Think You Know Your Denim Well, Test Your Knowledge With These Quirky Facts

Isha Shah

Jeans are the most comfortable, dependable and father of all back up when it comes to dressing up or dressing down. If you don’t find anything to wear, denim is always to the rescue. Everything looks good with it. Whether a jacket or a tank top, it always gives you the look you want to achieve. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a funeral or a party to attend, it’s well accepted everywhere. Ever wondered why our beloved jeans are such a well-accepted fashion, through the centuries. Let me enlighten you with some quirky facts about them.

Jeans were invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1871 and were first patented on May 20, 1873. That’s why jeans and Levi Strauss name goes hand in hand.



Prior to the Levi Strauss patented the pants, the term “blue jeans” had been long in use for various garments (including trousers, overalls, and coats), constructed from blue colored denim.

Around 1500, it’s believed that denim was first invented in Genoa, Italy, for Italian navy to wear during duty. That is why the word “jeans” sounds so similar to “genes”- the French word for “Genoa”.


Blue jeans were actually an accidental discovery in the 18th century, when people in Nimes, France, attempted to replicate a sturdy Italian fabric called “serge”. What they created was “serge DE-NIMES meaning “serge of Nimes” or, as it’s been shortened to “denim.”



Later in 1853:

Levi Strauss was basically Bavarian. He had moved to San Francisco to open a dry goods business. He actually used to sell clothes, boots and other goods to the small retail stores of the West American.

And Mr. Jacob Davis was a tailor from Reno, Nevada. He teamed up with Levi Strauss to create and patent the work wear in the year 1872.



After working on this for a year, in 1873 the blue jean was born! Both Jacob and Levi had created the first blue jean, called “XX”- which got its iconic lot number 501®, in 1890. This is still one of their most famous jeans to date!

Making of one pair of Levi 501s requires 37 separate sewing operations.



Levi strass never wore a single jean, since it was meant for poorer people and he was a wealthy man.

They were mainly invented to fulfill the demands for miners during the gold rush era, in California. The softer fabrics were not very enduring in harsh conditions of the mines.



Jeans were meant for not to be washed, its indigo color was supposed to hide all the dirt. 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of dyeing of jeans.



James Dean popularized blue jeans in the movie Rebel Without a Cause in 1955. He wore a T-shirt, a leather jacket, and jeans- a uniform men began copying immediately.



Jeans, especially the blue ones were banned in theatres, schools and restaurants in the 50s. This was because they were seen as a form of rebellion against conventionality. They were a rage back then.

In Japan, you can buy jeans through vending machines.

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Over 50% of denim is produced in Asia, specifically China, India, and Bangladesh. Denim makes up 35 percent of total textile exports from India. However, Only 32 percent of people in India like to wear denim.



There is a “Denim Day” which is actually an annual event. Denim Day is an event in which people are encouraged to wear jeans (denim) in order to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault. As of 2011 at least 20 U.S. states officially recognize Denim Day in April.



In 2014, an Indian family court in Mumbai ruled that a husband objecting to his wife wearing a kurta and jeans and forcing her to wear a sari amounts to cruelty inflicted by the husband. The wife was thus granted a divorce on the ground of cruelty under Special Marriage Act, 1954.



Dungaree was mentioned for the first time in the 17th century, worn by underprivileged people of a dockside village called Dongri in our own Bombay(then named).

Hindi name of this cloth was “dungri”. Dungri was exported to England and used for manufacturing of cheap, robust working clothes. English began to call “dungri” cloth a little different, and it became “dungaree”.



The FBI has used the pattern in identifying suspects and getting convictions. When jeans get washed, the dye fades in a unique pattern. They analyze the unique wear patterns of denim jeans and compare them to photographs taken from crime scenes. That’s like something straight out of a movie!


The world’s most expensive jeans are of Secret Circus jeans costing $1.3 million. The design includes 15 diamonds that include large rocks.



Second most costly denim, is the Dussault Apparel’s Trashed Denim jeans which can be bought at $250,000.



About 7.5 billion feet of denim fabric is produced every year.



The small pocket inside of the big pocket of denims were designed as watch keeping pocket.



The rivets on denims are for keeping the fabric together making it sturdier, increase its endurance. Since they were originally meant for miner and cowboys, rivets make a lot of sense…



Yoshida kogyo kabushikikaisha is a company which makes 90% of the zippers required for the jeans, next time you go shopping observe those YKK initials.



The oldest pair of jeans ever to be made was a Levi Strauss & Co. 501 Jeans, which is supposed to be about 150 years old. It was discovered in the year 1997 and auctioned in the year 2005 to an anonymous Japanese collector for $60,000.



Shah rukh khan is believed to be a jeans lover too.

I have the coolest collection of denim and leather jackets. I know I’ll never wear them but I still buy. I want to do a film with one denim jacket with things stuck on it.” Shah Rukh khan said on Filmfare interview article by Anuradha Chaudhary.

SRK frequently adorns this gray blazer and denim look



Share this knowledge with other too. Now you can brag about how well aware you are about your favorite jeans.

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