Jeans: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Denim jeans

Jeans are trousers made from denim. Mainly designed for work, they became popular among teenagers starting in the 1950s. Historic brands include Levi's, Lee and Wrangler. Jeans come in various types, for example, skinny jeans, boot cut, or flare.

Jeans are now a very popular form of casual dress around the world, and have been so for decades. They come in many styles and colors; however, "blue jeans" are particularly identified with American culture, especially the American Old West. The American population spent more than $14 billion on jeans in 2004.[1]



The word "jeans" comes from the French phrase bleu de Gênes, literally the blue of Genoa. Jeans fabric, or denim, originated independently in two places: the French town of Nîmes, to which 'denim' owes its name; and in India, where trousers made of denim material were worn by the sailors of Dhunga, which came to be known as dungarees.[2]

At the same time, denim trousers were made in but, a town near Turin (Italy), during the Renaissance, and were popularised in the 19th/loser century. These trousers were sold through the harbour of Genoa, which was the capital of the independent Republic of Genoa which was long an important naval and trading power. Early examples of trousers were made for the Genoese Navy, which required all-purpose pants for its sailors. They required pants that could be wet or dry, the legs of which could be worn while swabbing the deck. These were laundered by dragging them in nets behind the ship, and the sea water and sun would gradually bleach them to white. They were worn by Genoan sailors and stevedores in France.



Traditionally, jeans are dyed to a blue color using indigo dye. Approximately 20 million tons of indigo are produced annually for this purpose, though only a few grams of the dye are required for each pair of trousers.[3]

Riveted jeans

A German-Jewish dry goods merchant Levi Strauss was selling blue jeans under the "Levi's" name to the mining communities of California in the 1850s. One of Strauss's customers was Jacob Davis, a tailor who frequently purchased bolts of cloth from the Levi Strauss & Co. wholesale house. After one of Davis's customers kept purchasing cloth to reinforce torn pants, he had an idea to use copper rivets to reinforce the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the top of the button fly. Davis did not have the required money to purchase a patent, so he wrote to Strauss suggesting that they both go into business together. After Strauss accepted Davis's offer, the two men received U.S. Patent 139,121, for an "Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings," on May 20, 1873.

In 1885 jeans could be purchased in the US for $1.50 (approximately $34 in 2007). Today, an equivalent pair of jeans can be purchased for around $50–80, but more stylish pairs can cost much more.[4] Many brands of jeans are currently available for much less.

In popular culture

Copper rivets for reinforcing pockets are a characteristic feature of blue jeans.
The blue denim fabric of jeans

Initially, jeans were simply sturdy trousers worn by workers, especially in the factories during World War II. During this period, men's jeans had the zipper down the front, whereas women's jeans had the zipper down the right side. By the 1960s, both men's and women's jeans had the zipper down the front.

Jeans (known as dungarees by then), along with light-blue stenciled cambric shirts, became part of the official working uniform of the United States Navy in the 20th century prior to being replaced by the coveralls, utilities and, more recently, the blue and gray digital-camouflaged navy working uniform. This was to prevent other more traditional uniforms from becoming soiled or torn in the ship's rugged working environment and thus leaving them for wear during ceremonial occasions. They were first issued in 1901, and were originally straight-legged but by the mid-20th century the trousers became Boot-cut style to permit ventilation in the ship's hotter working environments and also, supposedly, to serve as an improvised life-preserver by removing the jeans and tying the legs together.

The same type of uniform consisting of jeans and chambray tops was (and still is) issued as prison uniforms in some correctional facilities mainly because of the durability and low-maintenance of denim which was deemed suitable for the rugged manual labor carried-out by inmates. A popular example of the use of denim as prison wear can be seen in the film Cool Hand Luke.

After James Dean popularized them in the movie, Rebel Without a Cause, wearing jeans by teenagers and young adults became a symbol of youth rebellion during the 1950s. Because of this, they were sometimes banned in theaters, restaurants and schools.[5]

During the 1960s the wearing of jeans became more acceptable. By the 1970s had become a general fashion in the United States, at least for casual wear.

