Arcuate Stitching Design on Levi's
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Arcuate means shaped like a bow; curved.  Arcuate pocket a type of pocket used in clothing, especially jeans made by Levi Strauss.

Levi's pocket stitching has a long & rich history.

Levi's Jean Pocket Stitching

The iconic stitching on the back pockets of Levi’s® jeans is called the Arcuate Design because of its arc formation. One of the most globally recognizable design details on a pair of Levi’s® jeans, the Arcuate Design was used on Levi's earliest waist overalls.  The pants had been called waist overalls prior to becoming their blue jeans that were patented in 1873.

In 1873, Levi Strauss & Jacob Davis are granted a patent on the process of riveting pants by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 20. It is patent number 139,121 and this is the invention of the blue jean. The pants - called “waist overalls” - have one back pocket with the Arcuate stitching design, a watch pocket, a cinch, suspender buttons and a rivet in the crotch. Unfortunately, history has lost the actual reason for the origin of the Arcuate stitching design. Stories about it representing the wingspread of a bird are myths; the loss of company records in 1906, due to San Francisco earthquake and fires, makes it impossible to know why the stitching was first used.

World War II forces changes to the Arcuate stitch design.  Changes are made to the overalls in order to conform to rules War II set by the War Production Board for the conservation of raw materials. The crotch rivet, watch pocket rivets and back cinch are removed to save fabric and metal. The Arcuate stitching design is removed as the thread is decorative only and not vital to the usefulness of the garment. In order to keep the design on the pants, LS&CO. sewing machine operators paint it on each pair.

World War II Levi's Marketing Tag
Above Image Courtesy of Levi's.  This marketing item was used to help explain the Ware Production Board General Limitation Order No. L181 and its effect on the jeans.

In 1943, the Arcuate stitching design is registered as a trademark.

Circa 1947

The post-war version of the 501® jeans starts coming off the production
line. The cinch is gone forever, the rivets are put back on the watch
pocket and the Arcuate is now stitched with a double-needle machine
which gives it the “diamond” shape at the point where the two lines
of stitching meet. This creates the uniform look of the Arcuate, which
is in contrast to previous years, when the single needle application
gave each Arcuate design a unique appearance, depending on the skill
of the operator.


The Batwing logo, which mirrors the Arcuate Design stitching on the pockets of Levi’s® jeans, has become synonymous with Levi’s® authenticity and quality.