Jeans are pants that are
typically made from denim
or dungaree cloth.
Jeans are a very popular pant style worn around the world. They come in many
style variations, colors, and finishes. Blue
jeans are particularly identified with American
culture, especially the Old West (cowboys). Although jeans are commonly known
as a popular casual fashion garment, they are also worn as protective garments
by many individuals. For example, construction workers, cattle ranchers,
farmers, and motorcycle riders where jeans for their high durability rather than
the fact that they look cool. Denim and dungaree is more durable than many
Often the term "jeans" refers to
a particular style of pants, called "blue jeans,"
which were invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with
Levi Strauss & Co. in 1871 and patented by
Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss on May 20, 1873.
When Levi Strauss & Co. patented the modern,
mass-produced prototype in 1873, there were two pockets in the front and one on
the back with copper rivets. Later, the jeans were redesigned to today's general
industry standard of 5 pockets including a little watch pocket and copper
rivets. In modern times, the watch pocket is often not needed, and a
mobile device pocket has gained importance.
Prior to the Levi Strauss
patented trousers, the term "blue jeans" had been used for various garments
(including trousers, overalls, and coats), constructed from
blue colored denim.
Originally designed for cowboys
and miners, jeans gained popularity in the 1950s among teenagers (if you don’t
believe us, watch the movie Greece). You might also want to watch the movie
Rebel Without a Cause staring James Dean. That movie helped popularize
jeans in the 1950’s. After that movie, wearing jeans became a symbol of
youthful rebellion. Jeans were a common fashion item in the
Hippie subculture and they continued to be popular in the 1970s and 1980s youth
and heavy metal. They are still a very popular
garment and are truly one of the staples in most people’s wardrobe.
Important jeans brands:
Levi's - if you haven't heard about Levi's,
their is no use of us trying to explain to you about jeans or any other type of
clothing. If you live on this planet, you are familiar with Levi.
Lee - Lee is an
American brand of denim jeans, first produced in 1889 in Salina, Kansas. The
company is owned by VF Corporation, one of the largest apparel company in the
Since 1943, Wrangler has been the genuine source for comfortable jeans and
western apparel. Explore their extensive collections of western clothing,
including Wrangler jeans for men & women.
Guess? - Shop
sexy jeans, fashion clothing and accessories for women & men. Guess is an
American upscale clothing brand and retailer. Guess also markets other fashion
accessories besides clothes, such as watches, jewelry and perfumes. The company
also owns the line Marciano.
Lucky Brand Jeans
- Staying true to the rich heritage and authentic, all-American spirit of denim,
Lucky Brand began crafting great-fitting, vintage-inspired jeans in Los Angeles
in 1990. They gave them their distinctively Lucky look by literally putting them
through the wringer, ripping, fraying, sanding, patching and washing by hand to
give them true character and soul. Then, they added authentic hardware,
personalized touches and playful details, and an American legend was born.
Learn about vintage
jeans from our vintage jeans product page.
Various jean fits:
boot cut or bootcut
ovealls / bibs
See examples of some of these different jean fits.
Above are only a few of the various stylistic options.
Jean fabric is said to have started in Genoa, Italy, and
Nimes, France. Gênes, the French word for Genoa, may be the origin of the
word "jeans". In Nimes, France, weavers tried to reproduce jean but
instead developed a similar twill fabric that became known as denim, from de
Nimes, meaning "from Nimes". Genoa’s jean was a fustian textile of "medium
quality and of reasonable cost", very similar to cotton corduroy for which Genoa
was famous, and was "used for work clothes in general". Nimes’s "denim"
was coarser, considered higher quality and was used "for over garments such as
smocks or overalls". Nearly all Indigo, needed for dyeing, came from
indigo bush plantations in India till the late 19th century. It was replaced by
indigo synthesis methods developed in Germany.
is a sturdy cotton warp-faced textile in which the
weft passes under two or more
warp threads. This
produces a diagonal ribbing that distinguishes it from cotton duck.
