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Fact: Jeans

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Israfil Alam Rana

Deputy Manager –R&D

Sister Denim Composite Limited, Thermax Group

It is almost impossible to ignore jeans. We all know and love jeans. Stylish, Comfortable and Trustworthy, jeans are the most lovable clothing items in our closet. It’s safe to say that the majority of us own a pair of jeans, making denim one of the most popular materials in our wardrobes today. With hundreds of fashion companies selling items made from denim, it’s worth knowing a few interesting facts about it.

  • It is believed that denim was first invented in Genoa, Italy, as far back as the 1500s. It was made for the Italian navy to wear while on duty.
  • It was first seen in the 16th century, but Levi Strauss was the man who popularised the material in the 1870s. He made clothes for miners and other working class people since the material was inexpensive.
  • The oldest pair of jeans to be discovered was found in 1998 down an old mine. According to the date, they were 115 years old.screenshot-20
  • A boutique in the New York East Village called “Limbo” was the first retailer to wash a new pair of jeans to get a used, worn effect. It became new fashion hit.
  • We’re used to seeing blue jeans, but the color is actually created using indigo dye. This was the best color to hide any dirt which got onto the clothing – ideal for miners and sailors now majority indigo is synthetically made.
  • 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of dyeing of jeans.
  • Making of one pair of Levi 501’s requires 37 separate sewing operations.
  • From one bale of cotton 215 to 225 pairs of jeans can be made.
  • 48% of the world’s trade in fabric is in cotton, from which denim is made.
  • Each person in America owns an average of 7 pairs of jeans.
  • Over 50% of denim is produced in Asia, specifically China, India, and Bangladesh.screenshot-21
  • Levi Strauss, the creator of the famous brand Levi’s, never wore a pair of his own jeans. He was a wealthy businessman.
  • Denim jeans weren’t known as ‘jeans’ until the 1950s – before this point, they were referred to more commonly as ‘overalls’.
  • Around 7.5 billion feet of denim fabric is produced every single year.screenshot-22
  • May 20th is regarded as the birthday of blue jeans, since it was the day when Levi Strauss patented his idea.
  • Approximately 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the United States every year.
  • If you’ve ever wondered why the inside of denim garments are white, this is because only the outside (warp) is dyed indigo. The weft (interior) is not dyed.
  • 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.
  • The small pocket in the larger pocket of your jeans was originally designed for a pocket watch.
  • In 1951, popular singer Bing Crosby was refused a hotel room as he was wearing jeans. In response to this, Levi’s designed a denim jacket especially for him.
  • In 2001, George W. Bush decided that staff in the Oval Office were not allowed to wear jeans anymore.
  • Blue jeans became popular for the first time outside of the United States, thanks to American Soldiers in World War II wore jeans when they were off-duty.
  • Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushiki gaishais the company which makes 90% of the world’s zippers for jeans. The initials YKK can often be found on the zippers.

Now you know more about denim than the average person, you’ll have many opportunities to impress when you next see a pair of jeans.