Jeans is labelled as the most comfortable and coolest outfit of all times. It is highly impossible not to find a pair in anyone’s closet!
Over the years, jeans have grown to become an item of clothing globally worn by people. It is donned by almost every person, men or women, be it labourers, cowboys/cowgirls, students, celebrities, professionals and business people. The comfort, durability and style the fabric offers is unmatchable to any other and hence has become a favourite for many.
Jeans – Origin and Making
Jeans as a garment actually dates back to over 140 years. This fabulous fabric was first invented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss. Jeans is made from dungaree fabric (2/2 twill-weave cotton cloth). Considering its steadiness, it was used as working clothes by people in the manufacturing industry.
Learning about different fabrics in a fashion designing course includes learning about jeans too. Topics such as Fibre to Fabric, Dyeing and Printing, Design Basics etc. is all about an in-depth study of a variety of yarns. Knowing the background and history of fabrics plays a major role when it comes to designing.
Coming to the colour of jeans, the blue colour is derived by dying the warp threads in indigo and keeping the weft threads white (not dyed). The dye used is organically made from the plant Indigofera tinctoria which is responsible for the distinct colour in jeans.
Jeans – Its Progress
India imports indigo to countries such as Greece, Egypt and Rome. Organic indigo was used until the late 19th century after which it was replaced by synthetic indigo.
With the growing popularity of jeans, it very soon became a symbol of style and status. Actors started donning this stylish attire in movies and as casual clothing. Eventually, fashion accessories such as denim bags, hats, shoes and other pieces of clothing like denim skirt were seen doing the rounds in fashion.
The use of jeans cloth in making typical and innovative garments is a creative exercise. In fashion design classes, knowledge of different fabrics helps students make the right choice of fabrics suitable for different types of clothing. Understanding the characteristics and behaviour of each fabric enhances designing skills.
Over the years, jeans also reflected the punk fashion, hip-hop style and many others. The rise of jeans with new variations like ripped, torn and patched only made its acceptance as a fashion wear grow exponentially. Different jean styles like skinny jeans, low-waist, high-rise, bell-bottoms, flared etc. have been in and out of trend throughout its history.
Here are few interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about jeans:
- In North Korea, wearing blue jeans are illegal.
- A pair of Levi’s 501 requires at least 37 separate sewing operations for their making.
- The original name for jeans was “waist overalls”.
- Jeans can be bought through vending machines in Japan.
- India, China and Bangladesh produce more than 50% of denim.
- From one bale of cotton, almost 325 pairs of jeans can be made.
- Earlier, women’s jeans used to have a zipper on the sides and not in the front.
Jeans have always been an integral part of fashion. In fashion design, no matter which western outfit is in trend, jeans are possibly the only quintessential outfit that will stay hip forever.