Thinking About Denim
A classic pair of jeans are a great thing to own. Warm and hard wearing, they will never go out of fashion and can be worn with pretty much anything. To think about what a classic pair might look like we can look back to the origins of the material's use as an item of clothing. The name denim derives from the French city of Nimes. It was made by the André family and was traditionally dyed indigo but there are now many different sorts of denim available on the high street.
Denim's fading process is a fascinating one. The areas that typically receive the most stress have names. Where the upper thighs have faded it is known as whiskers. When it has happened around the ankles it’s called stacks. Wear and tear behind the knee has been named honeycomb.
Different Types of Denim
Dry or raw denim is unique in that it is not washed after it has been dyed during the production process, which is usually done to make it softer and prevent it from shrinking. Dry denim typically starts out with the items all one colour. These have no signs of fading or damage when purchased – characteristics often desirable in a pair of jeans as is evident from the quantity of artificially distressed denim that is for sale.
However, in the long run this makes for a unique and personalised pair of jeans as all the fading and wear and tear will result from the owner of the jeans. They will rub and the colour will change according to their body. To cultivate this natural look more quickly some people abstain from washing their jeans for up to six months at a time – a rather drastic measure!
If you like the idea of some proper denim but are unwilling to stick out this personalising process there are companies, Replay jeans, for example, that will give you a good pair of jeans that look how you want them to without the wait.
You may even want to invest in something which defies the general wear and tear associated with jeans such as selvage denim – a type which will not unravel. This sort of denim was made on an old style shuttle loom and means your look is more authentically vintage as the materials are made in a traditional way.