The History of Jeans and Denim

Jeans are pants made from denim or burlap . They were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and are still worn but in a different context. Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was made. Levi Strauss came to New York from Germany in 1851 to join his older brother who had a dry goods store.

In 1853, he heard of the gold rush in the West and moved to San Francisco to establish the western branch of the family dry goods business. He sells, among other things, cotton fabrics. One of his clients is Jacob W. Davis , a tailor from Reno, Nevada. Davis made functional items such as tents, horse blankets, and wagon covers.

Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss

One day, his client ordered him sturdy pants that could withstand hard work. He made it from denim purchased from Levi Strauss & Co and made it stronger by placing copper rivets in the places where the pants tear the most: the pockets and the fly . When he wanted to patent them, he wrote to Levi Strauss , and they became partners. They opened a bigger factory, and that's how the jeans were born.

The History of Jeans

Jeans have marked the culture of the last 140 years probably more than we realize. They were first work clothes, then symbols of disobedience before becoming fashion items. The history of denim and jeans is long and colorful.

The Inventor of Jeans

Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss teamed up out of necessity and created an item that would influence cultural groups for years to come and even today - they created the jean. Here you will find more information about the inventors of jeans.

Denim skirt

The History of Jeans Manufacturing

Jeans are made from a material called denim . The name "denim" comes from the name of a strong fabric called " Serge de Nîmes ", originally made in Nîmes, France 🇫🇷 , hence "de Nîmes" - "denim". Nîmes weavers tried to reproduce the cotton corduroy that was famous in the city of Genoa, Italy, but without success. Through trial and error, they developed another twill fabric that became denim. It was a cotton twill , in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. The warp threads were dyed indigo while the weft threads remained white, giving the denim a blue color on one side and white on the other. Denim is very durable , which is why it was used by people who needed clothes that lasted a long time. This is also why it was used by Levi Strauss and Jacob W. Davis as a material for denim pants.

Indigo denim trousers

Indigo dye is a color used to color denim. It is an organic dye with a distinctive blue color. It was made and used in India, where it got its name, from ancient times. From India, indigo is imported to Egypt, Greece and Rome. Other ancient civilizations, such as China, Japan, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Britain, Mesoamerica, Peru, Iran, and Africa also used indigo for dyeing. In India, indigo was made from the Indigofera tinctoria plant. It was used on cotton because it was the easiest coloring method . The only problem was that the color didn't last long. Indigo was a rare luxury in Europe during the Middle Ages due to high duties imposed by Persian, Levantine, and Greek intermediaries. With the discovery of a sea route to India, this problem has been solved and indigo plants are moving to the colonies. Organic indigo was used until the discovery of synthetic indigo in the late 19th century. It becomes a cheaper variant and replaces it.

La Salopette in Jean 👖

Today, dungarees are an essential outfit for all fashion enthusiasts who have a taste for clothing and material. Denim overalls are above all a unique piece of clothing, imported from the United States by Levi Strauss, which has easily established itself as a fashion tool. But before that, denim overalls were workwear . Recognized for its virtues in terms of durability and efficiency . Indeed, cotton mesh in denim represents a safe bet when it comes to longevity . Its great resistance to time and its robustness to the test make denim overalls an essential piece of clothing for DIY, for gardening and even for enjoying a drink on the terrace with friends!

Denim Overalls

Do not hesitate to visit our La Salopette® shop, we offer a wide choice of overalls for Men and Women. If you want to know more about the history of overalls, go here: The True History of Overalls .

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