ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Historical Background of Blue Jeans

Updated on February 5, 2015

The uniqueness of this extremely popular dress item is solely due to the cloth of which it is made of ---- the dark or sky-blue fabric popularly known as denim. Since very old days i.e; around the 17th century, there was a common practice among the English sailors of wearing a coarse cloth as work pants that was believed to have been originated in the French town named Nime. For this reason it was named: Serge de Nime, meaning a strong fabric of Nime. Gradually, the word was reduced to Denim, a single word.

In the middle of the 17th century, there came to the U. S. an emigrant from Bavaria named Levi Strauss with his brother and settled in the city of New York. In 1853, Strauss migrated to the west coast and established his own dry goods industry by the name of Levi Strauss & Co. A majority of Levi's customers were either cowboys or laborers in gold mines who needed some rough cloth for their work pants. Although canvass was mostly being used for this purpose; it had a defect that it soon got hot due to the friction with the body of its wearer and thus troubled him very much. Levi, after thinking considerably over the problem, at last, hit upon its solution. It was the cloth that was mentioned in the proceeding lines--- the denim.

Consequently, dress designers from far and wide came to him buy the fabric from the wholesale store of Levi Strauss & Co. One of Levi's permanent clients was Jacob Davis, a tailor migrating from Latvia who regularly used to buy bolts of cloths from his store in bulk. He made from it tents and cloths for laborers. Among Jacob's customers there was a peculiar person who most often ripped his trousers on his hip pockets. Jacob reached upon a unique idea. He stuck metal rivets to those points on the pockets of his pants that suffered most of the strain.

The device applied by Jacob worked well. His riveted trousers began to sell like hot cakes. Jacob felt worried about his invention that it might be imitated by some other manufacturer. He, therefore, thought of getting his invention patented; nonetheless, he lacked the $ 68 necessary for this task. He decided to ask Levi to share with so that they hold the patent together. Being a very cunning businessman, Levi agreed to his offer and both applied for the patent. On May 20th, 1873, the new waist overalls, as they were called earlier, designed by Jacob Davis, were patented by the support of Levi Strauss. The company had the sole right of manufacturing and selling the overalls for nearly twenty years until 1893. After their exclusive rights over the item abolished, a number of firms awaiting that day, started making the pants innovated by Levi Strauss & Co. It will be amazing for many readers that a pair of Levi's overalls was sold for only 1.25 dollars around 1895.

During 1930s, Hollywood films showing cowboys wearing denim drew the attention of a lot of people to the apparel. In the 1940s, American soldiers spread its popularity abroad when they put them on wherever they went off duty. By the close of the 40s, several garments manufacturers like Wrangler and Lee started competition with Levi in the international market.

During the 1950s, blue jeans became a symbol of teenagers at high schools rebellious against their adults. In the decade following, young baby boomers adopted them as their sole uniform.It was in the 1960s that the item of cloth formerly known by the words waist overalls was termed jeans by this baby boom generation of the decade. The former work pants gradually began to be regarded sexy as well as a fashion wear in 1970s. Several new styles evolved; such as , embroidered jeans, painted jeans etc. In 1980s, with the coming of the Kelvin Klein ad slogan, the photograph of the most reputed model and actress of the decade---Brook shield could be seen in every living room, purring: nothing can come between me and my Kelvins.

The word jeans is probably derived from the name of the historical city-state of Italy, Genoa, where sailors in the 17th century used to wear pants made from a tough cloth that were named at first Genoas in England by the English speakers. Then it was converted to its present form; i. e. jeans in the United States. A natural question arises in mind; that is , why are jeans always available in blue color? The most popular answer to this question is: because blue is the only color that has the capability to hide stains of nearly every kind. There were at first used two kinds of denim: (1) blue and (2) brown cotton duck. The denim falling under the second category was soon discarded while the blue one kept on being used up-till now.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)