By now, most people have heard that Levi Strauss began making jeans back during the California gold rush because miners needed something durable to last.
There is a bit more to the story in that Levi Strauss opened a western branch of the family dry goods store in San Francisco during the gold rush. Jacob Davis, a tailor, received a request to make a sturdy pair of pants so he purchased denim material from Levi to make the order. He placed the rivets in areas that tended to experience the wear first. Davis decided to patent the pants and got together with Levi and before you know it, Levi Strauss denim jeans were born.
Now for some interesting facts concerning jeans.
1. The orange thread used for stitching on Levi jeans is trademarked because it is a distinguishable feature and it was designed to match the copper rivets in the jeans.
2. The making of the 501's requires 37 different stitching operations.
3. Back in 1997, an the oldest pair of Levi's jeans were found. The company estimated they were about 100 years old at the time.
4. Originally jeans were called "waist overalls" and came in two colors: Indigo blue and a brown cotton duck. Duck in this case refers to a type of material, not a bird. The indigo blue was a dark blue that hid dirt quite well.
5. At one point, jeans for men were quite different than jeans for women. The ones for men had the zipper in the front while the women's pants had zippers in the side. At this point, women's pants normally had zippers in the side.
6. One bale of cotton produces enough material to make between 215 to 225 pairs of jeans. In addition, twenty thousand tons of indigo is produced each year to dye the material used in jeans. Each pair of jeans requires only a few ounces of indigo to obtain the color.
7. During the 1950's, blue jeans were banned from places like schools, and theaters because they were seen as being against conformity. This stemmed from the movies where the ones who refused to follow rules tended to be dressed in jeans. In 1951, Bing Crosby was denied a hotel room because he was wearing jeans so Levi Strauss designed a "Canadian Tuxedo" jacket for Bing which was a proper tuxedo jacket made of denim.
8. American soldiers wore blue jeans while off duty during World War II and the wearing spread to other countries for the first time.
9. No one is sure who invented denim but it is thought it was first created in Genoa Italy back in the 1500's but by the time Levi imported the material, it came from De Nimes, France. It is thought De Nimes became Denim. The term jeans is thought to be from the word "Genes" which is what the French called Genoa.
10. Levi Strauss never wore a pair of his jeans because he saw them as what the poorer people wore and he was wealthy.
11. In 1936, the company began sewing labels in the form of a red flags next to the back pocket.
12. The birthday of jeans is set as May 20 because that is the day Levi Strauss and his partner received their patent.
13. A place called "Limbo" located in New York City's East Village, washed a pair of jeans so they looked used and sold it. With just this one thing, they created a new fashion hit.
14. Back in the 19th century the term jean referred to much higher quality of material used in fine clothing while denim was rougher and used in work clothing.
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.