Fun Facts

The Origins of Blue Jeans

June 08, 2023

Stack Of Blue Jeans

The Origins of Blue Jeans

Blue jeans are a staple in many wardrobes. Everyone from kids to adults can wear them; and depending on one’s workplace policies, they may be required for heavy-duty work or permitted only on Fridays. Blue jeans due to their ubiquitous presence are also big business—and they have been for a long time.

Where did these pants come from?

Some historians would say that the dungarees originated in Dungri, India, where they were made to be durable work pants. Others say that jeans date back to 16th century Genoa, Italy where twill trousers known as “Genoese” or “genes” were popularly worn by sea-faring merchants. Others claim that denim originated in the 1600s in Nîmes, France and was made from a blend of cotton, wool, and silk known as serge de Nîmes, with serge meaning “a strong, sturdy fabric.”

Fast forward to 19th century where Levi Strauss & Co. began using serge de Nîmes to improve an already durable product—valuable to the hardworking men and women of farms, ranches, factories, mills, and more—to be more comfortable than their predecessors made from canvas. This innovation transformed jeans into an American commodity. Today we know these trousers as blue jeans and we can thank celebrities like James Dean and Gloria Vanderbilt for making them into fashion must-haves.

Wherever and whenever they were made, the jeans were commonly dyed blue, most likely to camouflage dirt. These days, most jeans are dyed with synthetic indigo. Before that, they were dyed with real, natural indigo derived from the leaves of the indigo plant, which produces a green dye that turns blue as it oxidizes. Either way, you must take care of jeans if you don’t want them to fade.

To maintain jeans, some manufacturers would advise washing them every 6 months if possible. Others just say "cold water, tumble dry low." Regardless of your method for keeping your jeans, Easy Kleen can assist. Drop off your denims with our wash and fold service and we will clean them for you. For added convenience, schedule a pickup and delivery laundry service. Whether you wash your blue jeans every time you wear them or once every 6 months, Easy Kleen is here for you.

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