The denim is very present in our times and practically no one can deny having a piece of clothing made of this tissue in their closet. Jeans, jackets, vests, shirts … currently it’s the most used material for making pieces of clothing, but what do we know about it?
First of all, we must start by understanding the etymology of the word “denim”. In France, between the hills of Nîmes and Ales, during the 17th and 18th centuries, pieces of clothing made of cotton were tailored in the region for farmers. The name of the fabric, as we know it today, comes from its place of origin, since cloth “serge de Nîmes” was renamed “Denim”.
This type of fabric was popular for its strength and endurance. For this reason it was used, initially, to make sails, tents or awnings. Although this all changed in 1853 when Levi Strauss decided to use this resistant material to make tailored uniforms for miners. The natural color of this cloth was brown until the Genoese merchants stained blue. Known then as “the fabric of Genoa” (pronounced [yenóa]) the popular name “jean” was born of naming pants made of this material.
But enough already about historical information! We give to you 10 curiosities and interesting facts about this historic fabric that we all love:
- It’s first name was waist overalls, later renamed as jeans.
- The jeans are also known as denims, denim trousers, blue jeans or Levi’s (since, along with Jacob W. Davis, he was the first who invented the actual design as we know it nowadays).
- Shortly before World War II pants were only worn by men.
- The first women who used this piece were frowned upon by society. Over time, society became accustomed and in the 60’s it was common to see women wearing jeans.
- Jean evolution came along with the explosion of rock and roll, Hollywood filming and the hippie movement. Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando were the drivers of this movement wearing publicly these “low class” pants.
- During the 50’s, in places such as churches, theaters or ballrooms the entry was banned to people wearing jeans.
- We wash the jeans very often even though they should be washed only 1 time per month. It is proved that the fabric is very durable and not easily soiled. A student at the University of Alberta, Canada, made a record of using the same pair of jeans for 450 days without washing!
- The acceptance of denim has grown so much that is now part of any wardrobe. On average, it is estimated that every American has 7 pairs of jeans.
- Jeans usually incorporate a small bag inside the right upper pocket which currently keep currencies. Its original name is “fob” and was formerly used to store the pocket watch.
- The world’s most expensive jean also coincides with the oldest found. It was manufactured in 1879 and bought by its creator, Levi Strauss, for the amount of $ 46,532. Currently it is preserved as a museum piece and is displayed in different cities.
We hope that after this article you’ve become a specialist on this material so we invite you to attend to the Denim Première Vision on May 27th and 28th at the Fira Montjuic in the city of Barcelona for you to demonstrate and put into practice all your new knowledge.
Ah! And finally, we encourage you to continue wearing this cloth, as it’s shown to be the piece that characterizes our young and rebellious generation of the 21st century.