Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Jacob Davis                      Levi Strauss
Jeans (in dutch spijkerbroek) are pants made from denim or dungaree cloth. Often the term "jeans" refers to a particular style of pants, called "blue jeans" and invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. Starting in the 1950s, jeans, originally designed for cowboys, became popular among teenagers, especially members of the greaser subculture. Historic brands include Levi's, Lee, and Wrangler. Jeans come in various fits, including skinny, tapered, slim, straight, boot cut, Narrow bottom, Low waist, anti-fit and flare.

Jeans are now a very popular article of casual dress around the world. They come in many styles and colors; however, blue jeans are particularly identified with American culture, especially the American Old West.
The story of jeans begins in the city of Genoa, in Italy, famous for its cotton corduroy. Jean fabric from Genoa (at that time) was in fact very similar to corduroy; Genoese sailors started to use it to cover and protect their goods on the docks from the weather.

During the Republic of Genoa, the jeans were exported by sailors of Genoa throughout Europe. Gênes, the French word for Genoa, may therefore be the origin of the word "jeans". In the French city of Nimes, weavers tried to reproduce the fabric exactly, but without success. However, with experimentation, and through trial and error, they developed another twill fabric that became known as denim, literally "de Nimes". Only at the end of the nineteenth century did jeans arrive in the United States.

Riveted jeans
A young man named Levi Strauss emigrated in 1851 from Germany to New York to be with his older brother, who ran a dry goods store. In 1853 he moved to San Francisco to establish his own dry goods business.

In 1872, Jacob Davis, a tailor who frequently purchased bolts of cloth from the Levi Strauss & Co. wholesale house, wrote to Levi asking to partner with him to patent and sell clothing reinforced with rivets. Davis' idea was to use copper rivets to reinforce the points of stress, such as on the pocket corners and at the bottom of the button fly. After Levi accepted Davis's offer, the two men received U.S. Patent 139,121, for an "Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings," on May 20, 1873.

An oft-told "attractive myth" is that Levi initially sold brown canvas pants to miners, eventually dyed them blue, turned to using denim, and after Davis wrote to him, Levi added rivets to his blue jeans. However, this story is false and probably due to the discovery of jeans made of brown cotton duck (a type of bottomweight fabric), which was one of the early materials used by Davis and Levi Strauss after 1873. Finding denim a more suitable material for work-pants, they began using it to manufacture their riveted pants. The denim used was produced by an American textile manufacturer, but popular legend states the denim was obtained from Nimes, France.

Traditionally, jeans are dyed to a blue color using an indigo dye. Approximately 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for this purpose, though only a few grams of the dye are required for each pair. Some other colors that can be achieved are pink, yellow, black, and white.

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