Blue Jeans History - Who Invented Jeans?

Jeans are pants made from denim or dungaree cloths which are both cotton cloths but denim is woven and then colored while dungaree is woven from colored yarn. “Jeans” is a short for “blue jeans” which are invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. Jeans as name for trousers come from city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured. Republic of Genoa exported the jeans throughout Europe. Weavers from the French city of Nimes tried to copy jean but could not. Fabric they ended up with became known as denim, literally "de Nimes" or “from Nimes”.

Jeans Blue

In 1851 Levi Strauss came from Germany to New York where his brother held dry goods store as a family business. From there, Levi Strauss went to San Francisco in March 1853, to start a West Coast branch of the business - Levi Strauss & Co. wholesale house. Before he came there, a Gold Rush began in California in 1848. Among other things, miners needed strong clothes that could withstand rough working conditions. One of the tailors that tried to make clothes that would fill this condition was Jacob Davis, tailor from Reno, Nevada, who purchased bolts of cloth from the wholesale house of Levi Strauss & Co. Only problem he had is that clothes ripped at pockets of the pants. He reinforced corners of the pockets with metal rivets and with that made them stronger. Jacob Davis tried to patent the idea but didn’t have the money to file the papers. Because of that he suggested to Levi Strauss in 1872 that two of them hold the patent. Levi liked the idea and on May 20, 1873, the two men received patent no.139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After that Levi hired Jacob Davis to oversee production of the riveted pants at his factory - the Levi Strauss & Co. Denim from which the cloths of were at Levi Strauss & Co made came from Amoskeag Mill in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Jeans were working clothes at first. They were made from durable materials and could last long. Men's jeans had the zipper down the front, while women's jeans had the zipper at the left side and both were designed to fit loosely and in form of overalls. In 1950s Jeans without the bib became symbol of youth rebellion after James Dean popularized them in the movie “Rebel without a Cause”. Because of their meaning they became banned in schools, theatres and restaurants. They became more acceptable in 1960s and by the 1970s they became accepted as a part of fashion. In 1965, Limbo, a boutique in the New York East Village, was the first retailer to wash a new pair of jeans to make them look used and worn out, decorated them with patches and decals and sold them like that for $200. Idea soon became a hit. In time jeans changes looks but never got out of style. Today jeans is worn by people of all genders and ages.