What does it take to become a denimhunter? As with almost anything else, you got to have passion. Curiousity doesn’t hurt either. And if you have patience while wearing in your dry denim jeans the very construction of the fabric will reward you with enviable results, which is basically what the fuzz is all about. In my world, denimhunting is also closely related to the search for facts. According to Collins English Dictionary, ‘fact’ can be defined as “a truth verifiable from experience or observation,” and to get that experience or do those observations you have to get your hands dirty. This article lists five facts that are central to the discussion of denim and five pieces of advice that will help you achieve the best wear results.
Five basic facts about denim and jeans
1) Levi Strauss didn’t invent jeans. Already decades before the first pair of Levi’s jeans was created in 1873 denim work pants were produced in California. The rightful inventor of what made Levi’s jeans stand out among its competitors’ products, and what made them such a huge success, namely the rivet, was not Levi Strauss either, but the tailor Jacob Davis.
2) It’s a myth that the Japanese have imported old American looms that are used in modern day mass production of high quality denim. Supposedly it was the owner of Evisu who came to this marketing stunt. Read more about it in this article.
3) Selvage denim isn’t necessarily of higher quality or more durable than non-selvage denim. However, it often fades with more contrast. But it basically comes down to the threads used and how they’re spun in addition to the indigo dyeing process and what kind of indigo that’s used. Read more about selvage here or have a look at the high quality non-selvage denims developed by Indigofera.
4) The fashion of cuffing jeans dates from the time before sanforization, which was invented in the 1920s. Before that all jeans were shrink-to-fit. As the name indicates, the jeans will to shrink once washed, especially in length. Unsanforized denim shrinks up to 10% and as the desired end result generally is an inseam around 80-90 centimeters the pants must be purchased with about 10 centimeters too long. What cowboys and workers then did so until the fabric had shrunken enough was to cuff the pants. Also, in the early days, many brands only offered one length.
Five pieces of advice about buying and wearing in new jeans
2) Excess indigo may rub off of your new dark blue denim jeans. Be it on your white underwear, your mother-in-law’s new white leather sofa or even on your pale legs. But don’t panic, it usually comes off again with soap and water.
3) This is a no-brainer, but jeans will not get worn in from lying around in your closet. If you’re out to get a natural and contrasting look for your new dry denim jeans than wear them as much as you can and wash them as little as possible. For a more detailed walk through have a look at our Dry Denim Guide and the Rinse Guide.
4) Buy jeans according to your body shape. If you are a big guy with tree trunks for thighs then the latest super-tight-fit jean will probably not work for you.
5) Price and quality are usually closely related. It is not always immediately possible to spot the difference between the price starter and premium model. It often depends on the cost of production (e.g. China vs. USA), the way the thread used in the fabric is spun, details and trims, and of course the brand.
Written by Thomas Bojer.