The most common denim is
indigo denim, in
which the warp thread is dyed, while the weft thread is left white. As a result
of the warp-faced twill weaving, one side of the textile is dominated by the
blue warp threads and the other side is dominated by the white weft threads.
This causes blue jeans to be white on the inside. The indigo dyeing process, in
which the core of the warp threads remains white, creates denim's signature
is not the only sturdy cotton fabric used for everything from working clothes to
fashion items. There is also dungaree.
Dungaree was mentioned for the first time in the 17th century, when it was
referred to as cheap, coarse thick cotton cloth, often colored blue but
sometimes white, worn by impoverished people in what was then a region of
Bombay, India a dockside village called Dongri. This cloth was "dungri" in
Hindi. Dungri was exported to England and used for manufacturing of cheap,
robust working clothes. In English, the word "dungri" became pronounced as
(used in English since 1605–15, from the Hindi dungrī) is a historical term for
coarse thick 2/2 twill-weave cotton cloth, often colored blue. Cotton twill
with indigo dyed warp thread is now more commonly referred to as denim, or more
specifically blue denim. The word is possibly derived from Dongri, a dockside
village near Mumbai. In US English the term is used for hard-wearing work
trousers made from such fabric, and in British English for bib overalls in
various fabrics, either for casual or work use. By 1891 Kipling was using the
word to refer to a kind of garment (in the plural) as well as a fabric.
What is the difference between dungaree and denim?
appears to be a subset of denim and typically refers to the most common style of
blue denim. Typically only the warp threads are pre-dyed with the traditional
coloring agent indigo, the weft threads are left uncolored (white), resulting in
the unique fade patterns of the fabric. Denim
refers to cotton twill which may be warp dyed, undyed, or dyed after weaving.
Denim may be 2x1 or 3x1 twill.
In 1962 Levi Strauss introduced pre-shrunk jeans, which did not shrink further
after purchase, allowing the consumer to buy his or her correct size.
Despite most jeans in modern times being "pre-shrunk", they are still sensitive
to slight further shrinkage and loss of color from being washed.
incorporates an elastic component, such as spandex. This creates a certain
amount of "give" in garments made from stretch denim fabrics. Only a small
percentage (about 3%) of spandex is required within the fabric to create a
significant stretching capacity of about 15%. It has been said that the stretch
fabric may not last as long as the non-stretch fabric. Possibly due to the
extra wear taking place during that stretch and release action that occurs over
and over again over the life of the garment.
Jean finishes to achieve a used look:
Distressed which is visibly aged and worn, but still
intact and functional. Distressed jeans trousers have become increasingly
fashionable, making pre-sale "factory distressing" a common feature in
commercially sold jeans. In other words, the distressing takes place at
the factory. The other way to get distressed jeans is to simply wear them
often. Over time, they will become distressed. The factory
distressing is an attempt to make them look old and worn even though they are
Acid Wash Jeans – Two different stories.
Does this process really use acid or chemicals? I
think we have to better understand the difference between acid, chemicals, or
base. Although I don’t fully understand, I have read that, “Bases are the
chemical opposite of acids. Acids are defined as compounds that donate a
hydrogen ion (H+) to another compound (called a base). Traditionally, an acid
(from the Latin acidus or acere meaning sour) was any chemical compound that,
when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a hydrogen ion activity greater
than in pure water, i.e. a pH less than 7.0. Correspondingly, a base was any
compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a hydrogen ion
activity lower than that of pure water, i.e. a pH higher than 7.0 at standard
conditions.". OK, did you understand any of that.
In regard to jeans, the “used" or
look is created by means of abrading the jeans and/or treating them with
chemicals, such as acryl resin, phenol, a hypochlorite, potassium permanganate,
caustic soda, acids etc.
We think that the term acid-washed denim is a misnomer
since no acid is actually used in the process. Denim is washed with pumice
stones and chlorine until it is bleached almost white. This process can also
occur naturally over time from the sun and other conditions.
