The 43 Top Facts You Never Even Knew About Denim

 

The Top 43 Obscure and Crazy Facts About Denim 

I have a love affair with denim blue jeans. It's rugged, it's long lasting and wears well, it's a cool earthy blue color, it hides dirt, and it can be re-purposed into almost anything. Way back when I was first married, my boys were small, we weren't' on a budget….we were so broke we didn't even have a budget!

Blue Jean DenimWe had an old sofa that needed recovering and #1 I didn't know how to really do it, (which I eventually learned how to do) and #2, I wouldn't have been able to afford the upholstery material for it. Even back then, material was about $20 and $30 a yard. So that idea was out. In the end, I decided to make a slipcover for it. The beauty of it was that old used denim jeans are readily available almost anywhere these day and the time I was able to find plenty to work with in thrift stores. With a fairly large supply I cut and sewed and pieced together a simple and effective slipcover that made the old sofa look nice and was easy to remove and wash. Exactly what was needed for four little boys and ranch life.

Denim fabric has been around forever it seems like, but we take it for granted because it's such a main part of our lives. But where would we be without it? What other fabric would make such great work jeans, jackets or patch rugs? While society today has glamorized denim, it's still a staple clothing item in the traditional work force.

But where did it come from? Who made it? Why did they pick blue? If you have ever had these questions and more, you're about to find out a lot on the background history of denim.

Enjoy these 423Top little known and fascinating facts about Denim Blue Jeans.

 

Unusual Facts About Denim That Most People Don't Know About

  1. WHERE DID DENIM ORIGINATE?
    It's been said that the material we know as denim used in a variety of things (but mostly our beloved blue jeans) was first created in Genoa, Italy and as far back as the mid 1500's. The Italian Navy used to wear it on duty.

  2. WHERE DOES THE MATERIAL COME FROM?
    Now, the material itself actually comes from a French city, not Italian, which is called Nimes.  De Nimes just means 'from Nimes'.

  3. HOW DID THEY COME UP WITH THE NAME 'JEANS'?
    Our word jeans comes from the name “genes' and that is the way the French pronounce Genoa. The word blue we've added because of the blue color.

  4. ARMED FORCES LOVED THEM FOR CASUAL WEAR
    During WWll, our own solders would wear blue jeans when they were not on duty because the soft cotton was so comfortable. The material, being sturdy, and the dark blue color made them long lasting and showed less dirt.

  5. HOW MUCH MATERIAL IS NEEDED TO MAKE A PAIR OF JEANS?
    I can't even even wrap my mind around how long this would be, but approximately 7.5 billion feet of denim is produced EVERY YEAR. To put it into perspective, the earth is around 25,000 miles around. 7.5 billion feet is about 1,420,455 miles. That 7.5 billion of denim can go around the earth quite a few times. That's a LOT of denim! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AMF9A44/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rawhgiftandga-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01AMF9A44&linkId=9e01e7aae84920e993c8a6fd2ce2b192

  6. DENIM HAS BEEN AROUND A LOT LONGER THAN YOU THINK!
    Though the material was first invented or created in the 1500's, it was actually popularized in the 1870's which gives the impression it was a fairly recent discovery (if 150 years can be considered recent) by Levi Strauss who made these clothes for the poorer lower class of people, what we call blue collar today.

  7. WHY WAS BLUE PICKED FOR JEANS INSTEAD OF ANY OTHER COLOR?
    The beautiful blue color comes from an indigo dye. Because of this dark, rich color, it hid dirt easily making it the best choice of color for workmen like miners, sailors, mechanics, etc.

  8. HOW MANY PAIRS OF JEANS DO YOU OWN?
    They say most people own about 7 pairs of jeans. I know I personally have a few more than that in my own closet.

  9. GUESS HOW MANY PAIRS OF JEANS ARE MADE FROM ONE COTTON BALE?
    I'm not sure how large a bale of cotton is, but ti's impressive in that, when turned into fibers and woven into cloth, it can make a whopping grand total of 225 to 325 (depending on style and size) pairs of jeans from that one bale. Now that's value for your money!

  10. SKINNY JEANS ARE STILL JEANS, RIGHT?
    I'm not a fan of skinny jeans that are so popular today mostly because they don't look 'jean-like' to me. But they are still jeans, although they are not 100% denim because they also have an elastic type of fabric woven into the cotton to make them stretch easily.

