30 Surprising Facts About Denim Fabric and Jeans

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It is almost impossible to ignore jeans – whether you are a classy lady, a comfy-chic or romantic-type, we all know and love jeans. Stylish, comfortable and trustworthy, jeans are the most loveable clothing items in our closet.

From time to time though it's fun to recap some of the most interesting things about our loved fashion statements. Therefore, we have compiled a list of 30 fun facts you might not have known before about your favorite denim fabric clothing.

  1. Why are jeans blue? – The most original denim fabric is blue as we all know. But why is it so? Well, the first denim was colored indigo as they found that color to be the best for hiding dirt and the indigo plant was easily reachable. Now, of course, blue jeans are loved simply since they look awesome and the color is synthetic.
  2. The inventor of denim – The original denims can be traced back to Levi Strauss who first patented denims together with Jacob Davis.
  3. Orange thread – If you are looking for an original pair of Levi's, keep in mind they have an orange thread in each pair. The orange thread in jeans is even trademarked.
  4. The name – The origin of the name comes from French though it is still disputed where is the exact origin. However, what is certain is that the word “denim” was first used in 1789 in a Rhode Island newspaper.
  5. The birthday of jeans – On May 20, 1873, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss obtained a patent for blue jeans. That's considered to be the birthday of the jeans we know and love.
  6. World War II – Denim became popular thanks to the American soldiers in World War II who wore denim jeans when they were off-duty.
  7. Skinny jeans are not jeans? – Skinny jeans that are popular among most girls contain elastic fabric which causes the fabric to stretch. Real denim doesn't really stretch much.
  8. Worker clothing – Jeans have not always been a trademark of fashion and everyday casual looks. In fact, denim was worn by hard laborers who worked in mines, railroads and on other heavy-duty tasks. Denim is one of the most durable materials which was the reason behind them being worn by people working on such niches.
  9. Waist overalls – For us, pants made of denim fabric are known as jeans. Back then though they were called ‘waist overalls'.
  10. Older than your grandma – Jeans originate from way back but at the moment, the oldest pair of jeans has been found from a California mine on 1998. That pair of Levi's 501 was as old as 115 years! Talk about being in-style through the decades… That pair was later sold on an auction to a Japanese collector for $60 000!
  11. Lucky number 7 – Research has shown that on average every American has 7 pairs of jeans in their closet. What about you?
  12. Bush hates denim – Not all presidents love denim as much as Barack Obama who has strut his denim style quite well. In fact, in 2001, George W. Bush banned blue jeans from the Oval Office!
  13. Banned in schools – Bush has not been the only one resisting the appeal of denim as in the 50s, many schools banned jeans as they thought denim to be a sign of rebellion against authority.
  14. Jean vs denim – Though in this list we are covering facts that concern both the denim fabric and jeans, they are not entirely the same. Jean was used mainly for finer clothing while denim stayed as a rugged material for worker clothing only.
  15. Oh, cotton – It takes about 2 pounds of cotton to make 1 pair of jeans. Talk about natural!
  16. Zzzzippers – Most jean zippers have imprinted letters ‘YKK' which stands for a Japanese company that produces the majority of jean zippers!
  17. Different zipper location – Back when jeans were still worn mostly by hard workers, men jeans had zippers on the front and jeans for women had their zippers on the side.
  18. 2.4 billion – That's the number of yards produced every single year for denim.
  19. 450 million – That's the number of jeans sold every year worldwide!
  20. Cheapest pants? – Nowadays, a pair of jeans cost averagely at around $45. However, surprisingly the most expensive pair of jeans ever made costs a whopping $250 000! Those jeans are the Dussault's Apparel Trashed Denim Jeans.
  21. Honey, I shrank my jeans! – Denim tends to shrink a bit when washed. However, to prevent this from happening, some companies pre-shrink their jeans during production – for example, Levi 501's are pre-shrunk.
  22. Rocks and denim – Always thought where do jeans get that rugged distressed look? Though nowadays enzymes are mostly used, it's not highly unlikely to see jeans beaten with rocks to get that rugged look!
  23. Limbo – Washed denim became a new fashion trend after a boutique called “Limbo” in East Village washed new jeans to get the worn effect.
  24. Mom jeans – We all know and love/hate mom- and dad-jeans. Did you know their zipper is 9 inches long?
  25. Elvis Presley Jeans – The king of rock and roll actually had a pair of jeans named after him. Levi's created a pair of jeans on 1957 called Elvis Presley Jeans and they were worn by the king in Jailhouse Rock.
  26. Canadian tuxedo – Denim has brought a lot of disputes over the time. On 1951, Bing Crosby wasn't allowed to enter a hotel in Canada because he was wearing jeans. That's why Levi's created a formal-looking pair called the “Canadian Tuxedo”.
  27. Made In China – More than 50% of the jeans on sale today are made in Asia. Did you think jeans are all Western?
  28. Not popular anymore? – Between 2013 and 2014, the sales of jeans dropped 5% since leggings became so popular and took the world by storm.
  29. Jeggings – To fight with the legging-overpower, jeggings a.k.a jeans+leggings where invented. The word jeggings is even in the Oxford English dictionary!
  30. Indigo – Every year, approximately 20 thousand tons of indigo is produced solely for the purpose of dying jeans.

Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comment section which facts were new to you and which you already knew!

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