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Denim pants hanging at a display

When cotton pants no longer worked as a durable enough fabric, the French decided to create a different kind of weave: a twill weave that includes one blue thread and one white thread. This came to be known as the infamous denim.

The denim is named after Serge de Nimes, a small town in France, where this fabric is believed to have originated. The actual reason for its origin is speculated. Some believe that it was made for the miners, and that it was made during the California gold rush (1800s), when thousands of men came to America, to find treasure in the rocky sands.


The Gold Rush was a time when men were desperate enough to do anything to earn money. They traded diamonds, gold, rocks, money, everything. It was a time when human greed blinded every other sense in the continent. Levi Strauss, and Jacob Davis, partnered together to supply men with work wear, and made a fortune from the high demand.

One of the first denim brands: Levi's Image source: Photo by Varun Gaba on Unsplash

In the 1930s, the denim assumed a new name. It began to be known as 'Jeans', named after Genoa in France. Hollywood heavily promoted these pants as a fashion statement. People began to prefer them to regular pants because they were riveted in all the places that regular pants easily tore. Jeans did not fray quickly, and even if they did, it did not hinder the functionality of the outfit. The original form that denim became popular was the dungaree, or jumpsuit before it became known as pants.

Post World War II, the jeans became the American Navy's holiday wear. They wore them as some kind of identity while on leave. Companies like Lee and Wrangler, took this as an opportunity to expand business, and jeans became something that had come to stay.

Jeans today, are worn with stickers, rips, cuts, and colors Image source: Photo by Alicia Petresc on Unsplash

The typical pair of jeans are dyed indigo. They are interwoven with a clean white cotton thread in such a way that the outside is blue but the inside is white. The pockets and sides are joined using double stitches, and riveted in certain points. These days, stickers, stripes, and cuts are made on the jeans for a fashionable look. They are called 'distressed jeans' when they appear faded and ripped. This is the rage among youngsters who see it as a form of rebellion to be seen in these pants. Jeans that are not blue are dyed with Sulphur compounds to give different shades and patterns. Some of them are even washed with acid.

Jeans these days come with elastane for those who want a slim fit, or stretchy pants. They come in a range of colors, styles, and forms. The denim is still the most durable and functional fabric ever invented.

Keywords: Jeans, Denim, France, America, Gold Rush, Navy, Workwear


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