California surfers and members of the 1960s
counterculture prized Levi 501s and other jeans that had been bleached by the
salt water due to their authentic, "lived in" appearance. As natural wear took
weeks, or even months, it was not uncommon to hang a few new pairs of jeans to
fade in the sun, then turn them over to fade the other side. For many surfers,
this process simply took too long, so they sped up the process by soaking the
jeans in diluted bleach and some beach sand. Simple chlorine bleach and muriatic
acid were readily available at this time, as they were used to sterilize
Sandblasting or abrading with
sandpaper is also a technique to make jeans
look used. Consumers wanting jeans that appear worn can buy jeans that
have been specially treated. To give the fabrics the worn look, sandblasting
done with chemicals or by adding
pumice stone to the washing process or
abrading with sandpaper is often done.
If you are looking for a used
jean look, you may want to also learn about
Stone Washing Jeans
is a textile manufacturing process used to give a
newly manufactured cloth garment a worn-in (or worn-out) appearance.
Stone-washing also helps to increase the softness and flexibility of otherwise
stiff and rigid fabrics such as canvas and denim.
The process uses large stones to roughen up the fabric
being processed. The garments are placed in a large horizontal industrial
clothes washer that is also filled with large stones. As the wash cylinder
rotates, the cloth fibers are repeatedly pounded and beaten as the tumbling
stones ride up the paddles inside the drum and fall back down onto the fabric.
are jeans that have been treated to produce a faded, worn appearance. This is
usually accomplished either by washing the jeans with pumice in a rotating drum,
or also by using chemicals to create the appearance without the use of a
rotating drum. The expanding cost of importing pumice stone from Italy, Greece
and Turkey led to extensive mining of pumice deposits in California, Arizona,
and New Mexico, triggering a negative response from American ecologist groups.
The reduction of pumice usage and the growing disposal of its
chemically-tainted residue triggered a search for novel methods, notably the use
of alternative abrading materials or machines and the use of cellulase enzymes.
Stonewashed jeans were a popular 1970s fashion trend, before commercial acid
wash denim was introduced in the 1980s. In the 2000s, stonewashed jeans were
heavily distressed, with pre-made holes, frayed edges and extensive fading
caused by sandblasting. By the way,
pumice in its powdered or dust form, is a
volcanic rock that consists of highly vesicular rough textured volcanic glass,
which may or may not contain crystals. It is typically light colored.
Dyeing Denim Fabric
Traditionally, jeans were dyed to
a blue color using natural
Denim can now also be dyed using synthetic indigo (synthetic meaning not
natural). Only a few grams of the dye are required for each pair of jeans
(note: they are usually not dyed one at a time, but they can be). For other
colors of denim other dyes must be used. Currently, jeans are produced in any
color that can be achieved with cotton.
Learn more about
the Fashion Blog.
Denim was originally dyed with a
dye produced from the plant Indigofera
tinctoria (Indigofera tinctoria, also called
true indigo, is a species of plant from the bean family that was one of the
original sources of indigo dye. It has been naturalized to tropical and
temperate Asia, as well as parts of Africa, but its native habitat is unknown
since it has been in cultivation worldwide for many centuries.), but most denim
today is dyed with synthetic indigo dye. When using natural dyes or synthetic
dyes, the yarn undergoes a repeated sequence of dipping and oxidation. The
more dips, the stronger the color of the indigo.
Rope dyeing is considered the best yarn-dyeing method, as
it eliminates shading across the fabric width. The alternative "slasher
process" is cheaper because only one beaming process is needed. In rope dyeing,
beaming is done twice.
Denim fabric dyeing is divided into two categories:
indigo dyeing and sulfur dyeing. Indigo dyeing produces the traditional blue
color or shades similar to it. Sulfur dyeing produces specialty black colors and
other colors, such as red, pink, purple, grey, rust, mustard, and green.
