DENIM STORIES. How jeans are made: from raw cotton to the catwalk

DENIM STORIES. How jeans are made: from raw cotton to the catwalk

A stirring tale of cowboys and working-class heroes in the embryonic society that would become the United States of America, but whose true historical roots lie in the second half of the 16th Century, linked to the centuries-old tradition of cotton weaving.

 

 

A shared iconography featuring teenage rebels in ripped jeans and workers in blue overalls. A plebeian fabric with the temerity to gate-crash the world of high fashion, initially prêt-a-porter, eventually scaling the heights of haute couture. A fabric that, until the late 70s, had seemed light years away from acceptance by a fashion industry bound, at the time, by a terrifyingly rigid set of rules. Jeans have never looked back, ever since the appearance on the scene of the first mass-producers of denim clothing, in the mid-19th Century, led by Levi Strauss in 1853, whose brand held on to the monopoly almost until the turn of the century.

 

 

Most of the new breed of jeans manufactures joined the fray in the final three decades of the 20th Century, enjoying booming markets and weathering the storms of major crises, only a few going under, others managing to evolve and reinvent themselves, altering the very geography of the sector. It seems as if jeans have always had a place in the wardrobes, first of the young and then of every generation, sparking off new trends and new moods, breaking free from their historical roots, nailing their colours to the twin masts of the film and music business.

 

 

This is an odyssey in which, now more than ever, evolutions in style go hand in hand with new technologies, the latest ingredient in the mix being “the green thing”, a perfect fit with the pioneering origins of this fabric, making the denim sector one of the most innovative in the whole of the fashion and textile industries.

 

 

Jeans therefore, represent a synthesis of the countless innovations introduced into every link in the supply chain, from cotton growing and weaving to cutting and finishing. This vibrant sector is peopled by entrepreneurs who, within in their chosen fields, throw themselves body and soul into achieving their common goal for jeans, ensuring that legendary item of clothing stays ever more relevant and alive.

(Article taken from “Bluemasters: Innovation In Denim” | Menabò Publishing | Promoted by ISKO™ and Archroma | 2014)