You must have plenty of denim clothes in your wardrobe. But have you wondered why is denim blue? Read our blog and you will learn the reasons behind the color of denim.
Many generations of people today, especially in America but also in many other nations, regularly wear jeans. Today’s jeans come in a variety of hues, but the original blue is still the most popular.
Why is denim blue? The chemical characteristics of blue dye led to its selection as the color for denim. In hot temperatures, most dyes will permeate the fabric, causing the color to stick.
Let’s see why denim is always blue.
Why is Denim Blue?
The weft weaves underneath two or more warp threads to create the cotton twill fabric known as denim. Weft threads in a denim fabric are left white while the warp threads are indigo dyed.
Denim has a white back and a blue front for this reason. Denim is dyed blue on the outside when used to make jeans, and due to the manufacturing process, it fades in a distinctive manner.
The plant Indigofera tinctoria was used to dye the original denim. Synthetic indigo is used today to dye denim. Indigo is frequently used to dye denim, which is then repeatedly dried to produce a color that will last longer.
After being turned into clothing, denim is frequently washed to make it softer and to minimize or completely eliminate shrinkage. Dry or raw denim is described as denim that has not been washed.
In time, denim ages and takes on a worn-in appearance that is frequently desired as a fashion detail. Some denim is purposefully distressed so that it looks worn out even before it is worn.
Stretch denim is denim that isn’t made entirely of cotton but also contains an elastic material, most frequently elastane. Sulfur dyeing, which is used to dye denim in colors other than indigo, is an alternative to indigo dyeing for denim coloring.
The History of Denim Jeans
Starting in America, the history of denim jeans begins. Gold was found at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, in 1850, which led to a sudden influx of miners and fortune seekers. This time between 1849 to 1856 was aptly named the Gold Rush.
Arriving in San Francisco was a businessman named Loeb Strauss from Bavaria. He worked for family members who sold clothing, linens, and other dry goods at wholesale prices (clothing, linens, and cloth). He later changed his name to the Hebrew name “Levi”.
According to legend, when he first arrived in San Francisco, he observed that miners required sturdy, robust clothing.
He had a tailor make a pair of pants for the miners using some canvas he took from the stock of dry goods supplies he had brought with him. The fabric was later dyed blue, and he eventually switched to imported denim from Nimes, France.
The name ‘denim‘ derives from the French ‘serge de Nimes‘, meaning ‘serge (a sturdy fabric) from Nimes’. As word of these pants spread, business for Levi Strauss increased. Together, he and the tailor Jacob Davies developed a process for adding metal rivets to the design of the pants at stress points like the corners of the pockets and the base of the fly. The process was patented.
The first thing that was done was to give the manufactured goods lot numbers, and the now-famous number “501” was used to identify the renowned overalls with the copper riveted waist.
Conclusion: Why is Denim Blue?
The indigo dye was discovered by manufacturers of pants to have a stronger bond with the denim fibers. Unlike other dyes, which when heated penetrated the cotton fibers, dye attached to the outside of the fabric.
Additionally, the indigo dye strengthened its bond with the fabric with each wash, softening the denim jeans and giving them the familiar softened blue appearance.
Who Decided Jeans Should Be Blue?
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent for blue jeans.
Is Denim Originally Blue?
Denim was originally dyed with indigo dye extracted from plants, often from the genus Indigofera. In South Asia, indigo dye was extracted from the dried and fermented leaves of Indigofera tinctoria; this is the plant that is now known as “true indigo” or “natural indigo”.
What is the Natural Color of Denim?
Natural denim is typically blue in color, because of the indigo coloring. Is denim a colour or fabric? The plant Indigofera tinctoria produces the dye that gives denim its distinctive color.