If there’s single a universal piece of clothing that has been consistently popular and fashionable from the age of cowboys and further back, that’s Jeans.
But it turns out the idea of Blue Jeans as something that originated in the old West is actually a popular misconception. Did you know that jean-like trousers have been dated back as far as 16th century India?
Although the term jeans is somewhat more recent , jeans in fact represent a rather timeless fashion trend… which probably comes as no surprise to you.
The history of Jeans: Origins
What you might not know is how the word “Jeans” was derived from the name of place where these special pants were originally sold: the harbour town of Genoa, in Italy. According to popular legends, people referred to those sturdy work clothes as the “bleu de Gênes”, and thus the term Blue Jeans became popular. Similarly, the name of the raw material which was use in the manufacture of such pants was named after the French town of Nîmes, thus the word Denim (as abreviated from “de Nîmes”).
Some interesting facts about Blue Jeans:
1) The common idea that Jeans were invented by cowboys is more of a romanticism than a matter of fact. Although they did favor these kinds of pants because it was durable, it was not invented at the time.
2) The oldest Jean-like pants made of denim date back to the 16th Century in India; these pants were word by sailors in the city of Dhunga, thereby the reason why these trousers were referred to as Dungarees, back then.
3) The word “Denim” is a reference to the french town of “Nîmes”, where the textile was developed; this rugged cotton fabric “de Nîmes” was long know for its sturdiness.
4) The reason why this notable studiness is achieved is because weft undergoes double, triple or multiple warp threads, during the weaving process.
5) It was in the 19th century that Jeans became wildly popular in the USA, thanks to one Mr. Levi Strauss who started selling them as sturdy work clothes for miners. He also held the patent for riveted jeans.
6) Levi Straus received the U.S.Patent No.139,121 for his improved jeans design on May 20, 1873; for this reason, the 20th of May is regarded to this day as the birthday of the Blue Jeans… although it would more accurately be described as the birthday of Levi’s Jeans.
7) From a single bale of cotton, weighing 500 pounds, over 200 pairs of jeans can be made… meaning that it takes over 2 pounds of cotton to make a single pair of Jeans.
8 ) It was in the middle of the XX century that Jeans (then known as “overalls”) were popularized and became widespread through Europe, because American Soldiers wore then when off-duty.
9) Jeans became widely popular in the USA at the same time, much thanks to the Holywood legend Jamed Down, who wore Jeans in the movie Rebel without a cause; at this time, they became a symbol of youth rebellion.
10) Blue Jeans were regarded as a disruptive fashion statement in the 1950′s, and people were actually banned from schools, cinemas and restaurants for wearing them.
11) Through the 1960′s, Blue Jeans keep growing in popularity, and became even more widespread as a symbol of change.
12) At the dawn of the XXI century, each American is estimated to own 7 pairs of blue jeans.
13) Currently, Jeans are unquestionably the most popular and widespread piece of casual wear, and they are sold by the tens of millions each year.
How’s that for a fashionable progression?