Archive for the 'Jeans' Category


How to take care of your Selvedge Jeans – Grey moon Jeans

This is some great advice from Dae Shin, the owner of Grey Moon Jeans, a Kickstarter project on how to take care of your selvedge jeans.

STEP ONE: THE SOAK. Fill a bathtub with enough water to submerge the denim completely. Temperature isn’t overly important as some say you’ll lose less indigo with a cold soak, but if it’s a quality pair of jeans it shouldn’t matter. We’d recommend just using warm water.

Washing your jeans (photo from Brooklyn Clothing)

Washing your jeans
(photo from Brooklyn Clothing)

STEP TWO: AIR DRY. Hang dry them indoors. Use binder clips or clothes pins on the waistband and let them hang naturally.

STEP THREE: STRETCH THEM OUT. While the jeans are still somewhat damp, you should put the jeans on. The denim is easier to stretch when it’s damp. It’ll probably feel uncomfortably tight at first, but they should fit perfectly soon.

STEP FOUR: WEAR THEM OUT. Wear them, man. Live your life. Cuff them. Uncuff them. Put stuff in your pockets. Run around. Whatever it is you did before your raw denim, continue doing so.

STEP FIVE: DON’T WASH THEM. Don’t wash them. Some people will tell you to not wash them for six months. Some will tell you a year. Others will tell you to never wash them. Honestly, when I was younger and unaware of what raw denim was, I wore a pair of Raw Levi’s that I picked up at a J.Crew outlet. I just wore them the same way I wear all of my pants. I’d wear them a few days. Put them away. Wear them again, spill on them, wash them and hang them dry. I didn’t think about it, and I have to say the jeans still look pretty damn good. We’d recommend going as long as you can without washing them, but that’s up to you. Here are some guidelines to consider. If you have a stain that you can’t live with that you can’t get out with a sponge and water, then it might be time to wash your jeans. Washing the jeans is simple. Put them in the washing machine. Keep in mind though, you only need about an eighth of the amount of detergent you’d normally use. Pick a rinse cycle with minimal spin and use cold water. Then hang your jeans up to dry as previously instructed. Put them on damp the same way you did with the initial soak. If you’re obsessed with not washing them, then here are two ways you can keep them fresh for months. For stains, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders. But a rag and some water will also work pretty well. For smells, use Febreze or put them in the freezer for a few hours. The cold will kill any foul smelling bacteria.

STEP SIX: GIVE THEM TIME TO FADE. The last and most important thing is to give your denim time. Give them a chance to wear and fade. It will be completely worth it when you look at them a year or two from now and see how far they’ve come. With our guide on how to take care of raw denim, your jeans will look great for the rest of your life.

Editor’s Note

This is very good information on how to take care of raw denim, otherwise called selvedge jeans. If you will note, instructions are to avoid the dryer. If you do wash your jeans, they will temporarily shrink, that is why there is the suggestion to put them on damp just out of the wash because they are easier to stretch at that time. On a separate note, “stretch” jeans or “knit” jeans have Spandex within them. After wearing stretch jeans, the jeans stay stretched out. These type of jeans will need to be washed and dried in the dryer in order for the Spandex to contract and, therefore, fit once more. Spandex does have a definite shelf life, unlike denim.


Kickstarter is an organization that helps fledgeling businesses by raising money by bringing together other people who may have similar tastes or interests. This is called crowd-sourcing. It is not too late to help fund Grey Moons Jeans. Their deadline for funding is May 21, 2014.


Selvedge Denim Jeans Made In The U.S. – Reactual

Selvedge Denim Jeans Made In The U.S. – Reactual. Mainpoint: Some of the best Selvedge Jeans are made in America and clothingmadeinusablog will help you to find jeans made in the USA.