Dry or raw denim
(contrasted with "washed denim") is denim that is not
washed after having been dyed during production.
Over time, dry denim will usually fade, which is
considered desirable by some people. During the process of wear, fading will
usually occur on those parts of the article that receive the most stress. On a
pair of jeans, this includes the upper thighs, the ankles, and the areas behind
the knees. This is more natural than buying new jeans that have been
distressed for the wearer by the factory.
After being made into an article
of clothing, most denim articles are washed
to make them softer and to reduce or eliminate shrinkage (which could cause the
article to not fit properly after its owner washes it; this is pre-washing). In
addition to being washed, "washed denim" is sometimes artificially distressed to
produce a "worn" look. Much of the appeal of artificially distressed denim is
that it resembles dry denim which has faded naturally over time from being worn.
In jeans made from dry denim, such fading is affected by the body of the person
who wears them and by the activities of their daily life. This process creates
what many enthusiasts feel to be a look more "natural" than artificially
distressed denim. This is more authentic for sure.
To facilitate the natural distressing process, some
wearers of dry denim will abstain from washing their jeans for more than six
months. Most dry denim is made with 100% cotton and comes from several different
Dry denim also varies in weight, typically measured in by
the weight of a yard of denim in ounces. 12 Oz. or less is considered light
denim, 12 Oz. to 16 Oz. is considered mid-weight, and over 16 Oz. is considered
heavy weight. Heavier denim is much more rigid and resistant to wear, but can
also take more wears to break in and feel comfortable.
Patterns of fading denim
fades - Patterns of fading in jeans, caused by prolonged periods of wearing them
without washing, have become the main allure of dry denim. Such patterns are a
way of "personalizing" the garment. Combs or honeycombs are faded lines
that are found behind the knees.
– Faded streaks that surround the crotch area of the jeans.
– These are created by having the inseam of the jeans hemmed a few inches longer
than the actual leg length. The extra fabric then stacks on top of the shoe,
causing a faded area to form around the ankle, extending up to the calf area.
– These appear on the outseams of the denim. This pattern showcases the selvage
by forming two parallel lines of fades which resemble train tracks. If you
are not sure what an outseam is, you can visit our
clothing measurements section.
What is the selvedge?
Selvedge denim refers to a unique type of selvedge that
is made by means of using one continuous cross-yarn (the weft), which is passed
back and forth through the vertical warp beams. This is traditionally finished
at both edges with a contrasting warp (most commonly red); that is why this type
of denim is sometimes referred to as "red selvedge." This method of weaving the
selvage is possible only when using a shuttle loom.
Denim jeans showing the selvedge of the fabric joined to
make a seam. Selvedge, or selvage (both spellings are correct), is the
edge of a fabric as it comes from the loom. Selvedges are woven or knit so that
they will not fray, ravel, or curl.
Shuttle looms weave a narrower 30-inch fabric, which is
on average half the width of modern shuttleless Sulzer looms. Consequently, a
longer piece of fabric is required to make a pair of jeans from selvedge denim
(approximately three yards).
fabric yield, most jeans are made from wide
denim and have a straight outseam that utilizes the full width of the fabric,
including the edges. Selvedge denim has come to be associated with premium
quality jeans, which show the finished edges from the loom rather than the
overlocked edges that are shown on other jeans.
What is with those copper rivets?
Copper rivets are used to reinforce the strength of
pockets and have become are a common characteristic of blue jeans.
Jean Cleaning Trivia:
For those who prefer to refrain from washing their jeans
there have been suggestions to freeze them in order to kill the germs that cause
odor. However, this advice has been disputed as ineffective. Also, even if
it did kill germs, freezing wouldn’t remove dirt, dust, or stains.
Wow, that sure was a great deal of information about
jeans. Who would have thought their would be so much information about
Are jeans losing market share to
and other activewear pants?
Jeans Blog Posts
Posts About Jean Shorts
jean jackets, denim skirts and
jean shorts if you have time for a little
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