What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types
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What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types

One of the world’s most recognizable fabrics is without doubt denim. Learn all about what is denim and its types in this blog.

Twill weaving produces a subtle diagonal ribbing pattern in the sturdy cotton fabric known as denim. Two yarns are woven together to make it. The warp (the yarn that runs downward) and weft (the yarn that runs across) is threaded over and under each other.

Therefore, what exactly is denim? Discover everything there is to know about denim by reading on.

What is Denim Fabric?

A strong cotton twill fabric called denim has a weft that passes underneath two or more warp threads. Due to the intended use of the denim’s heavier GSM and coarser yarn count, it is structurally stronger than regular trousers.

The weft passes underneath two or more warp threads to create the sturdy cotton fabric known as denim. A diagonal ribbing appearance is created by this twill weaving. The distinctive fading characteristics of denim, which set it apart from other textiles, are also produced by this kind of dyeing.

The name “denim” derives from Serge de Nimes the phrase in French that means “serge from Nimes.” Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue jeans, although “jean” formerly denoted a different, lighter, cotton fabric.

The contemporary use of the word “jeans” comes from the name of the Italian city of Genoa, which produced the first pair of denim jeans.

What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types

The History of Denim Fabric

Denim was first produced in the city of Nîmes in France and was originally called the serge de Nîmes. The word denim is an English colloquialism of the French term: “de nim.”

When Levi Strauss opened a store in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, selling dry goods along with buttons, thread, and tent canvas, denim gained popularity in the United States. He started producing robust mining pants with large pockets for gold storage.

One of Strauss’s clients, Jacob Davis, strengthened the seams and pocket corners by adding copper rivets. The pants were patented by David and Strauss, and Strauss started mass-producing and marketing them, assisting in their transformation from a garment worn only by working men into a staple of contemporary fashion.

How is Denim Fabric Made?

There are a few stages that culminate in the production of finished denim fabric products:

  1. Cotton cultivation: The cultivation of the cotton plant is the first step in the creation of denim. This plant grows a thick ball of fibers around its tiny black seeds as a defense mechanism; these fibers can be gathered and separated from their seeds to make fabric.
  2. Processing into yarn: Combed cotton fibers are made into lengthy, fine strings after being thoroughly cleaned. Then, a commercial machine spins them into yarn. Numerous washes, dyes, or other treatments that alter the characteristics of the finished denim product may be used during this process.
  3. Final production: It is woven into the recognizable warp-faced denim style after the cotton yarn has been created and dyed. The majority of this fabric is created in bolts, which can be bought by the yard and shaped into finished consumer goods.
What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types

Properties of Denim Fabric

  • Long-wearing is the purpose.
  • It is hard to wear.
  • Strong and long-lasting, it.
  • It resists snags and tears
  • It creases easily.
  • Usually with indigo, vat blue, or sulfur black, warp yarns are colored.
  • Structure: Twill, either right- or left-handed. z/s-twill of 2/1 or 3/1construction.
  • Typically constructed using cotton yarns with a higher count (7s, 10s, 14s, 16s, etc.).)
  • The cloth is coarser and used for warm jackets and pants (weight ranges from 6 to 14 oz/sq. yds).
  • Typically, rotor yarn is employed.