I found this nice little web page about jeans currently made in the USA on the website Reactual. Reactual, started in 2011, it clearly cares about products that are well made, durable and could possibly last a lifetime. On this particular subject, Reactual showcases a number of durable, made in USA, Selvedge jeans: Tellason, Raleigh Denim, 3 Sixteen, Left Field, Rogue Territory, and Mister Freedom Jeans. Reactual also gives honorable mention to: Agave Denim, Rising Sun, Roy Denim, Certified Jeans, Diamond Gusset, Round House, Texas Jeans, Pointer Brand, 7 For All Mankind, RRL (Ralph Lauren), Ernest Sewn, William Rast, Rag and Bone, Taylor Stitch, True Religion, J. Brand, and Todd Shelton. On other of their website pages they also feature flashlights, computers, batteries, audio equipment, outdoor equipment, bath filters, clothing and accessories, kitchen products, luggage as many other products. It is definitely worth checking out their website.

Tellason Jeans

Tellason Jeans

What is Selvedge?

Selvedge is the very traditional denim that originally defined jeans. Selvedge is made on traditional shuttle looms. It is tightly woven, making the denim stronger and more durable. (Selvedge gets its name from the colored thread usually red which is surrounded by two white threads.) Selvedge also has a stronger outseam that will resist fraying more than a stitched out seam. Selvedge usually comes in a dark indigo color called “raw” (meaning unwashed). Initially, Selvedge is very stiff, but after several wearings, the stiffness is less and over time, very comfortable.  In taking care of Selvedge, it is best not to wash the jeans as often, some say wash only when necessary, as washing will make the jeans stiff. However, after washing, it is easy to break them in again. Plus frequent washing of clothing creates a great wear and tear on any garment. If you want to know more about Selvedge and the looms, plus much more information about jeans, check out rawr denim. For more about denim and jeans, you can also check out my blog’s two entries on jeans – Jeans Part I and Jeans Part II.

Why Were No Women’s  Jeans Displayed?

In the present day, most of women’s jeans are stretch jeans. These jeans contain spandex, which can give an immediate closer fit. Some jeans have more spandex than others. For the jeans with more spandex, it is better that you purchase the jeans a size smaller than normal, because over time, (anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours), the spandex of the jeans will be stretched out. With some stretch jeans, what fits good in the morning, will be baggy at the waist, the hips or the legs after a couple of hours. With stretch jeans, it is imperative that you wash them after each wearing so the Spandex can get back to its original fit. But, because of the frequent washings, and the fact that spandex is not as durable as denim, this usually means these stretchy jeans will wear out much faster (and need to be replaced which a lot of stores and clothing manufacturers are hoping for). Obviously, there are Selvedge jeans made for women, but they are in the minority and more expensive.

Listing of Jeans

Although Reactual does a fantastic job on listing Made in USA Selvedge jeans, there are in fact, 78 brands of jeans, made in the USA, found in brick and mortar stores. You can see these on my blog entry: Listing of American Clothing Brands – Retail. Click on the link and scroll down to Jeans. If you are looking for more jeans on-line, I list 30 brands and have created links to them on Listing of brands of clothing made in the USA – internet. Happy hunting.


Jeans – American Born but American Made? Part II

Mainpoint – The progression of jeans from the 1960’s to the present. And where to find jeans made in the USA.

Blue Jeans Hit The Fashion Parade

Starting in the mid to late 1960’s was the first real change in the actual style of jeans since its inception. There had been minor changes, but there were still the old classic jeans. These new designers were going to make jeans a fashion statement. And there was no bigger statement than the inception of bell-bottom blue jeans. The bell bottoms, named because of their exaggerated flare at the end of the jean’s legs, resembled a bell (sort of). The circumference was 27 inches almost twice the circumference of the traditional or straight leg jeans. They were a major hit with the counter culture, hippies. Patches were placed on jeans and very often accompanied with tie-dye T-shirts, and granny glasses. Almost around the same time came the “hip huggers”.  They were worn much lower on the hips, similar to the low cut or ultra low cut jeans of today. This was the jump start of jeans into fashion, never again could you just say, “I would like a pair of jeans”, without having a salesperson say, “What kind of jeans?”

