A History of Denim Jeans

by Christopher Paul on March 1, 2012

From BBC via The Awl:

Just about everyone has worn a pair of jeans. Over the years, they’ve gone through some odd shapes, colors, and treatments. But jeans were somehow destined to be popular from the start and as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola. The BBC goes into the history of jeans and, although relatively short by my regular reading standards these days, I learned something:

“Denim twill is made with two yarns – one dyed indigo, the other undyed. Indigo yarn is most visible on the outside, undyed yarn on the inside… Indigo doesn’t penetrate the cotton yarn like other dyes but sits on the outside of each thread. These molecules chip off over time, causing the fabric to fade and wear in a unique way.”

That’s why they say, with raw denim, no pair will ever end up the same. Over time, they evolve with the wearer and become a symbol or statement about the owner. And don’t worry about not washing them. Not washing them doesn’t make them much less sanitary.

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