Photo/IllutrationWith the sea breeze captured in its denim sails, the “Ami” sets off from port in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, on July 26. (Masanori Shimanoe)

FUKUYAMA, Hiroshima Prefecture--Your next pair of blue jeans may have just set sail on the Seto Inland Sea bound for Shizuoka.

The sailing vessel “Ami” unfurled its sails made from blue jeans denim on July 26 at a port here. The Ami is part of the “Cruising Jeans” project dreamed up by Kaihara Co., Japan’s largest manufacturer of denim blue jeans.

The idea is to use sails made from denim that will get a distinctive and cool look after being exposed to the briny ocean breezes, sun and rain of a seagoing sailing vessel.

The Ami boasts eight sails measuring a total of about 100 square meters made of relatively thick denim that is also used for blue jeans.

“Denim fabric is usually lighter than sailcloth and easy to handle,” said Mitsuo Tamari, the 67-year-old captain and owner of Ami. “We want to test its durability by using a thicker denim fabric.”

The Ami is scheduled to arrive in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Aug. 3 after sailing through waters in Kagawa, Hyogo, Wakayama and Mie prefectures.

After completing the journey, the Ami’s sails will be removed, and Kaihara will use the weathered cloth to manufacture blue jeans.

“This is a challenge that the world has never seen before,” said Yasuhiro Kuwada, 28, a Kaihara representative. “It will expand the possibilities for denim fabric.”