Everything You Need to Know About Denim
Denim’s a wardrobe staple that we love & wear as it’s versatile, comes in all different styles, goes with anything & can be dressed up or down. Having said all that about the benefits of this robust fabric, what do we know about it what denim actually is & its origins?
What is denim made from? I never thought about it, until I did some research. It’s a type of cotton twill, (stay with me, it gets confusing!) in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. Warp threads of denim fabric are dyed in indigo, but, weft threads remain plain white. Which explains why denim is blue on one side, & white on the other. When it’s used to make jeans, the denim is turned blue on the outside & because of the way it’s made it fade the way it does wash after wash. Interesting eh?
The word denim comes from fabric ‘serge de Nimes’ made in France city of Nimes from where it started off.
In the 1800’s blue jeans came about at the time of the Gold Rush in California as American gold miners needed hard wearing clothing that wouldn’t tear easily & lasted long. A tailor called Jacob Davis collaborated with Levi Strauss & the two of them started supplying miners with robust denim that were reinforced in areas that normally tore easily. Years later in the 1930’s when cowboy movies were coming out of Hollywood, jeans became popular as actors wore jeans as part of the movie. When World War II started, jeans were not that popular, until, soldiers were wearing them when on leave. When the war ended, Wrangler & Lee jumped on the bandwagon & started making jeans.
In the 50’s, as a mark of rebellion, young people started wearing jeans & were inspired by the young actors at the time who were Marlon Brando & James Dean. Some public places, like schools & theatres, even banned jeans because of the rebellion taking place amongst young people in those days! Then in the 60’s & 70’s jeans made the transition to fashion as they were being made into different styles & designers had started making it into a trend so they became acceptable.
Know your Denim
There are so many washes & finishes of denim, it can get confusing…
The worn-in vintage look is created in the washing & finishing of them. Tints are added to give the effect of ‘aging.’
A type of bleach called PP Spray is included to finish the process, in addition to hand scraping, whiskering ( thin fading lines formed from creases that are usually found on the front pocket area of jeans) & grinding.