Why the default color of Jeans is always in Blue ?

                            Why Jeans is always Blue ?

 

Going for shopping or choosing something casual in online shopping the most obvious trendy match with anything is Jeans and most of the time it is blue. When you think of Jeans the obvious color comes in mind is Blue. But have you ever though why Jeans has emerged it out with the prime color as blue?

Are you interested to know the story why the color of jeans is emerged as Blue ?

 

The story of jeans started in FRANCE in late 1880 s but the color imposed to the jeans from INDIA. Denim was produced in Nimes, France in the late 1800s.
In fact, it is hard to determine when they started making it; perhaps as early as the mid-1600s? The cloth is properly called Serge. The Blue Serge from Nimes was called “Serge de Nimes” (pronounced SERJ de NEEM) but when it was imported into the united States, the anglicized pronunciation was Denim.

The real answer for “why blue” comes from the introduction of bulk Indigo dye to Europe. The default blue color is from the dye called Indican. Prior to the importation of Indigo, woad leaves were the only source of blue dye in Europe and North America. Woad leaves gives a fainter blue and it needs at least 2 times the amount compared to indigo. Then, suddenly, both cheap cotton and cheap Indigo were imported to Nimes via sea routes from India.

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Indigo was imported in its processed form as a pure dye. It looked like rock crystals and for many years people didn’t even know it came from a plant. It was listed as a “mineral”. Woad dye was supplied as rolled-up balls of composted woad leaves. Indigo was extremely cheap, compared to woad. It gave a better and darker blue, and when it hit Europe it put the entire woad industry out of business within a generation. People who could not formerly afford blue clothes now luxuriated in the “color of nobility“.

Indigo Dye Cake
Indigo Dye Cake

How the color imported to different places ?

In the early 1900s the merchants (of Nimes) exported their cloth to the United States in order to make sails for ships, tarpaulins and workmen’s trousers. In 1870, a Bavarian immigrant by the name of Levi Strauss used this cloth to make trousers for the trailblazers opening up the Wild West – made in Genoa of “de Nîmes” cloth. The French word for Genoa Italy is “Genes”, hence, the origin of the word “jeans”.

I’m always surprised by the trade routes implied by this simple statement and how it reached to everywhere. Cotton and indigo from India Imported to Nimes, France. It has Made into cloth. Then Imported to Italy. Made into trousers by a Bavarian. Then Imported to the US east coast. Shipped out west to miners and cowboys.

Cotton serge (aka drill or twill) does not have to be blue. It starts out white or cotton colored. You know how it turned to khaki ? When it is dyed beige or grey it’s called Khaki.

Khaki is dyed after the cloth is woven, but Denim is thread-dyed before weaving. And only half the threads are dyed blue; the rest are white to save on the cost of the indigo, making this cloth a handsome blue while remaining economical for the workmen’s trousers.

Great story right ? But very interesting to know how our daily wear jeans turned to Blue…

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