The Story of Denim Jeans
Denim : Its the name of a type of fabric and not the style of clothing, the name comes from Nimes (de' Nimes), France; arguably the birth place of the fabric.
However, the first ever denim fabric in the recorded history was seen in Bombay, India, in early 17th century.
Denim is a fabric where one set of yarns are dyed (Generally Indigo Blue in wooden vats) and the other set of yarns are white. It will be not be denim if the above condition is not met.
Jeans : What we refer to as Denim is actually Jeans, a style of pant in clothing. The name comes from Genoa, Italy. Earlier Jeans were made mostly of Canvas (a thick plain weave fabric made of cotton).
Genoa is a coastal town and Jeans started from there, majorly worn by the sailors. Jeans were primarily workwear because of their ruggedness and were needed to be washed once a week.
The classic riveted denim jeans :
Everyone knows about the Levi's 501, this was the first riveted denim jeans ever produced.
Levi Strauss was a German Jew who migrated to San Francisco and established a business of selling fabrics. Majority being denims which the people used to get pants made for work wear. They got the pants made from Jacob Davis, a man fromLatvia.
Story of the style of pockets :
One must have notices that the pockets are usually slant in most of the pants but in denim jeans the style is different. Here is the story - the miners who used the pants (denim jeans) started complaining that pockets cant hold things because they were slant and got half open when the wearer bends, so Jacob made them scoop (99% of the demim jeans made today have this kind of pockets.
Story behind the rivets and snap buttons :
Due to the heavy duty use of these pants the normal buttons tend to break sooner, also the pockets edges tend to tear as they were not able to hold the extreme wear n tear, Jacob wanted to use metal snap buttons at front and metal rivets at pockets to overcome these problems. Since he didn't have much money, he sold this idea to Levi Strauss and Strauss got this patented under his name and thus was born the first Levis's jeans - 501. This was in the year 1873.
Ever wondered, why 501 is buttoned fly and not zipped?
Because zippers were not prominent until early 20th century.