Other Fashion Bubbles and Improvements

The early 1980’s were the time of “Designer” jeans. Jeans that were created by “Name Designers” like Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. These were expensive compared to the older, classic jeans, and very form fitting (“tight butt hugging”). Jokes were frequent – like how long it took to get into the jeans, and how you would get stretch marks just bending over to pick up a coin. This fashion faded, (and its made a comeback), but there has always been a new jeans fashion to replace it. And the designers are always inventing new names to make it sound cool. I will go over some “improvements” and I hope to demonstrate that these new names may not be as difficult to understand at first glance.  First, let us go back to the ‘classic jeans’. They were brand new denim, never been washed (this is called the ‘wash’), the waist or ‘Rise’ was just over the hips and a couple of inches below the navel. That is now called ‘medium rise’.  The ‘Fit’ (the tightness or looseness around the legs and rear) was slightly relaxed. The ‘Cut’ at the end of the trouser was ‘straight leg’, no flare, no taper, 14 inches in circumference.


This will help you when you respond to the salesperson’s question, “What kind of jeans do you like?” Instead of saying , “What kind of jeans do you have?” You can say,” I would like Mid-rise, classic fit, straight leg, raw denim.” But if you are not sure, when the salesperson starts rolling off their entire menu, at least, you will be prepared to know what some of the terms mean. So, let us look at all of these names or variations:

The Rise

This is easiest to comprehend. It is where the waistband goes around the body. Starting with the normal fitting trousers, pants or jeans – the ‘classic’ is considered ‘mid – rise’. As I described before – it goes over the hips and a couple inches below the naval. For centuries this has been the most natural of designs as the hips tend to keep the pants from falling down. ‘Low cut’ or ‘low rise’ (or ‘ultra low cut’) have the waistband at the hips  or just above (the hips are where the bony prominences of the proximal femurs can be felt). If the back is not covered, the crack of the butt can be sometimes be seen with standing and certainly with squatting. These are meant for young people only. The ‘high rise’ or ‘high waist’ has the waistband coming across the navel. It has been in and out of fashion throughout the years.

The Fit

The fit is the tightness or looseness of the jeans around the legs and butt. Starting from tight to loose: ‘Skinny jeans’ (also known as cigarette jeans) are form fitting, like the 1980’s Designer jeans. ‘Skinny jeans also incorporate a smaller leg opening at the bottom. ‘Slim fit’ are the next step down. There are not as form fitting (they don’t ‘hug’ the body) like the ‘skinny jeans’, but usually with a straight leg. The next step is the ‘classic fit’, for some women they are called the ‘classic boyfriend fit’. The overall form is still seen but there is enough space around the legs and butt to be comfortable. Next, ‘relaxed fit’ – one additional inch in the butt and thighs. Then there is the ‘loose fit’. In the ‘loose fit’, there are an additional 1 – 4 inches of additional room in the seat and thighs. Last and certainly least – the ‘baggy jeans’. Certainly a fashion statement with all that additional and unnecessary material. ‘Women’s jeans’ are made to enhance the look of the woman’s anatomy, more curves for hip room versus the men’s traditional straight up and down anatomy.

The Cut or Leg

The cut refers to the trouser leg, sometimes starting below the knee or above the knee. starting from largest to smallest. ‘Bell Bottoms’ – starting at the knee the opening at the opening got larger around 27 inches in some cases. Similiar, but not as pronounced, are the ‘Flare cut’. This starts at or just below the knee with gradually widening until 21-27 inches. The next cut would be the ‘Trouser jeans’ or sometimes called the ‘wide leg’ or even the ‘baggy jean’. In this cut, the leg is widened the entire way and may get bigger at the bottom. The ‘Boot Cut’ are straight or even a little tighter in the thighs, but below the knee flares out to accommodate a boot, opening anywhere from 15-22 inches. The ‘straight leg’, the traditional cut has no taper, opening 14 inches. ‘Skinny jeans’ – thin all the way down with a slight taper at the ankle to 13 inches. ‘Micro skinny’ – opening 12 inches.


