In the middle of the 19th century, Franken Levi Strauss, who had immigrated to San Francisco, ran out of the light canvas material he had been using to make hardwearing pants for the gold diggers flooding the area. He decided to import an even more hard-wearing material from France, the „Serge de Nimes“ (French for “woven fabric from Nimes”) and this was the material that would go on to become the famous “Jeans” that we still know today. The name “Jeans”, by the way, comes from the French name “Genes”, which is their version of the port city Genoa that had earlier been the main exporting centre for cotton.
Denim is a robust twill weave cotton in which the dyed (mostly blue) warp threads are woven with undyed, white woof threads in such a way that a material with a fine diagonally striped texture that is darker on one side than the other results.
This denim, which is crosswise elastic, has become a permanent member of the fashion scene and is used to create, among other things, Slim-fit Jeans that, as the name implies, fit very snugly and are very comfortable to boot. Stretch denim must be sewn with a special Jeans needle. Polyester thread is the most common choice.
Denim should be washed before working with it because it will shrink. Darker denim will tend to bleed a lot at first washing – it, and anything made with it, should therefore be washed separately.
- Washing should be done with (organic) detergent that has no brighteners (Color detergent) or bleaching agents.
- Wash by hand or machine at up to 30 °C; wash dark colours separately, do not machine dry, iron with lukewarm iron (110 ° C).