  11. WERE JEANS ALWAYS JUST JEANS?
    Though the jeans we know today as blue jeans have been around, for some reason they were not called that until the 1950's. Before this period, they were called overalls and waist overalls.

  12. WHAT ARE JEANS COLORED WITH?
    Before artificial dyes were created, the indigo plant was imported from other countries, mainly India. Eventually, the synthetic colors were used in addition to the indigo.

  13. HOW MUCH INDIGO????
    Although synthetic colors are used, about 20,000 tons of indigo is still produced yearly for denim dye-production.

  14. WHAT DID YOU SAY IS PATENTED?
    Love that contrasting stitch coloring on your blue jeans? It was actually done to match the rivets that were used on the first blue jeans. Now, the color of the thread in combination with blue jeans is patented. Yes, seriously. It's patented!

  15. COLORED DENIM ARE STILL JEANS, AREN'T THEY?
    Denim or traditional blue jeans, are still considered the original …but many jeans today are made of other colors. I have several pairs that are black, but some really nice ones in red, green and even patterned.

  16. DENIM IS NOT JUST FOR BLUE COLLAR ANYMORE
    Today, celebrity's, CEO's and many other high profile people wear denim as a fashion statement. Denim can be seen worn at fancy gala's, weddings, and fine restaurants thanks in part to the high profile people who wear them and the designers who create high fashion from the material. Denim was not always considered quality though, and Bing Cros6y, in the early 1950's was actually turned away from a hotel for wearing jeans. Levi Strauss' reaction? To create a specially designed denim jacket just for him. Another example of high profile people changing the way we saw denim.

  17. DID LEVI STRAUSS LIKE HIS OWN FABRIC? WELL…..
    Oddly enough, the creator of the Levi brand we know today, Mr. Strauss, actually viewed denim as for poor people so, being wealthy himself, he didn't view blue jeans as proper attire. How things have changed and how shocked he'd be today, wouldn't he?

  18. CAN YOU GUESS HOW OLD THE OLDEST PAIR OF JEANS ARE THAT HAVE BEEN FOUND?
    This is really cool…..the oldest pair of jeans, 501 blues, they say has even been found was discovered in the late 1990's in an old mine. They were said to be about 115 years old. Now THAT is staying power for a pair of cotton pants. They were later sold to a Japanese  collectior for $60,000 dollars!

  19. IS THERE A LOT OF WORK IN MAKING A PAIR OF JEANS?
    In the making of 501 blue jeans guess how many steps you'd have to go through to make a pair? Ten, Twenty? How about a whopping 37! I won't sew a pair…I'll  just buy a pair, thanks…..

  20. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
    Good Ole' George W. Bush, native Texan himself and blue jean wearer, nevertheless banned Oval Office staff from wearing jeans. Maybe it was a protocol thing?

  21. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT,…..I remember when the ripped, torn, tye -dyed and bleached blue jeans became popular. I used to laugh because Blue JEan Denim and Daisiespeople were paying high dollar for the ripped and torn look, when all they had to do to get it, was to work where we did…on our ranch and farm. Calvin Klein started to produce jeans with that look and some jeans were 'distressed' by beating the materiel with rocks. Many people pay top dollar for jeans like this and we got ours the natural way 🙂

  22. GUESS EVEN ZIPPERS HAVE THEIR MARK.
    Ever notice the YKK stamp on your blue jean zippers? Most blue jeans, or any jeans, will have a stamp on the Zipper somewhere because Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha makes most of the zippers for jeans. Around 90% or more.

  23. AHA! IS THAT WHERE THEY COME FROM!
    It took awhile, but in the mid 1930's, a label was sewn onto denim pants..

  24. THEN WHAT DID THE FIRST LABEL LOOK LIKE?
    The first label ever sewn into a pair of blue jeans was actually a little red flag and it was placed next to the back pocket. Today, denim pants are from many different companies sporting many different kinds of labels or tags.

  25. WHAT JEANS DESIGN WAS AND IS THE MOST POPULAR?
    Boot cut and Baggy jeans were more popular 40 and 50 years ago while skinny jeans have earned the most coveted position of being more popular today…(but those of us working on farms and ranches still prefer our old fashioned book cut look)

  26. MUCH OF OUR JEANS STILL COMES FROM SWEATSHOPS, SAD TO SAY.
    I would like to say in our more 'enlightened'  times this doesn't happen, but yes, even today a large share of the blue jeans we wear today are still cut and sewn in sweat shops in other countries.

