Every Wednesday I will be making a post called "Clothing Defined," in which I will be giving you some history and origin to explain some of the garments that we wear and why we wear them. Clothing is certainly something that humans take for granted this day in age, and very few actually know where their garments come from or why they were invented in the first place. Through this weekly post I will give some context to the ladder notions.
This week I want to talk about none other than our good ol' blue jeans!
What exactly is denim fabric and how did it get it's name?
Jeans are such a staple in mainstream wardrobe but the actual origin of the fabric itself is kind of up in the air. There are a few theories on how denim fabric was invented and how it got its name, this one is one of the more popular theories and it was taught to me in a design course in college so it's my personal favorite. Denim is a sturdy, woven cotton fabric that was originally referred to as Serge and its origins can be traced to Nimes, France. When the fabric was imported it was labeled "Serge De Nimes," meaning Serge of Nimes. The term was eventually shortened to "De Nimes" and became what we know today as denim.
How did blue jeans come to be invented?
Cut to the 1800s, a Bavarian man by the Name of Levi Strauss immigrates to America to join his brothers in running their dry goods company. Meanwhile a tailor by the name of Jacob Davis begins constructing sturdy work pants for minors. The men needed pants that were extra sturdy to withstand the day-to-day beating that the pants would take during the job. Davis came up with the idea to put rivets in the parts of the pants that were exposed to greater stress. The fabric he had used to make the garments was purchased from the Strauss dry goods company so when Davis wished to patent his riveted pants but could not afford the patent he reached out to Levi. The two partnered, patented the pants and formed Levis Strauss & Co. Thus Blue Jeans were born!
P.s. There is a company producing jeans under the name Jacob Davis and they're amazing, I owned a pair once.