Where would we be without denim? This fabric has become a part of the very fabric of our society and can be worn in so many different ways, making this a truly flexible and adaptive item of clothing. Jeans, skirts, jackets and accessories have all been mainstays of our wardrobes for such a long time now but where did denim start it’s illustrious career as the world’s favourite fabric.
Whilst the origins have been argued over, it is generally thought that denim first appeared in the late 18th century in Italy and France. The story goes that weavers in Nimes, France were trying to replicate a fabric they had seen in Genoa, Italy but ended up with a different cotton twill, which is what we now know as denim. ‘De Nimes’ means from Nimes in French, so it’s clear where the name denim came from!
Working men in Italy adopted the material for their work trousers due it’s cheapness and durability. Dungarees are actually made from a slightly different material called dungaree, which started in the Indian village of Dungri in Bombay. Dungarees were exported to the UK for factory workers to wear. A hundred years on and we see jeans enter the scene in the early American West Gold Rush of the 1850’s. One German immigrant, called Levi Strauss (you know where this is heading right?) travelled to New York on a business venture. On hearing of the Gold Rush, he journeyed across America to set up his business of selling goods and became friends with a local tailor.
The friend, Jacob Davis, bought the fabric from Strauss and made overalls and working trousers out of it, adding copper rivets to weak areas to prevent ripping. Thus was born, the humble pair of jeans. What started as workwear gradually became a part of culture and fashion. During the 1950’s, jeans surged in popularity and the first stone wash jeans appeared during this time. This effect makes the jeans look worn and discoloured. Jeans became a symbol of rebellion and anti-establishment feelings thanks to celebrities like Marlon Brando, James Dean and John Wayne making them cool for the first time on the big screen.
For Mens Designer Jeans, visit http://ejmenswear.com/. Levi are credited with being the first company to make and sell jeans and also introduced the pioneering act of pre-shrinking. This process means that the jeans do not shrink when you wash them.
Denim has been worn by farm labourers, mine workers and even sailors in the Italian Navy. Cowboys wore jeans and the denim look became synonymous with all things Western. Hollywood bad boys made them highly desirable as fashion items and they soon caught on across the globe due to their sheer durability and ease of wear. The material shapes to your individual shape and each pair fades in a unique way and so a pair of jeans can last you many years and becomes almost a clothing equivalent of a best mate!