Denim Fabric Information
Denim is one of those ubiquitous fabrics that can be found in every corner of the world. Rugged, warm and durable, denim's popularity has soared in the last several decades, and is worn by people of all walks of life. Denim fabric is made from cotton with a twill weave, in which the weft threads passes beneath two warp threads, resulting in diagonal ribs on the back side of the material. Imported from France in the late 18th Century, denim, originally known as “serge de Nimes”, after the French town of Nimes in which it was first produced, has evolved into a very “American” fabric. Denim was the fabric of choice during the California Gold Rush, as Levi Strauss produced a tremendously durable and versatile pant for the miners. Denim fashioned into pants or trousers is referred to as jeans. The term “jeans” was derived from “blue de Genes”, or “blue of Genoa”, as the pants were sold in the port town as well as worn by the Genoese Navy, who required an all-purpose trouser for active duty. Jeans were relegated to the working world of factories, dude ranches and loading docks up to the 1950's, when teenagers began wearing the pants in protest of the slacks and dressier clothing of the previous generation. Jeans are now a fashion juggernaut, available in a wide array of cuts and finishes, with some extremely expensive brands featuring ornate decorative stitching and attached faux jewels. Denim fabric is available in a host of weights and finishes, including some that incorporate Spandex for added stretch and comfort. Although blue is still the predominant color for denim clothing, stone washed gray and black have become popular alternatives. Denim's durability allows it to be machine washed many times over, although hanging to dry is recommended lest the material shrink.