  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEVI STRAUSS
    When Levi Strauss decided to patent his idea of using denim to manufacture clothing for the working class, he did so on May 20th, now regarded at birthday of blue jeans.

  28. THAT MANY? SERIOUSLY?
    Guess how many pairs of jeans are sold in the U.S each year. Go on, guess! Over 450 millions pairs. That's a lot of pants!

  29. SiINGING ABOUT DENIM. REALLY?
    Would it come as a surprise that singers have recorded songs about blue jeans>? One of my favorites is Mel McDaniel's “Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On.”

  30. SO NOT GOING TO DO THIS….
    This will sound crazy, but to give your jeans a longer life, you shouldn't wash them after every use. (well, unless you spill something really really yucky on them, that is). Denim is a pretty tough, sturdy fabric, but like any other, it breaks down over time and over-washing will speed up the process. It's recommended to sponge off stains or dirt in between washings. In fact, the Levi Strauss company suggests putting them in your freezer between washing to make them last longer. (although for the life of me I cannot figure out why this would be a good thing) No, thanks…I'll just wash 'em later.

  31. THE MANY USES OF DENIM…
    Denim is used for more than just jeans and overalls, Today, it is used in jackets, purses, and even home decor. Re-purposed jeans are used in rag rugs, patch quilts and more. Denim is here to stay folks.

  32. .HOW JEANS ARE PRICED
    Did you ever wonder why colored jeans sometimes cost more? It's because they use a process called sulfur dyeing. This process is more time consuming, and a bit more detailed which is why, because of the time involved, colored jeans are pricier.

  33. NEVER HEARD OF IT
    What is dry denim? Well, glad you asked. It's just a manufactured from of denim consisting of 100 % cotton, Raw denim is fabric that hasn't been washed after being dyed.

  34. I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.!!!..WEIRD WEAR PATTERNS
    Ever noticed the 'wear' patterns on new blue jeans? They are made this way, Companies create faux wear patterns on denim such as wallet fades which would show wear on the pocket of blue jeans that normally would have a wallet in them. Other popular fades are honey combs which would be made by the wear pattern of wrinkles at the back of your knees, and 'whisker-ing' which is the wear pattern that shows wrinkles at the front of the jeans just below the pockets.

  35. WHAT THAT FOR?
    A few jeans will have a tiny pocket in front just inside the larger pocket. I find this handy for tiny things….but did you know what it was originally created for? Bet you don't! An old time pocket watch! Cool, huh?

  36. THE MISSING CO_INVENTOR
    Jacob Davis was co-inventor of the jeans we know today but only the name Levi Strauss is associated with the company.

  37. ZIPPER CHIC
    Way back when, men had zippers on the front of their jeans and women on the side.

  38. REBELLIOUS JEANS OR JEANS FOR REBELS?
    Once, Denim jeans were considered a sign of rebellion. In fact, schools even banned them at one time. Think James Dean!

  39. FORBIDDEN BANNED BLUE JEANS
    North Korea has banned the wear and use of denim, considering them a form of American Imperialisism which is sad, I don't think there is any other kind of pants or material that wears so well and is so comfortable.  I consider them a form of comfort and necessity.

  40. ONLY THE FBI KNOWS….
    This is the funnest (Is that a word?) or the coolest (better?) fact I've run across yet. Denim jeans, for each wearer, will wear in a pattern unique to them. Much like the wear patterns in shoes, for instance. The FBI uses these unique wear patterns to match them to individuals who wore them. They can, and have gotten,  arrests and convictions based on these one-of-a-kind wear patterns. Awesome, right?

  41. THE STRANGEST PLACE TO BUY BLUE JEANS….EVER.
    Too weird for me and no fun at all, but in Japan, you can get a pair of jeans from a vending machine at the same time that you can grab a coffee and snickers bar.

  42. A MOST RIVETING FACT
    Rivets were used in the corners of pockets to reinforce and stabilize them and to prevent them from tearing off the pants. Complaints were made that the rivets were digging and scratching into the back of saddles, furniture and the like. The rivets were covered with cloth but over time they were eventually abandoned. 

  43. BET YOU CAN'T AFFORD THIS PAIR OF JEANS!
    Last but not least,…drum roll…..! The most expensive pair of jeans made and sold was a pair of Secret Circus jeans at a heart pounding price of 1.3 million. Diamonds were included. Scary thought if you sat on one and a diamond rubbed off. Here I thought $45 a pop was pricey….

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