In short: denim is the fabric from which jeans are made. What cannot be explained so briefly is what denim actually is. It is a complex and unique fabric with a rich historical and cultural heritage. What sets denim apart from other fabrics is its adaptability and versatility; there are endless ways to dye, fade, embellish and customize it, with each method creating a unique result.
It is one of the most popular and durable fabrics in the world. Initially, the work clothes for workers were made from it. Traditionally, denim was a fabric made from cotton in a twill weave and dyed with indigo. Today, there are numerous types of jeans on the market. In addition, different surface finishes are used, such as coating and printing. These increase functionality and aesthetics and add value to denim.
The History of Denim
The origin of denim was in 1600, in the south of France. A robust twill weave called "serge de Nîmes" (Nîmes twill) evolved into the English word "denim". However, there are some doubts about the origin of the word. Some believe that it comes from another French fabric called "Nim". Adding to the confusion, both fabrics - serge de Nîmes and Nim - were originally made from wool or a blend of wool and silk, unlike today's denim, which is cotton. We can also find a similar fabric in Genoa, Italy, called "Bleu de Gênes" (blue of Genoa). It was a durable and coarse fabric used by manual workers. In the early 1700s, textile mills in the United States began to make the same twill weave as European denim. However, they were using local cotton as it was easier to get.
Why is denim blue?
In 1800, they were made in two colors: blue and brown. The blue dye with which the fabric was dyed, called Indigo, was imported from India and became popular in the textile trade. The blue color had a peculiarity: it dyed only the transverse threads. After each wash, the pants became softer, gradually taking on the body's shape. The brown dye did not give such an effect: the clothes remained stiff, so buyers liked them less.
There is a legend about the origin of that color: it is said that in the hold of a ship going to the US, along with the denim ordered by Levi Strauss, barrels with blue paint were carried. During a storm, they turned over and soiled some rolls of fabric. Despite the failure, the businessman decided to sell the goods. And it turned out that people liked the fabric of that color even more than usual. Since then, they began to color all the pants. What is certainly not a myth is that workers wore durable blue work clothes provided by their employers, as blue is the cheapest color to produce. This is why the term "blue-collar" refers to someone who does manual labor.
How is denim made?
For Sumissura denim, the fiber is first cleaned of the dirt from being outside. Once clean, we will mix it with more fibers, in this case, with more cotton fiber, but it can also be mixed with polyester, polyamide, viscose, etc. For the thread to form, we will have to twist the fibers and stretch them to obtain the resistance we want from the thread. The thickness and the length are decided by us, depending on the coil we will use. From these reels, a much larger width reel is passed, where all the threads that will form the warp of the Denim will go, one next to the other. Once wound on the beam, the threads will pass through a bench, where they are dyed with indigo. Once the dyeing process is finished, they are rewound on the beam. From there, a treatment is carried out called gluing. A protective layer is given to resist abrasion when forming the fabric. We will form the fabric, and for that, we take the warp beam to the loom, where it will be intertwined, with a twill weave, with the weft thread. Once the fabric is finished, it will be given a finish according to the use we want to give it. Finally, it is packed, on a roll, or flat in a folder.
Learning all this about denim makes us appreciate jeans even more, don't you think? So the next level of valuing yourself and jeans is to have them made to your measurements because nothing looks better than perfect-fitting jeans made for you and you only. Then, check out our jeans collection for women, or design your new favorite jeans in our 3D configurator. It's fun; try it!