Jeans

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Jeans are trousers made from denim. The American blue jean was invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. Jeans, originally designed for work, 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. Americans spent more than $14 billion on jeans in 2004 and $15 billion in 2005.[1]

Contents

History

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, from which 'denim' (de Nîmes) gets its name.
  • From Dongari Killa in India, from which the word 'dungarees' came from.[2] See Etymology of "dungaree"
  • Denim trousers were made in Chieri, a town near Turin, during the Renaissance and were popularized in the 19th century. These trousers were sold through the harbor of Genoa, which was the capital of the independent Republic of Genoa which was long an important naval and trading power. The Genoese Navy required all-purpose trousers for its sailors that could be worn while swabbing the deck and the denim material met this need. These trousers were laundered by dragging them in nets behind the ship, and the sea water and sun would gradually bleach them to white.

Riveted jeans

Dry goods merchant Levi Strauss was selling blue jeans under the "Levi's" brand to the mining communities of California in the 1850s. One of Strauss' customers was Jacob Davis, a tailor who frequently purchased bolts of cloth from the Levi Strauss & Co. wholesale house. After one of Davis' customers kept buying 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.

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