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and Peru.Blue jean manufacturers imported indigo from India until the twentiethcentury

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Blue jeans are casual pants made from denim, noted for their strength and comfort. They have been worn by sailors and California gold miners as sturdy work pants, by the young as a statement of their generation, and by the fashionable, who are conscious of the prestige conveyed by designer names.

Denim cloth itself has an unusual history. The name comes from serge de Nimes, or the serge of Nimes, France. Originally, it was strong material made from wool. By the 1700s, it was made from wool and cotton. Only later was it made solely from cotton. Originally, it was used to make sails, but eventually, some innovative Genovese sailors thought it fit that such fine, strong material would make great pants, or "genes."

The name for blue jeans was derived from the color of the fabric used to make them. Denim was treated with a blue dye obtained from the indigo plant. Indigo had been used as a dye since 2500 B.C. in such diverse places as Asia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Britain, and Peru. Blue jean manufacturers imported indigo from India until the twentieth century, when synthetic indigo was developed to replace the natural dye.

Blue jeans in the form we know them today didn't come about until the middle of the nineteenth century. Levi Strauss, an enterprising immigrant who happened to have a few bolts of blue denim cloth on hand, recognized a need for strong work pants in the mining communities of California. He first designed and marketed "Levi's" in 1850, and they have stayed essentially the same ever since; there have been only minor alterations to the original design.

Original Levi's did not contain rivets. A tailor by the name of Jacob Davis invented riveted pants at the request of a miner who complained that regular pants were not rugged enough to hold his mining tools. Davis subsequently granted Strauss the use of his rivet idea, which was patented on May 20, 1873. Few other changes were made over the next century. Zipper s replaced button flies in 1920 (although later button flies had a resurgence of popularity) and in 1937 the rivets on the back pockets were moved inside in response to complaints from school boards that the jeans students wore were damaging chairs and from cowboys that their jeans were damaging their saddle s. In the 1960s, they were removed entirely from the back pockets.

Blue jeans started becoming popular among young people in the 1950s. In the year 1957, 150 million pairs were sold worldwide. This growing trend continued until 1981 and jeans manufacturers were virtually guaranteed annual sales increases. In the United States, 200 million pairs of jeans were sold in 1967, 500 million in 1977, with a peak of 520 million in 1981. When jeans first caught on, apologists reasoned that their low price determined their huge success. During the 1970s, however, the price of blue jeans doubled, yet demand always exceeded supply. Sometimes manufacturers met the demand by providing stores with irregulars; that is, slightly defective merchandise that would not normally be sold.

Although the demand for jeans actually decreased in the 1980s, a brief surge occurred with the introduction of designer jeans to the market. Despite the apparent success of designer jeans, however, they did not capture the majority of the market; jeans have not

The first two steps in blue jeans manufacture are carding and spinning. In carding, the cotton is put through a machine with bent wire brushes. The brushes clean, disentangle, straighten, and gather the cotton threads into sliver. After several slivers are joined together, they are put on spinning machines that twist and stretch the cotton to form yarn.

The first two steps in blue jeans manufacture are carding and spinning. In carding, the cotton is put through a machine with bent wire brushes. The brushes clean, disentangle, straighten, and gather the cotton threads into sliver. After several slivers are joined together, they are put on spinning machines that twist and stretch the cotton to form yarn.

returned to the height of popularity they achieved in the seventies. Manufacturers must therefore constantly seek ways to keep the demand for blue jeans high. Believing that the decrease in demand reflects the changing needs of an aging population, jeans manufacturers have begun to cater to the mature customer by providing roomier, more comfortable jeans. Sally Fox, an entomologist, has developed cottons that naturally come in beige, brown, and green. The Levi Strauss Company now markets multicolored jeans as well. The company hopes to ride the popular wave of environmentalism, even advertising their new product on recycled denim.

Although blue jeans have remained basically the same since they were first designed, they have always been versatile enough to meet market demands. Since futuristic, yet familiar, "Levi's" appeared in the movie Star Trek V, it can be surmised that manufacturers as well as the public, expect blue jeans to be around indefinitely.

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