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An Ultimate Guide To Denim Jeans Terminology 






There is a lot more to your preferred pair of jeans that fits the eye. Yes, of course, you know your favorite washes and cutouts, but you are likely unaware of the crazy intricate details that go into making your favorite denim pants. We are going to change the way you think about your favorite blues.

Discover the customized world of denim-making. Gain knowledge about the smallest details, the brilliant build quality of hand sandpapering, the scientific method behind stretchy material, the sophisticated ways yarn is mixed thoroughly, and much more. And, to get you ready for all your future denim inspections, we have matched a jean with specific categories for a comprehensive denim glossary. This is a phraseology you will want to brush up on before making your next buy.

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The Fabric

Fabric denim

Warp and weft are the two essential parts of woven fabrics. In general, they relate to the locations of the strands on the weave as well as how the textile is cut and sewn.

Weft: Strands embedded transversely over and under the warp. In general, a 1×1 stitch pattern is by far the most fundamental, with the weft going over one warp weave and under the next one.

Warp: It is basically lengthwise strands held taut on the loom while weft yarns are pulled over and under to create a weave. In addition, the warp is the thread that runs vertically down the leg of the jeans you are wearing.

Raw denim: uncleaned, untreated denim is referred to as raw denim. The majority of jeans sold in stores have been through wash cycles or surface cleaning that lighten them for the person wearing. Putting on raw denim will break it in. Wear your raw denim repeatedly (for days, weeks, months, or maybe even a whole year) prior to actually washing it for the very first time.

Twill: A weaving technique that produces a diagonal (or interchanging diagonal) pattern on the surface of the fabric. Generally speaking, denim is a twill fabric with a consistent diagonal weave. Herringbone is basically a cracked twill, which implies the diagonal alternates between angles.

Twill Denim: Basically, the twilling stitch is one of the reasons why denim has a back and front side. Typically, the warp thread (front side) is dyed selvage denim, while the weft thread (back side) is left untreated natural cotton. Denim’s horizontal texture is created by a conventional over three underneath one woven fabric, which is also part of what has made it so sturdy and long-lasting.

Denim weight: is typically measured in ounces per square yard.

  • Light denim: usually less than 12 oz
  • Medium-weight denim: between 12 and 16 oz
  • Heavy denim: from 17 oz and more

Jeans have become more lightweight in weight since the emergence of stretch apparel. As a consequence, heavyweight pieces of denim have become a specialty item sought after by collectors and die-hard denim heads.

Selvedge: A self-finished, smooth side woven on conventional narrow-width shuttle looms – hence the name “selvage denim” from “self-edge.” Look at the internal side of the outseam to identify a pair of selvedge jeans. As you roll up the pant leg, you will notice a sleek textile strip with a line down the center. This artistic, workable detail distinguishes selvedge from the remaining portion of the denim empire.

Stretching vs. Non-Stretching: In general, non-stretch denim is typically made with 100 percent cotton yarns running through both the warp and the weft. Usually, stretch denim contains 1 to 3% elastane (also recognized as Lycra or spandex) in the weft strands, allowing the garment to extend and recoup as you move. In addition, this stretch is incorporated into the yarns before they are stitched into textile.

Slub: This is basically an imbalanced surface that typically takes the form of a tiny bump or protrusion. Slubs are caused by yarn abnormalities during the weaving process. Slubs can become more visible after washing. A few slubby textiles are extremely coveted due to their texture and the way they age.

The Hardware

Jeans hardware – buttons

Shank buttons: These typically sit moderately away from the clothing and are attached with a dye set that penetrates the denim and clamps the back item into the front stab, tightly holding it in place.

Rivet: Generally speaking, a rivet is an item of metal hardware that aids in the reinforcement of a garment. For those who don’t know, Levi Strauss & Co. and Jacob Davis invented the very first riveted work pants, currently recognized as blue jeans, on May 20, 1873. 

The Stitching

Denim Stitching

Felled seam: Basically, construction work and topstitching together to create denim’s conventional dual flat felled seam. The garment edges that fold under each other are kept out of sight in this seam. Besides, the two rows of seam that keep these folds in place also keep the stitch flat, bringing about a flat felled seam. Because there are fewer sides revealed to frayed edges during wear, this construction tends to provide strength to the clothing.

Topstitching: Each and every stitching that is viewable when the clothing is worn and gets to sit on the outside of the clothing. Topstitching on jeans is typically both visually pleasing and functional, and it is usually gold.

Chain Stitch: Basically, a stitching technology that utilizes a series of looped sewing to create a chain-like structure. Chain-stitched stitching is frequently so accurate that it appears to be painted on the textile.

Lockstitch: With every stitch, the upper yarn loops underneath the bottom yarn, getting locked in place. This constant locking helps make the seam strong, long-lasting, and difficult to remove.

Bartack: is a series of strict zigzag sewing that are used to strengthen stress points. The combination of pocket corners and belt loops benefits from their quality and rigidity. 

The Garments


Inseam/outseam: In general, the stitching that keeps running along the internal side of the leg is known as the inseam. The outseam, on the other hand, is the vertical sew seam or line that keeps running along the outer side of the leg.

Whiskers and fades: As the fabric wears, the upper surface of indigo dye peels off the warp threads, resulting in a fade. In general, fades (for example, back-pocket wallet marks) could sometimes reveal information about the person wearing the jeans. Whiskers are fine horizontal lines that appear on the thighs as well as other wear areas of jeans. They occur naturally over the years, but to achieve this appearance, we occasionally draw lines on jeans with abrasive paper before stone washing them, resulting in a flawlessly worn appearance from day one.

Rise: The range between the crotch point (in which all four cloth panels meet each other) and the top of the waist is referred to as the rise. The rise of your pants defines where they sit on your body and, therefore, can generate or change the location of your viewed midsection. High-rise jeans stay at or near the natural midsection. Low-rise jeans sit just above or below the upper edge of your hips. Anything in the middle, generally a few inches right below your lower abdomen, is considered mid-rise.

Yoke: The portion of a jean right beneath the waist in which the fit occurs. Yokes can also be found on shirts. A common western shirt has an idealized yoke on the top back and front, as well as pockets with unique double (Sawtooth) and single (Barstow) yoke styles.

5 Pocket Jean: This is the most common type of jean construction. Initially, there were two major front pockets, two back pockets, and a relatively small pocket established inside the right-side front pocket among the five pockets. In addition, the tiny one was formally recognized as a “watch pocket,” but it is now more popularly called a “coin pocket.” When people just stop using coins (which should be any day now), we will come up with a new name for it.

J-stitch: A sewing pattern used to make the fly on a pair of jeans (and a lot of other styles of pants). It has the form of the letter J and is frequently dual topstitched for refinement. The buttons are concealed behind a constant panel of denim thanks to J-stitches.

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Steven Ta
Steven Ta
I am a professional photographer and shoe-lover. With a deep-rooted passion for all things footwear and years of hands-on experience, I am your go-to guide in the awesome world of shoes
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