Different Types of Denim Fabric

  1. Indigo denim: To create indigo denim, white threads are used as the weft, and indigo dye is applied to the warp threads. Due to the fabric’s warp facing, most blue jeans have a blue exterior and a lighter blue, almost white interior.
  2. Stretch denim: To increase the fabric’s give and flexibility, stretch denim is woven with spandex or another elastic material. For skinny jeans, stretch denim is frequently used.
  3. Crushed denim: These particular jeans have been treated to give them an aged appearance.
  4. Acid-wash denim: For a marbled appearance, this denim is treated with pumice and chlorine.
  5. Raw denim: Fabric that has been dyed in raw or dry denim is not washed. The texture becomes rougher and stiffer as a result.
  6. Sanforized denim: This particular denim has been treated to prevent shrinkage while being washed. Except for raw denim, this is true for almost all types of denim.
  7. Selvedge Denim: This describes denim fabric with bands that are typically orange or red in color that finish the edges. Selvage or self-edge denim are other names for it.
  8. Lightweight denim: the preferred denim for use in the creation of blouses and other summer clothing. Typically, this is plain-woven denim.
  9. Waxed reverse Denim: This fabric is denim, and the back side has been waxed to make it water resistant. Bags and outdoor equipment are the main uses for it.
  10. Polycore denim: Combining cotton and polyester fibers, this fabric is called denim. The resultant fabric has all the benefits of both polyester and cotton, including absorbency, strength, and wrinkle-freeness.
  11. Washed Denim: The term “marble denim” also applies to acid-washed denim. Using pumice stone that has been soaked in chlorine, this finish is applied to denim fabric.
What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types

Applications of Denim Fabric

This cotton product is used in several sectors:


Clothes are the main application of denim fabric. Examples of denim apparel items include:

  • Jeans
  • Skirts
  • Shirts
  • Blouses
  • Jackets
  • Vests


Denim is also commonly used in accessories like:

  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Purses
  • Hats


As denim has become a fashion icon as well as a practical fabric, this textile has found its way into the homewares market in the following categories:

  • Drapes/curtains
  • Upholstery
  • Blankets/duvets
  • Pillows
What is Denim Fabric: Definition & Types

What to Look for When Buying Denim Fabric?

When choosing a denim item to purchase, there are many factors to consider.

  • Fit. Particularly when it comes to jeans, denim is available in a variety of fits. Wide-leg, straight-leg, slim-fit, and other options for denim are available. As with flares in the 1960s, different denim trends come and go, but you should always purchase the style and fit you prefer.
  • Wash. While blue jeans are the de facto standard for denim, you can also buy different denim colors and washes. Distressed jeans have a worn-in quality to them, which is often trendy. Dark wash jeans tend to be slimming, but the dye can also transfer so be careful when washing or wearing with lighter items. Light wash jeans are a nice light blue, while black jeans and grey denim are sophisticated choices. Denim shorts and jackets come in a variety of washes as well.
  • Rise. The rise of a pair of jeans is the point at which the waistband sits. The choice between high-rise, mid-rise, and low-rise jeans simply comes down to what style you’re after. High-rise usually falls at or above the natural waist. Mid-rise is the most common and falls slightly below the waist. Low-rise or hip-huggers rest along the hips.

How to Care for Denim?

Before washing any denim fabric or item, make sure to carefully read the care instructions. The majority of indigo dye can transfer during washing, so wash denim with complementary colors or by itself on the first wash.

Denim should be washed on a medium to regular cycle in cool water. Denim can be dried in a dryer; the heat setting should be on medium. But you should only wash your denim after several wears if you want to make it last longer.

Conclusion: Denim Fabric

Despite the fact that denim is well known on a global scale, understanding the fabric’s definition is important. The fabric weave of denim is typically twill. Plain weave denim is also a possibility, but it primarily comes in light denim.

Like no other society, we have incorporated denim into our daily lives. Most jeans are made out of them, but it is used for many other things as well. To ensure that your denim lasts a long time, keep in mind how to care for it.


What is the Difference Between Denim and Jeans?

Simply put, the difference between denim and jean is that denim is a fabric and jeans are a garment. Jackets, overalls, shirts, and jeans are just a few examples of the many garments that are made from denim fabric. A common type of clothing made from denim fabric is jeans.

Where Does the Word Jeans Come From?

The word Jeans comes from a twilled cotton fabric called ‘Genoa fustian’; often used to make durable workwear. In honor of Genoa, where the fabric was originally woven, American workers referred to their workwear as “jeans” in this country.

Are Denim Jeans Only Blue?

Calling your pants “blue jeans” almost seems redundant because practically all denim is blue. While blue may seem like a neutral color, jeans are probably the most adaptable pair of pants you own.

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