Jeans are one of the most timeless wardrobe pieces someone can own. The power of the jeans is its fabric called denim. Denim is fantastic and versatile and it can come in any colour, washing and cut. Also, there are light types of denim and really heavy ones. Heavy denim is great for the original purpose of jeans: to create a sturdy and safe type of trousers for people with tough jobs, such as miners.
First appearance of denim in history
Denim was already used in the 17th century by labourers in Italy. The thick, roughly woven cotton is visible in paintings from this age, showing poor labour people wearing it. The actual blue jeans as we know it today was created a little while later, in the United States of America. Funny enough, although the blue jeans is still widely acknowledged as a valuable fashion garment, the creation of it was also aimed at the working class people.
Creation of the blue jeans
A Nevadan tailor named Jacob W. Davis created the first reinforced denim jeans in 1873. This was at the request of a customer who needed durable, strong pants to wear when chopping wood. Davis then decided to add copper rivets to reinforce the vulnerable patches of the denim jeans, mostly in the corners of seams and pockets. Soon the popularity of these reinforced denim jeans spread among people in hard labour segments. Finally there was a piece of clothing that offered them more protection and was much more durable than anything that was available at that time.
Jacob W. Davis soon couldn’t meet the demand in his small tailoring shop, so he wrote a letter to his denim supplier, Levi Strauss & Co, to ask for help producing these jeans. Levi Strauss accepted this business offer and put Davis in charge of the mass-production of the jeans in San Francisco.
Denim jeans in later history
Since then, the iconic blue jeans has never strayed from fashion’s limelight. The garment got another popularity surge among teenagers in the 1950s, who really liked the tough look and good formfitting of the fashion item. In the 1960s the jeans was lovingly embraced by the Hippies and in the 1970s and 80s the jeans were also popular among punkrock and heavy metal subcultures.
Since the 1950s the jeans have been the subject of experimenting. Methods like acid-washing and stone-washing were developed to create certain looks for jeans and to keep re-inventing this versatile piece of apparel.
To this day, the jeans are an unwavering trend in the fashion industry. The adaptiveness of the material, cut and style makes it customizable to any age in fashion and allows it to be one of the most important basics in a wardrobe. A version of the jeans that rose to fame since the early 2000s are the ripped and destroyed jeans. They couldn’t be further removed from the original invention, designed to be durable, even under harsh circumstances. However, modern day fashion took a whole different turn anyway, with the rise of “fast fashion” durability is not a key quality for clothing anymore.