Denim is one of the most popular fabrics around the world. Every year, millions of pairs of jeans, skirts, jackets and overalls are sold and worn by men and women from every nation and background.
But do you know the history of denim? It’s really quite fascinating! Let’s take a journey back in time and find out where this popular fabric came from, and how it became popular…
Denim has been around for a while…
Denim the fabric has been manufactured for centuries. Originally it was produced in Italy as a pale fabric. It’s is actually a type of cotton, but it gains its sturdier, more durable feel through a special weaving process. This special process is actually why jeans are white on the inside!
How did denim come to be used in our clothes
In 1873, a woman in Nevada, USA, commissioned a tailor to produce a pair of durable work trousers for her husband to wear while he chopped wood. This tailor, Jacob Davis, used denim fabric as he knew it would last long, wear well and even provide some protection to the legs. Then, when he was about to finish the pants, Davis spotted some copper rivets lying on a table, and realised they were the perfect way to reinforce the pockets.
The woodchopper took the pants and it wasn’t long before his friends wanted a pair too. Soon, Davis had produced and sold over 200 pairs.
At this point, Davis realised he could sell his idea and make some cash. He had been sourcing fabric from a company named Levi Strauss & Co. (yep, that Levi Strauss & Co.!) and so he wrote to them, asking if they’d want to get involved in producing and distributing the pants. They said yes!
How did jeans become more than a work outfit?
In the 1950s, a movie was released named Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. In the movie, Dean plays a rebel… who wears jeans. As often happens when stars wear something new, a trend began, and teen rebels adopted jeans as a symbol of their rebellion. This actually resulted in jeans being banned from some public places, including some schools!
Thankfully, by the 1960s and 70s jeans became more acceptable and were common in fashion.
How did other denim items become popular?
Denim skirts were actually invented in hippie communities, who recycled old jeans by opening the leg seams and resewing them into skirts. They became mainstream in the 1970s, and in the early 1980s denim mini skirts became popular. Long skirts are sometimes worn by women who follow religions that restrict them from wearing jeans.
Denim jackets were originally manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co., so workers could have a complete outfit (#doubledenim). In the 1960s, Marilyn Monroe was one of several celebrities who popularised denim jackets and in the 1970s, John Lennon loved wearing them!
Nowadays, despite its very cool history, denim is so common that it can be hard to look unique while wearing it. But never fear – very soon you can customise your very own denim jacket right here at Exodus Wear! Add an awesome nickname or slogan to the back and you’ll be looking as fresh as the very first guy who wore jeans while he chopped wood in the 1870s.
What will you put on the back of your custom denim jacket?