THE ENCYCLOPEDIA LISTED FROM A-Z

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This page lists all entries and FAQs of the Denim Encyclopedia in alphabetical order. Each entry is explained briefly – you can read more by clicking the link (the term itself).

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A

Anti-fit – jeans with the rise cut in a straight line (as opposed to a curve)

Arcuates –  patterns of stitching on the back pockets of jeans, also known as back pocket signatures

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B

Back cinch – a feature that can tighten the waistband of jeans

Back pocket flasher – a removable tag, usually placed on the right back pocket of jeans

Bartack – stitches that reinforce stress points of jeans

Belt loops – features that help wearers keep a belt in place at the waistband of jeans

Boot leg – jeans that flare out slightly from the knee down, originally designed to fit over boots

Brand patch – a label found at the waistband of jeans above the right back pocket

Broken twill – twill fabric twill lines zig-zag, originally designed to prevent leg twist

Button – fasteners that’re used to attach two pieces of fabric together

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C

Chain stitch – a type of stitching with one continuous thread that is looped back on itself

Coin pocket – a small pocket that’s half-tucked into the left front pocket of jeans

Cotton – a natural fibre from the fruit of the cotton plant

Cuff – the rolled or turned up parts of fabric at the end of the legs

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D

Denim – a type of woven twill fabric, usually made from cotton

Denimhead – someone who’s extraordinarily passionate about denim

Denim weight (oz.) – denim is measured in weight of ounces per square yard

Dyeing – the process of adding colour to yarn

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E

Ecru – the colour of undyed cotton or denim

Enzyme wash – a fabric finish where cellulose enzymes are used to create a worn and washed look

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F

Fabric finishing – processes that either correct and prevent issues of dimensional stability or enhance the look and feel of the denim

Fades – the colour differences in denim that’s been worn and washed (or pre-washed)

Five-pocket jeans – the quintessential jean has two pockets on the back and three on the front

Fly – the front opening on jeans, either with buttons or a zipper

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G

Genes – demonym for people from Genoa in Italy

Genoa – the Italian city that is believed to have given jeans their name

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H

Hank dyeing – a dyeing method where bundles of yarn, known as ‘skeins,’ are dyed by hand

Heavyweight denim – denim that is heavier than 16 oz. per square yard

Hidden rivets – rivets on the back pockets of jeans that are covered by denim fabric

History of indigo – archaeologists have traced the use of indigo back 6,000 years

Heddles – wire or cord with an eyelet in the middle that yarn passes through on a weave

Honeycombs – fading patterns on naturally worn in raw denim that resemble honeycombs in beehives

How cotton is made – it takes an average of 140 days from planting to picking

How to dye with indigo – to get the indigo onto the yarn or the fabric, it’s solubilised in water with the help of a reducing agent

How yarn is spun – there are two stages in the spinning process: preparation and the actual spinning

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I

Indigo – the colour that makes blue jeans blue

Inseam – the length from crotch joint to hem of the inner leg on jeans

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J

Jeans – also called ‘blue jeans,’ these are trousers made from denim

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K

Nothing here yet …

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L

Left hand twill – twill fabric where the twill lines run from left to right on the face of the fabric

Loomstate denim – is denim that hasn’t been treated with any fabric finishing

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M

Mercerisation – a finish that opens the fibres and gives them a rounder shape

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N

Natural indigo – indigo pigments that are extracted from dried leaves from the indigofera tinctoria plant

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O

Open-end spinning – open-end spinning creates a more even and flat denim. The cotton is fed directly into the ‘spinner’ by a stream of air

Ounce (oz.) – denim is measured in weight of ounces per square yard

Oxidation – the process that binds the indigo colour to the fibres of the yarn

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P

Pre-skewing – is a finish that eliminates leg twist

Pre-washing – industrial processes and abrasive techniques that imitate the fading on naturally worn-in raw denim

Projectile loom – a type of shuttleless loom (wide loom)

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Q

Nothing here yet …

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R

Raw denim – denim that hasn’t been washed or treated

Red tab – a small, red branding label with the name ‘Levi’s’ on it

Redcast – the most classic cast of denim, which is naturally achieved when dyeing with 100% indigo

Redline selvedge – denim where the self-finished edges have red yarn in between the white edge yarns

Right hand twill – twill fabric where the twill lines run from right to left on the face of the fabric

Ring spinning – ring spinning is the old-school way that create more slubs in the yarn

Rivets – pieces of metal found at the pocket corners of jeans with the purpose of strengthening these stress point

Rope dyeing – a continuous dyeing method where the yarns are roped together during the process

Roping effect – the abrasion on jeans hems sewn with chain stitching

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S

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

Shuttle – is a device used to carry the weft yarn back and forth on a shuttle loom

Shuttle loom – is the type of loom used to weave selvedge denim

Shuttleless loom (wide loom) – is the modern type of weaving machine that most denim is made on today

Singeing – is a finish that makes denim smoother

Sizing – a protective starch coating that’s added to yarn in the dyeing process to prevent abrasion and breakage in the weaving process

Slasher dyeing – a continuous dyeing method where the yarns are laid out as a carpet, also called a sheet, during the process

Slubs – slubs are thickenings in yarn that result in a desired unevenness in the colours of denim

Spinning – the process of turning fibres into yarn

Staple length – staple length refers to the length of the fibre

Stonewashing – a pre-washing process where jeans are washed with pumice stones to create wear and tear before they are sold

Stretch denim – denim that contains a synthetic elastomer in the yarn (usually only the weft)

Suspender buttons –  buttons that are used to ‘anchor’ suspenders to jeans

Synthetic indigo – a synthesised version of indigo, which is used for almost all denim today

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T

Tate-ochi – a Japanese term that refers to vertical lines you find on vintage denim, which are the result of slubs

Train tracks – faded lines along the outseams of jeans

Twill – the type of weave used for denim

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U

Unwashed denim – denim that hasn’t been washed, also known as raw denim

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V

V-stitch – a row of single needle stitches found on the fly of jeans

Vintage jeans – desirable and collectable jeans that were made prior to the 1980s

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W

Waist overalls – the name of blue jeans before they were called jeans

Warp and weft – are the names of the two yarns used to weave denim

Weaving – the process of interlacing of two sets of yarn

Weight (oz.) – denim is measured in weight of ounces per square yard

Whiskers – horizontal and diagonal faded creases on the thighs of jeans

Wide loom (shuttleless loom) – is the modern type of weaving machine that most denim is made on today

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X

XX – the name of the Levi’s jeans before they were named 501

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Y

Yarn count – yarn count describes the thickness of yarn

Yoke – the V-shaped section at the back of jeans that give them a curved seat

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Z

Zipper – a fastening device you can find on the fly of jeans

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