The word "denim" comes from the phrase "serge de Nimes," referring to a fabric that originated in the French town of Nimes. The fabric was worn by cotton plantation workers in the 18th century because of its strength and ability to wear well. Known primarily in the present day as the fabric from which blue jeans are made, denim can be used to make jackets, skirts and other kinds of clothing and even upholstery.
Cotton Thread and Twill Weave
Denim is made from cotton, which is spun and freed of any debris. The fabric is made using a weave called twill, where dyed and natural threads are spun together in a particular pattern which creates a diagonal effect on its surface.
A distinguishing feature of denim is its blue color. To achieve this, some threads are dyed indigo and eventually interlaced with the natural-colored crosswise threads. The color sits on top of the fabric, leading to its potential to fade as it is washed. Turning the product inside out is recommended to prevent fading.
Denim is very strong and does not snag or tear easily. It is also breathable, can be ironed at a high temperature and creases easily. Suitable for long wear, it is quite stiff when new, but softens with continued washing and wear.
Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).