Top factory to manufacture jeans

The jeans: manufacture and history

We tell you why jeans are blue and how they are made. We also give you tips on which jeans go with whom and what to look out for when buying

In ten minutes Matthias has an appointment to go skateboarding with his friends. There is not much time left to style yourself big. So he quickly picks up his favorite jeans, because they always fit. With the scuffed areas, it even looks really cool and has survived quite a few falls on a skateboard.

As with Matthias, the jeans are sure to be found in your wardrobe. And the trend says: the more used the jeans, the cooler they look. But did you know that jeans lose their color during manufacture?

CV of a pair of jeans

The denim is naturally white and is called denim, derived from its origin in the French city of Nîmes ("de Nîmes" - from Nîmes).

The deep blue dye indigo gives the jeans their color. It actually comes from the leaves of the indigo plant, but is now produced artificially. However, indigo only dyes the outer threads and the core of the fabric remains white. After dyeing, the denim is blue, but by no means finished trousers.

Jeans consist of up to 60 individual parts: trouser pockets, zippers, belt loops, buttons and much more. The shape of the jeans is cut out of the denim fabric according to a pattern. Then the individual parts are sewn together with a strong thread. The visible orange-yellow seams hold the pants together. Finally, buttons and rivets are attached.

Wash once, please!

Every other piece of clothing would be ready for sale now - but not the jeans. The jeans are washed in a large washing drum. The popular "stone-washed" jeans (in German: washed with stones) are washed in a very special way. The jeans are washed together with pumice stones or enzymes. Pumice is a loose lava rock that can also be produced artificially. Enzymes are substances that can accelerate a chemical process.

The two "ingredients" rub off the paint layer and the natural color of the denim comes out. The longer you wash the fabric, the lighter it becomes. Jeans can be washed for up to six hours. By the way: washing your jeans with stones is not suitable for at home. The stones can break the washing machine and make parents mad.

When the jeans are sewn, washed and rinsed, they are still ironed and can be sold in the store.

What matches to whom?

Buying jeans is not as easy as you might think. The first hurdle is to choose a model. Finally, there is a straight shape, hip trousers, stretch, flared shape and much more. But which model is the right one?

Shopping tip

Jeans sizes are usually indicated with two numbers and inches in the American measurement. One inch is 2.54 cm. The first information is the width of the waistband. The second specification corresponds to the length of the pant leg from the waistband to the foot. An example: the size of a pair of jeans is 26/30. So the width is 26 inches (= 66 cm) and the length 30 inches (= 76 cm). It all looks very difficult, but at some point you will know which size fits you.

History of Jeans

Mid-19th century in the USA: people are as if they are intoxicated! Since an adventurer discovered a nugget of gold in CALIFORNIA in 1848, newspapers have reported new finds almost every day. Farmers, miners, day laborers - hundreds of thousands pack their belongings and move to the barely inhabited west of the country to seek their fortune as gold diggers. But who is supposed to provide the many immigrants with the essentials?

Levi Strauss, a merchant who immigrated to New York from Germany, smells the business of his life. In 1853 he travels to San Francisco on the west coast of the USA, where he sells, among other things, balls of cloth and fabrics that tailors use to sew trousers for prospectors. Jacob Davis is one of those tailors.

On a winter day in 1870, a disgruntled woman walks into his shop in Reno, Nevada. Her husband's work pants kept tearing, the customer complains. Jacob Davis promises to take care of the problem - and finds a solution: Instead of just sewing the individual parts of the pants, he also connects them with copper rivets. The pockets in particular, which the prospectors often stuff up with stones, now hold up much better. The idea will be a hit! Jacob Davis can hardly keep up with the production, because more and more people want to get hold of studded pants. This is not hidden from the competition.

You start to copy his trick. Jacob Davis has to prevent that! He urgently needs a sponsort (a letter of protection for inventions issued after examination, which prohibits others from copying them without permission), but that costs $ 68. In the middle of the 19th century, a tailor had to save a long time for this. For comparison: Jacob Davis sells the rivet pants for just three dollars a piece.

So what to do Jacob Davis remembers his fabric supplier Levi Strauss and asks him for help. In fact, the fabric dealer is willing to share in the cost of the cover letter and get into the business. On May 20, 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received patent number US139.121. At first they made the studded trousers out of canvas, but soon they were using denim, a rough cotton fabric dyed with indigo. To this day, jeans are sewn from this particularly tear-resistant material.

By the way: The name jeans only established itself for trousers decades later. It comes from the term "genoese" (pronounced: dschienoies), so "Genoese" because the sailors in the
Italian port city of Genoa reportedly wore similar trousers. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, on the other hand, call their invention "hip overall" - and thanks to them they become rich men. In 1883 the joint company had more than 500 employees. Later the two even build a jeans factory, of which Jacob Davis becomes the boss.

Little by little, jeans are becoming known all over the USA. Vacationers traveling to the west coast show the rivet trousers to their friends and acquaintances in the rest of the country when they return. Soon, not only workers, but almost all Americans want to wear the casual and practical pants. And finally, after the Second World War, US soldiers stationed in Europe bring jeans with them to our continent.

It doesn’t take long before young people in this country, too, are tearing their pants off from distant America. When famous actors such as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe appeared in jeans in the 1950s and 1960s, the former working-class clothing finally became cult clothing.

It has now become one of the most popular items of clothing: every German alone owns an average of eight jeans. Today, however, many of the trousers are sewn under poor conditions in high-wage countries. The company "Levi Strauss & Co" also closed its last factory in the USA in 2003 - 101 years after the death of the founder. However, it is still one of the largest jeans manufacturers in the world - with around 250 million pants produced annually!