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Where Did Raw Denim Jeans Come From?

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Cole O'Neill

on 12 November 2012

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Transcript of Where Did Raw Denim Jeans Come From?

A project by Cole O'Neill Where Did Raw Denim Jeans Come From? Denim was originally created in the late 16th century, in the French town of Nimes. The fabric was first called "Serge de Nimes", which means twill of Nimes. The name was later shortened to denim. Jeans and denim were originally seperate items, until both grew in popularity. Nobody is certain exactly when wearing raw, or untreated and unwashed, jeans became popular. However, most people believe that the time frame is the late 18th century to the mid-1900's.
Currently, raw denim jeans have a small group of fans globally who wear them to create "fades". The fade patterns on raw denim are unique, and add character to the jeans, as opposed to pre-washed/pre-treated jeans. Raw denim jeans are currently popular culture, but originated as folk culture.
There is a certain method to creating fades, which raw denim wearers use globally. This method is to simply wash the jeans when you first get them, wear them for typically 6 months, and then wash them again. The minimal washing creates fades, despite how unhygienic it sounds. Let's start with regular denim. How did denim and jeans become popular? What About Raw Denim? Jeans were first worn by sailors from Genoa, hence the name "Jeans". The material was a harsh cotton wool and/or linen blend. In the late 16th century, jeans had diffused to other Eurpean countries, and were even being produced in Lancashire, England. Eventually, in the 18th century, jeans were being produced with 100% cotton. Up until the mid 1800's, jeans were simply worn by those who needed clothes that could withstand wear and tear. However, in 1847, Loeb Strauss, more commonly known as Levi Strauss, arrived in New York.
Levi eventually decided to move to San Fransisco, where the California Gold Rush was just beginning. Levi ran a wholesale bussiness until a Jacob Davis, a tailor from Nevada, asked for financial help with a patent.
The two made a partnership to bring waist overalls to the West, as well as make the blue jeans we know and wear today. Through expansion diffusion, blue jeans began to spread quickly. In the 1920's, waist overalls were a popular article of clothing for those with rough, hands-on jobs. In the 50's, jeans started becoming popular as the second World War ended and the music industry exploded.
As popular culture began to develop in the U.S., jeans became a sign of youthfulness and rebellion. Jeans were also often a sign of the decadence of the western (popular) culture, thus creating desire for them in countries behind the iron curtain.
In the 90's, designer jeans were introduced, creating even more of a global desire for the pants, as well as further diffusion of jeans. Raw denim jeans are mainly found in MDCs, due to the high cost of quality raw jeans. Raw denim jeans will most likely last because of the time it takes to create fades. Interesting Stuff There are whole sites dedicated to raw jeans, how they are made, and how/when to wash them. Works Cited Blue Jeans are sometimes attributed for the downfall of communism. Some schools even banned blue jeans back in the day, believing that they were too rebellious. "BlueJeanHistory.com | Designer Jeans : Men's and Women's Entire Line of Womens Jeans, Mens Jeans, Graphic T-Shirts and Fashion Clothing." BlueJeanHistory.com | Designer Jeans : Men's and Women's Entire Line of Womens Jeans, Mens Jeans, Graphic T-Shirts and Fashion Clothing. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://bluejeanhistory.com/>.

Nick. "The Essential Raw Denim Breakdown - Our 100th Article!" Rawr Denim.com. N.p., 12 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. <http://www.rawrdenim.com/2011/09/the-essential-raw-denim-breakdown-our-100
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