Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Evolution of Jeans & Levi Struss Denim

Evolution of Jeans & Levi Struss Denim

Today "jeans" refers to a particular style of pants, called "blue jeans," which were invented by Jacob Davis in 1871 and patented by Davis and Levi Strauss on May 20, 1873. Originally designed for cowboys and miners, jeans became popular in the 1950s among teenagers, especially members of the greaser subculture.
(Terminology Jean- Research on jean fabric shows that it emerged in the cities of Genoa, Italy, and Nimes, France. GĂȘnes, the French word for Genoa, may be the origin of the word "jeans". In Nimes, weavers tried to reproduce jean but instead developed a similar twill fabric that became known as denim, from de Nimes, meaning "from Nimes". Genoa’s jean was a fustian textile of “medium quality and of reasonable cost”, very similar to cotton corduroy for which Genoa was famous, and was "used for work clothes in general". Nimes’s “denim” was coarser, considered higher quality and was used "for over garments such as smocks or overalls")
But if you will go to the history , jeans were simply sturdy trousers worn by factory workers, horse riders class, cow boy etc. similar to this Denim fabric  they had sturdy cotton fabric used for everything from working clothes to fashion items. One more thing was also very famous and that is 'Dungaree', it was referred to as cheap, coarse thick cotton cloth, often colored blue but sometimes white, worn by impoverished people in what was then a region of Bombay, India a dockside village called Dongri. Dungri was exported to England and used for manufacturing of cheap, robust working clothes. English began to call "dungri" cloth a little different and it became "dungaree"
The term "JEAN" appears first in 1795, called "bleu de Genes" which later known worldwide as "blue jeans".(that time it was dyed in indigo, exported from India, later replaced by the German synthetic technology)
Initially. men's jeans had the zipper down the front, whereas women's jeans had the zipper down the left side. Jean became popular in the United States when Levi Strauss & Co.'s introduced “blue jean overalls” in 1873, In reality 'waist overalls' were introduced to the world by US soldiers, who sometimes wore them off duty. 

By the 1960s, both men's and women's jeans had the zipper down the front. Historic photographs indicate that jeans generally fit quite loosely, Until 1960, Levi Strauss called its flagship product "waist overalls" rather than "jeans". And this name continued till 1960.

Levi Strauss Co
Leather patch logo showing patent
 Jacob Davis was a tailor who often bought bolts of cloth from the Levi Strauss a young man running his company Levi Strauss Co. (wholesale house of dry goods in San Francisco). In 1872, Davis and Strauss form a partnership to patent and sell clothing, reinforced with rivets. The garment was unique of its type as the way it has been reinforced, may increased durability. The copper rivets were to reinforce the points of stress, such as pocket corners and at the bottom of the button fly. The two men received US patent No. 139,121 for an "Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings" on May 20,1873.
The classic label for Levi 501 jeans.
Davis and Strauss experimented with different fabrics. An early attempt was brown cotton duck, a bottom-weight fabric. Finding denim a more suitable material for work-pants, they began using it to manufacture their riveted pants. When they introduced the jeans it was not called as Jeans or a Denim. It was simply XX , which means(according to that time industry stander) high quality. That time XX was also the name of pants’ actual denim, which come from New Hampshire’s company.

In 1918 Levis introduced first women’s wear garment, and first jeans for women in 1934.
 In 1936 Levis introduced iconic red label, and advertised it strongly.

Fewer jeans were made during World War II but Jeans started gaining popularity when James Dean publicized in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause”, wearing jeans became a symbol of youth rebellion during the 1950s. Because of the that  kind of movie, Jeans were sometimes banned in theaters, restaurants and schools. 
During the 1960s the wearing of jeans became more acceptable, It was the year when Levis re-transformed and took new avtar.
By the 1970s it had become general fashion in the United States for casual wear. Within 8 years span Levis introduced Jeans they had 527 stores in Europe.

Acceptance of jeans continued through the 1980s and 1990s to the point where jeans are, in the first decade of 21st century, a wardrobe staple, with the average North American owning seven pairs.  In the 2010s, jeans may be seen worn by people of all genders and ages. Today across the world Levis has strong presence and customer acceptance.

Book- Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks, by Paul Trynka
Website- www.levistrauss.com


Nancy Garero said...
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