History of DENIM
No other article of clothing has been such a source of inspiration and fascination as jeans. Originally being just simple blue work pants they survived every fashion trend and today have a cultlike status. The word ‘jeans’ comes from the French phrase ‘bleu de Genes’ meaning ‘the blue of Genoa’. The denim fabric originated in the French town of Nimes and owes its name to the location, which was quickly known as ‘denim’ abroad.
In the 1500’s Genoese Navy sailors first wore denim, but it wasn’t until the 1870’s in the gold rush boom that denim took off. This was when Levi Strauss created a strong style of workers pants with rivets that was quickly adopted by Californian coal miners.
After World War II jeans became one of the most sought-after U.S products in Europe and elsewhere. Demand increased in the 1950’s when movie idols like Marlon Brando and James Dean appeared in denim.
Jeans became part of the Pop Culture and symbolic of protest against conformity. More and more they were established as fashion trend and the 1980’s brought denim and designer jeans to the catwalks. Ever since there are no boundaries if it comes to treatments. Customers demand that jeans be destroyed, bleached, dyed or washed and decorated with sequins, rhinestones or rivets. Denim truly has become a cult object.
Jeans were, and continue to be the epitome of high fashion.
- Japanese Denim, Raw Denim, Selvedge Denim
Denim from Japan has a reputation among denim enthusiasts as being the best in the world.
Japanese denim is known for its premium construction and the skilled, artisanal craft required to make it:
Being woven on an old loom to produce selvedge fabric and for using natural dyes that are more expensive than synthetic ones.
The cost of producing selvedge fabric is more expensive since it can only be woven at a width of 31”, about half the width of a non -selvedge denim.
The weave is tighter than regular denim.
Selvedge refers to the end of a roll of fabric which prevents the unraveling of the material. Selvedge Denim is usually woven together with a red stripe, sometimes green, yellow, brown and white are also being used. Selvedge denim edges are crisp and nicely finished, diminishing the possibility to unravel like the edges of a non-selvedge denim.
The term RAW DENIM and SELVEDGE DENIM are often confused to be the same, but there is a big difference:
Raw Denim refers to the wash, while Selvedge Denim is the edge. Raw or’dry’ denim is unwashed, untreated, and skips the washing process entirely. It has a hard texture. Each pair of raw denim jeans is left with the dye clinging to the cotton. Mostly they are made from 100% cotton and come in different weights. Raw denim enthusiasts don’t wash their jeans for months even years, since the first wash will cause the garment to fade and lose its unique shape,‘their wearers ‘own’ life….
Light raw denim: 12 Oz. and less ( Rogue Territory, nudies, Cheap Monday)
Mid range weight: 12oz-16oz (Skull Jeans, Tellason, Eternal)
Heavy: 16Oz and up (Samurai Jeans, Oni Denim, Iron Heart)
Here are some companies well known for selling Raw Denim :
- Laser Print Denim
The use of laser technology is leading to a fresh wave of digital and graphic designs. Denim experts can expect to see a strong progression of dramatic, high-contrast
Colours as well as digitally engineered photo finishes. Regarding the construction of denim, reports are showing a focus on weave innovation like 3-D technology to create a hybrid of denim that is texturized and visually woven. The denim industry has been taking a sharp turn into a digital dimension.
Indigo print and pattern continues to trend with denim jacquards emerging across many vendors. Focus moved to surface texture to update indigo looks with flocking, dimensional weaves and tactile surfaces driving innovation. Laser technology is now being widely used to update classic indigo prints with lasered designs a key denim look at the show.