Denim has remained a popular textile due to its durability and the iconic indigo blue that it is traditionally dyed. Although most denim is 100 percent cotton, poly-cotton blends are not unheard of in the world of denim. Since the American Wild West period, certain types of denim have been markers of status, and there are ways you know if your jeans are really name brand, or if they are fakes.
Check the Tag
Check the manufacturer’s tag on the jeans. If this tag is missing, the jeans are almost certainly not what they are advertised to be. More elaborate fakes may have a manufacturer’s tag. These will sometimes include a minor and hidden misspelling to lead you to believe that these are the correct jeans, but if the tag says they are “Tru Religion,” then they are surely a fake.
Check the Price
If you saw a certain brand selling for $200 and you find a pair for $40, chances are that you are being taken for a ride. There is almost always a reason that expensive jeans are on sale. Sometimes they are out of season. Maybe they have a small manufacturing defect. Unfortunately, if you don’t know the dealer you are buying from, they could also be an elaborate fake from someone trying to make a quick buck.
Check the Blend
Most denim is made from 100 percent cotton. This makes the jeans breathable, wearable and durable. Some cheaper brands use a polyester and cotton blend (poly-cotton) for their material. This makes the jeans a little cheaper, but makes them less durable, breathable and wearable. The polyester can wear at a different rate than the cotton. It also shrinks differently in the wash than cotton. If the suspect jeans are not 100 percent cotton, don’t bet that they are real.
Check the Quality
The top denim companies take great pride in the quality of their products. Some styles incorporate torn denim as part of the look they are going for. However, these rips should have a certain structural integrity. In other words, they won’t tear more under a little stress. If the jeans you are looking at have lots of tears that don’t seem strong, or if they have missing or misplaced threads, these are not the real thing.
Check the Country of Origin
Some developing countries value certain status markers. American-made clothing is one of these status markers. It’s important to make sure that the country of origin matches the brand you intend to buy. Several studies show that places like China and Brazil tend to buy more fake denim than other parts of the world because of their perception of denim as a status symbol. If your jeans come from one of these countries, but they are supposed to be American made, they are probably fake.
References and ResourcesGlobal Denim Project: Fake Denim in China and Brazil
Denim Study: Glossary of Denim Related Terms
Denver Fabrics: Denim Fabric Facts
ResourcesNudie Jeans: This is Nudie Jeans
TE Online: Manufacturing Process of Denim