18 Denim Encyclopedia Terms Every Denimheads Must Know

Do you know what selvedge is? Rivets? Roping?

If you’re into raw denim, and you probably are since you’re on his site reading this, you’ve surely read or heard about terms like these. And chances are you already know what they mean.

This episode of the Denimhunters Podcast is part of the series where I dive into the site’s archives and our Denim Encyclopedia to discuss some of the essential and most frequently debated topics of raw denim.

In this one, I discuss 18 common must-know terms from the denim vocabulary. This should be a good place to start if you’re new to raw denim (and denim in general). But it’s also relevant if you already consider yourself a denimhead but you’re looking to brush up on your vocabulary.

The 18 terms I explain

  • Arcuates –  patterns of stitching on the back pockets of jeans, also known as back pocket signatures
  • Bartack – stitches that reinforce stress points of jeans
  • Chain stitch – a type of stitching with one continuous thread that is looped back on itself
  • Cotton – a natural fibre from the fruit of the cotton plant
  • Denim – a type of woven twill fabric, usually made from cotton
  • Denim weight (oz.) – denim is measured in weight of ounces per square yard
  • Dyeing – the process of adding colour to yarn
  • Fades – the colour differences in denim that’s been worn and washed (or pre-washed)
  • Indigo – the colour that makes blue jeans blue
  • Jeans – also called ‘blue jeans,’ these are trousers made from denim
  • Raw denim – denim that hasn’t been washed or treated
  • Rivets – pieces of metal found at the pocket corners of jeans with the purpose of strengthening these stress point
  • Roping effect – the abrasion on jeans hems sewn with chain stitching
  • Sanforization – is a finish of pre-shrinking fabric before it is made into a garment
  • Selvedge denim – denim woven on shuttle looms, which is recognised by the self-finished edges of the fabric
  • Slubs – slubs are thickenings in yarn that result in a desired unevenness in the colours of denim
  • Warp and weft – are the names of the two yarns used to weave denim
  • Whiskers – horizontal and diagonal faded creases on the thighs of jeans

Want to learn more about these terms (and dozens more)? Click the links above or go directly to the Denim Encyclopedia.

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