Blue jeans are impregnanted with an indigo colored dye and are very dark when first manufactured. The wash refers to the number of times they have been washed or in some circumstances treated in a different fashion to give them a distressed appearance. It is kind of funny that we desire our brand new clothes to look like we got them at a second hand store filled with rips, and frays, holes, stains and fading, but that is the fashion. If jeans have never been washed they are called ‘Dry wash’ or ‘raw wash’ (Never washed seems more appropriate to me). I have heard that a single hand wash of the jeans can still be considered a ‘raw wash’. The manufacturer can throw the jeans into a washing machine full of large stones and then call them ‘stone-washed’, or add chlorine and call it ‘acid wash’, or some other chemical and call it ‘dirty wash’. There are actually too many numerous variations, and I tire of the entire lame wash subject. So, enough about washes.

Additional Note

So, I have covered most of the types of jeans and I hope I have made some sense of all this mish-mash, but just realize many stores like to use their own particular name for the types of jeans they sell. So, then you have to ask the salesperson – “What is a modern cut?” or whatever it is called this week, the salesperson should be able to say, “Well, that is equivalent to a low rise jean.”

Jeans made in the USA

It is rather a sad subject that the piece of clothing originating in America, a true American original, and which made clothing history is very infrequently manufactured in the U.S. Most jeans come from Mexico, China or Honduras. But there are a few manufacturers still here. There are several jeans manufacturers that have their own retail stores, plus distribute them to department stores. The best known are 7 For All Mankind and True Religion. I had just found out that Levi Strauss after a few year hiatus, makes a limited number of American made jeans since March of 2011. Other jeans made in the USA, found in retail outlets are: Hudson, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Ernest Sewn, Paige, Doheny, Postage, Rock And Republic, Raleigh Denim, Citizens of Humanity, and Blues Jean Bar. Most of these manufacturers are premium jeans so the are expensive $150 – $220 for full retail. If you can find them at Nordstrom’s Rack, maybe you can buy them for $75.

“Fashion is the science of appearance, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.” -Henry Fielding


Jeans – American born, but American Made? Part I

Mainpoint – The examination of jeans, their history and where to find jeans made in America.

Jeans have been the American fashion icon for over 60 years with its myriad of styles and cuts. It is a wonder that work clothes made for farmers, mechanics and cowboys could ever become the height of fashion. On Part I, we will go into what are jeans, the history of jeans, and how it first became fashionable. Part II will be about the modern progression of jeans and the subsequent various cuts, styles, and names that now make it so confusing in trying to purchase jeans and where American made jeans can still be found.

The Origin of the Word

So let us exam where the word “jeans” came from. There is an old wives tale that the word “‘Jeans” came from the Italian city of Genoa 500 years ago, but more and more tend to doubt this origin. In fact, jeans was a type of fabric separate from denim. How about “denim”?  Also, the name is of doubtful origin, supposedly from the place Serges de Nimes in France. Serges means twill. But, in France, the fabric itself was made out of silk and wool, not cotton, which is of American origin.

Technical stuff  (you are free to skip this part if you would like)

So, let us temporarily flee the discussion of jeans and denim, get a little more technical and focus on twill and what jeans are made up of.  Twill is a fabric woven in a pattern that produces an effect of parallel diagonal lines. If you want to break it down even further (kind of like under the microscope), let us say you have an old fashioned loom. There are length wise threads (called the warp). And you have the horizontal threads (called the woof). In the loom, the horizontal thread inter-weaves in the following manner: One over the warp and then under two threads under the warp, etc. Then the next horizontal thread down does the same pattern but starts one thread over. This gives the effect of diagonal parallel “ribs”.  In classic denim, the material is made of durable cotton fabric. The length wise fibers, the warp, are dyed an indigo color, while the woof (the horizontal fibers) are white. The question then still remains, if denim was first made in France, it could not be made of cotton, but made of a different fabric in a twill pattern. So is that really denim?

