The history of denim: From workwear to fashion staple

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The Denim Revolution: How Workwear Became a Fashion Staple

Denim is one of the most popular and versatile fabrics in the world today, but it hasn’t always been that way. Denim has come a long way since it first appeared on the scene as a sturdy workwear fabric in the 18th century. Now, denim has become a fashion staple, appearing in wardrobe staples from jeans to jackets, and in contemporary styles from avant-garde to classic.

The origin of denim dates back to the 18th century. It was originally used to make sturdy workwear and outdoor apparel, including coveralls and work pants. Denim was seen as a practical, hard-wearing fabric that could withstand the wear and tear of manual labor. This utilitarian fabric was initially used by laborers in the manufacturing industry, and eventually it was adopted by the American cowboy.

In the early 20th century, denim began to gain recognition as a fashion fabric. In 1934, Levi Strauss & Co. released the first pair of jeans for the everyday consumer. This revolutionary garment quickly gained popularity for its durability and style, becoming a must-have item in wardrobes around the world. The invention of blue jeans also had an influence on popular culture, with denim becoming a symbol of youth and rebelliousness.

The 1970s marked a new era for denim fashion. In this decade, we saw the rise of designer jeans and denim jackets. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt started to incorporate denim into high fashion, creating luxurious and stylish garments that could be worn for any occasion. By the end of the decade, denim had become a mainstay of the fashion industry.

Since then, denim has evolved and taken on a life of its own. From distressed and patchwork styles to new shapes and silhouettes, denim has become a fashion staple for all ages and genders. Denim is now considered a style essential, from its utilitarian roots to its modern day iterations.

The Different Types of Denim

Nowadays, there is a huge variety of denim to choose from. Below is a list of the different types of denim available:

  • Raw Denim: Raw denim is a type of denim that has not been prewashed or treated. It’s usually stiffer and heavier than other types of denim, and will mould to the wearer’s body over time.
  • Selvedge Denim: Selvedge denim is a type of raw denim that has been woven on a traditional shuttle loom. It has a distinctive look, with a clean, tight weave and visible “self-edge”. It’s renowned for its durability.
  • Stretch Denim: Stretch denim is a type of denim that has been blended with elastane or spandex for added stretch and comfort. It drapes well, and is great for those who prefer a more comfortable fit.
  • Washed Denim: Washed denim is a type of denim that has been prewashed or treated to give it a softer, more worn-in look. This type of denim is less stiff than raw denim, and is great for those who prefer a more relaxed fit.

The Denim Revolution: From Workwear to Fashion Staple

The history of denim is a fascinating one. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a utilitarian fabric for manual labor. Now, denim is one of the most popular and versatile fabrics, appearing in countless styles and silhouettes. From its simplistic beginnings to its fashionable future, denim remains an essential part of any wardrobe.

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