Blue jeans, of course, speak a universal language.

"Denim is just a fabulous, ageless textile that worked in a certain way, looks amazing and appeals to almost everyone," says Martyn Gayle of Papillondesign in London, who with partner Joelle Talmasse, created their Rock & Roll collection three years ago.

"Joelle and I are big music fans and love denim," says Gayle. "We decided to create a collection out of this iconic textile and give it an art feel. We were pretty frustrated with the uninspiring furniture we were seeing. Also, the furniture world takes itself a little too seriously.

"We discovered an old storage unit that had an Aladdin's cave of '70s denim with names such as 'Rifle' 'Smack,' 'Wrangler,' 'Pepe.' It really was an exciting moment.'

The collection features seating, poufs (ottomans) and lamps with jeans patchwork shades.

"Each piece is unique," says Gayle. "We do not repeat ourselves—and that's a challenge. It takes on more of an 'art' than design approach. For some people, seeing denim in an interesting way is quite reassuring as it brings back good memories of a 'cool' pair of jeans they once owned."

The designers see their pieces especially suiting "a loft space, very stylish bohemian interior or an eclectic rock 'n' roll-influenced interior."

An obvious subtext of upcycling or recycling also is at play.

For German designer Tobias Juretzek, that translates to about 13 pounds per chair. Juretzek created his own fashion statement with castoff clothing including jeans and old concert T-shirts by molding them into chairs and tables for the Italian company Casamania. The designer uses a special epoxy to bond the textiles on to metal frames. What's unique is that ripples and folds of the fabrics are part of the texture of the chair, called "Rememberme."

Levi's celebrated the 140thanniversary of its 501 jean in May. Each year, 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the U.S. alone. Globally, the jeans market is expected to exceed $65 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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