Denim is one of those fabrics that can be found in every corner of the world. It’s a statement, a lifestyle, it’s versatility, it’s comfortable, it’s craftsmanship and it’s warm. Denim’s popularity has soared in the last several decades, and is worn by people from all walks of life.
Denim Fabric is made from cotton with a twill weave, and one of its primary uses is to make jeans. Imported from France in the late 18th Century, denim originally was known as “serge de Nimes”, after the French town of Nimes in which it was first produced. Denim fashioned into pants or trousers is referred to as jeans. The term “jeans” was derived from “blue de Genes” or “blue of Genoa”.
In 1848, gold was found in California, and the famous Gold Rush began. The gold miners wanted clothes that were strong and did not tear easily. A man called Leob Strauss left his home in New York and moved to San Francisco, where he started a wholesale business, supplying clothes. Strauss later changed his name from Leob to Levi.
In the 1960’s many, many university and college students wore jeans. Different styles of jeans were made, to match the 60’s fashion, embroidered jeans, painted jeans and psychedelic jeans.
The use of denim blue jeans by cowboys depicted in film and early television shows led to a rise in popularity of blue jeans with young boys in the first half of the 20th century. Denim became a symbol for rebellion in the 1950s, which led to its popularity with teenagers who wanted to imitate the rebellious look of such Hollywood stars as James Dean.
In the 1980’s jeans finally became high fashion clothing, when famous designers started making their own styles of jeans, with their own labels on them. Sales of jeans went up.
Today denim jeans are a staple in wardrobes across the world. Denim, which once was banned from school classrooms, is accepted almost everywhere today.
Denim has made a comeback in recent years and in every possible form. Studded denim jackets, jeans, long skirts, pleated minis and even shirts were heavily featured on the runways of Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Mui Mui and Prada to name but a few.