Have we ever stopped to think where did the material we all know and love originated from? Denim and jeans are a normal part of any wardrobe despite the age, gender, or social status. It’s certainly very important in human society. Let’s see the origin story of this beloved wardrobe item.
First, let’s clear out a major confusion. Jeans are basically pants, or trousers made from denim or dungaree cloth. That’s the basic difference: denim is the material, whereas jeans is what originates from it. They were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and a worn still but in a different context.
Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured. Levi Strauss came from Germany to New York in 1851 to join his older brother who had a dry goods store, when in 1853 he found out about Gold Rush in the West and moved to San Francisco to establish the Western Branch of the family dry goods business. There Strauss sold, among other things, cotton cloth. And Jacob W. Davis was a customer of his, a tailor by profession in Reno, Nevada. Davis made functional objects and items like tents, horse blankets, wagon covers and the lot.
So one day his customer ordered a pair of sturdy pants, ones that could withstand hard work. He made these pants from the denim he had bought from Strauss & Co and made the denim stronger by placing rivets at the placed pants rip the most: the pockets and flies. When he wanted to patent his creation, he contacted Levi Strauss and they became business partners once they opened a bigger factory. And that is how jeans came to be.
And while this is a brief insight into the history of its making, the culture of the jeans is marked to the last 140 years or probably more than we think because the plant to construct denim has been present on Earth for use. Jeans used to be first working clothes, they were the symbols of disobedience only to now become fashion items.
And while they are regarded as something absolutely casual and plain, did you know that the most expensive pair of blue jeans is sold for $250,000?
There’s a lot that’s still yet to be discovered and learned, and while it is interesting to learn about history and the making of things, what’s even more interesting is the slow realization that mother Earth has so much to offer since so long only for man to discover it, it truly is a blessing.