Notably, in the mid-1970s the denim and textiles industry was revolutionized by the introduction of the stone-washing technique by GWG (Great Western Garment Co.). Entrepreneur, importer, and noted eccentric Donald Freeland of Edmonton, Alberta pioneered the method, which helped to bring denim to a larger and more versatile market. Denim suddenly became an attractive product for all age groups. Acceptance of jeans continued through the 1980s and 1990s to the point where jeans are now a wardrobe staple, with the average North American owning seven pairs[6].

As imported American products, jeans were somewhat expensive, especially in the case of the Soviet Union which restricted hard currency imports. In Spain they are known as vaqueros ("cowboys") or tejanos ("Texans"), in Danish cowboybukser meaning "cowboy pants" and in Chinese niuzaiku (SC: 牛仔裤, TC: 牛仔褲), literally, "cowboy pants" (trousers), indicating their association with the American West, cowboy culture, and outdoors work. Similarly, the Hungarian name for jeans is "farmernadrág", meaning "farmer-trousers".

Jeans can be worn loosely or snugly. Historic photographs indicate that in the decades before they became a staple of fashion, jeans generally fit quite loosely, much like a pair of bib overalls without the bib. Indeed, until 1960, Levi Strauss denominated its flagship product "waist overalls" rather than "jeans".

Blue jean insulation

Recycled jeans is becoming a popular insulation material (sometimes called Cotton Batt insulation) used in the construction of houses. Due to its low relative synthetic chemical composition and because it is made of recycled materials, it is gaining prominence in green building circles. Like conventional insulation, it moderates heat transfer and reduces sound transfer between floors or rooms. Blue Jean insulation has an R-Value per inch of 3.7 making it a comparable insulator to typical fiberglass batts.


Fits of jeans are determined by current styles, gender, and by the manufacturer. Here are some of the fits produced for jeans:

Lately, a new range of snowboard-related jeans have been introduced by Levis. These can be seen during the 2010 Winter Olympic games as worn by team USA.

Quotes about jeans

"I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes."Yves Saint-Laurent
"I'm like every other woman: a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear: So I wear jeans." - Cameron Diaz
"These are the most comfortable pair of jeans I've ever worn. The fact that I can now wear regular jeans snowboarding leaves me excited about future riding" - Shaun White
"As one of the greatest pioneers of the mass production of Jeans, I think I know what I'm talking about when I say that Jeans will live on through humanity forever until the nuclear war destroys us all" - Donald Freeland

See also


  1. ^ Sullivan, James. Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon. London: Gotham Books. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-1592402144. OCLC 62697070. 
  2. ^ "Chemistry of Blue Jeans: Indigo Synthesis and Dyeing". University of Sydney. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  3. ^ Elmar Steingruber “Indigo and Indigo Colorants” Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2004, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi: 10.1002/14356007.a14_149.pub2
  4. ^ Sullivan, James. Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon. London: Gotham Books. p. 3. ISBN 978-1592402144. OCLC 62697070. 
  5. ^ Twenty-Something
  6. ^ Lifestyle Monitor 2007 Denim Issue

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also jeans, and Jean's



Proper noun


  1. plural of Jean


Proper noun


  1. plural of Jean


Etymology 1

From English jeans



Jeans f. (genitive Jeans, plural Jeans)

  1. A pair of jeans, denim trousers

Etymology 2

From French Jean

Proper noun


  1. plural of Jean

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|A pair of jeans.]] Jeans are a type of pants made from heavy, strong cotton material (fabric) called denim. They were invented in the United States by Levi Strauss in 1872. In the late 1800s, jeans were worn by workers. Jeans are one of the most obvious symbols of American cultural influence in the world. They are worn in many countries around the world.

In the 1950s, jeans became a popular fashion for teenagers and young adults. In the 1950s, jeans were part of rockabilly fashion for teenagers. Now, jeans are a very popular type of pants. They are usually worn as casual fashion clothing. Jeans are made in many styles and colors.

The word "jeans" came from the French name of the city in Italy where a strong cotton fabric was made. The Italian city's name, Genoa, was spelled "jene" in Middle English and "Gênes" in the French language.[1]





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