Have you ever wondered to yourself when you were slipping into your favourite pair of denim jeans, where it first came from, and who created it?
The story of blue jeans started in 1853, when a German boy of 24 years was trying to expand his brother’s dry goods store in San Francisco.
This boy’s name was Levi Straus. He was selling rough canvas that was used to make tents and cover vehicles. He started producing trousers soon after.
He first made overalls out of canvas and later switched to a twilled cotton cloth from France called “serge de Nimes”. This cloth is called denim, and the pants ‘blue jeans’.
In 1873, Levi Strauss teamed up with a Latvian tailor called Jacob Davis and licensed his process of pocket stitching for denim jeans.
Their company, Levi Strauss & Company began manufacturing “waste overall” the name given to jeans originally.
At the very beginning jeans were worn by workers because they worked under very harsh factory conditions, especially during the World War II.
During those early days, men’s jeans had the zipper down the front, while the women’s jeans had the zipper down the side.
By around the 1960s the design changed so that both men and women’s jeans had the zippers running down the front.
The design and fit of jeans have also changed rapidly. During the 1960s they were worn more like overalls, very loosely. Today, they designs are endless.
An olden day movie is believed to have made jeans popular for everyone to wear, and soon people were wearing it all over!
The process of manufacturing jeans is much like any other material. The denim is dyed an indigo dye but other colours like pink, purple, white, black and red are also used.
Traditionally the denim was the only “blue jean”. The other colours were actually materials made to look like jeans.
The material is put through a process called “pre washing” and other techniques like sandblasting are used to give the material a worn out old look.
Today there are a great many new designs like skinny jeans, nudie jeans, low-rise jeans, baggy jeans and many more to choose from.
If only Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were alive to see how far their creation has come.