More technical stuff

Jeans in the 19th and early 20th century, was actually a  separate fabric from denim altogether. It tended to be used for uniforms, both threads (warp and woof) were colored, and it was not as durable as denim. If you wanted fabric that wouldn’t tear easily, that would be denim, which was more expensive and extensively used in overalls and work clothes. So, jeans are separate from denim. Confusing isn’t it? Later in this blog entry, we will put these loose ends together.

The origin of jeans

Jeans had evolved from overalls. In fact, jeans for many years were called waist trousers until 1960, when Levi Strauss officially called them jeans. Overalls were introduced in about 1750. They were used as a protection to prevent work related wear and tear to breeches and stockings. They were primarily made of linen. For warmth, sometimes overalls were made of wool.

In the early 1800s, cotton became cheap, and overalls were then made of cotton canvas, duck, which is like a canvas and denim. The next big step in jeans (waist trousers) happened in 1873.  A tailor, Jacob Davis came up with the idea of adding rivets to add to the durability of the fabric overalls. However, he did not have the money to secure the patent. He, thus enlisted a business associate, and partnered with him to obtain the patent. His partner was Loeb (Levi) Strauss, a clothing manufacturer. The Levi Strauss historian described the 1873 Original pants (waist overalls) as having one back pocket with the Arcurate stitching design, a watch pocket, a cinch, suspender buttons, and a rivet in the crotch. Clearly, overalls and waist overalls (jeans) were work clothes, not in fashion at all. In the 1920’s, the duck and canvas in overalls were gradually phased out, most probably due to canvas is very hot, it doesn’t “breathe” and because over time, these fabrics do not become more comfortable, unlike denim which does. And for those of you who don’t remember, there wasn’t any thing called pre-washed jeans, so you had to purchase brand new, unbroken in jeans, which would be very stiff at first. Then, the jeans, after wearing them many times, finally became comfortable.

Jeans as Fashion

It does seem a stretch to think that jeans would ever be fashionable. Why would anyone want to dress like a farmer.? For fashion, you would have to thank Hollywood for turning people’s thinking around. First, in the 1930’s, Hollywood movies showed Hollywood cowboys wearing jeans. Because of this, some people in the East, bought jeans and found they were comfortable. But the biggest push for jeans came as the result of a movie called “Rebel Without A Cause”. It caused a national sensation. By 1958, a newspaper article reported “about 90% of American youths wear jeans everywhere except ‘in bed and in church’. There was just one style, the “classic style”: jeans went over the hips, crossed a couple of inches under the navel, straight cut (14 inches circumference at the leg end), and blue. There were no jeans made for one sex or the other – it was unisex. There was one great improvement in the 50’s – the zipper, introduced in 1954. Because of the popularity of jeans especially with the teenagers, there was a backlash against jeans, as some people felt that  jeans meant rebellion & anti-establishment and therefore banned them from certain venues like schools which lasted until the late 1960s. Waist trousers during the 1950s were being called “jeans”, for unknown reasons (they were made of denim, not jeans material). This name stuck and Levi Strauss officially named the waist overalls “jeans” in 1960. And, it went without saying, all jeans were made in the USA at that time.


From the history we can now conclude that the official definition of jeans are that it is a pair of trousers, made of denim, a cotton fiber made in a twill pattern, dyed indigo color, and reinforced with rivets. Part II will resume the story starting in the 1960’s.

“Jeans represent democracy in fashion.” – Giorgio Armani

February 2020
« Mar    


%d bloggers like this: