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What You Need to Know About How Denim is Designed

There may not be a clothing item more American than blue jeans. Made from durable denim and available in a range of colors, cuts, and stylings, almost every household has someone who wears jeans. With so many different people wearing them, jeans have to be available to fit a wide variety of body shapes, style preferences, and use requirements. To meet these demands, manufacturers are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating their denim lines to provide the durable, great looking denim wear that America wants.

A rack with different pairs of jeans hanging from hangers.

A History Of Jeans

Blue jeans have been around longer than jeans have--or at least the modern concept of what jeans are. Originally, jeans was any garment--even dresses--made from a particular kind of fabric (often blue) made in Genoa, Italy, which in French was Gênes. French weavers in Nimes also made their version of this fabric, which being from Nimes was referred to as de Nimes, giving us both the words “denim” and “jeans” in English. These materials made sturdy working clothes that were perfect for manual laborers. They were easy to clean, sturdy, and allowed people to get more use out of their clothing budget.

The American version of denim jeans we know so well was developed jointly by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in the 1870s with coal miners and other laborers in mind. It remained a popular workwear choice until Hollywood films of the 1950s like Rebel Without a Cause made it a symbol of rebellious youth and the soldiers home from war who were struggling to make sense of the battles they fought and the country they returned to. They have remained popular ever since as a casual dress option that is durable enough for work, nice enough for casual fun, and diverse enough to find a good fit, whoever you are.

Modern Jeans

Today’s denim jeans offer a lot of versatility, but as the demands of our economy have changed, so have the goods that fill the shopping spaces in that economy. In a quest for ever lower prices, most jeans are mass produced in automated factories from denim that is “good enough”. Often located outside the United States to take advantage of cheaper labor and lower regulatory requirements on sustainability and working conditions, every effort is made to deliver low cost goods to department stores, factory outlets, and discount shops coast to coast.

The denim used is often lighter weight or more coarse. The patterns, cut by lasers or CNC machines, are sewn together by robots on an assembly line. They’re then packed for shipping and sent to warehouses, then distribution centers, and finally a store near you. Manufactured to be almost disposable to drive future sales, you can expect to buy several pairs in a season as they become prematurely worn, torn, or otherwise damaged. That’s not the way we do business.

Using a sewing maching to assemble a pair of jeans by hand at our Los Angeles factory

Our Modern Jeans

We import Italian denim that looks and feels great, with a tight weave and smooth feel. Then, every pair of jeans we sell is hand made by employees in our Los Angeles factory, because it provides needed good-paying jobs to the community and lets us completely control the quality process so you’re getting a pair of pants that look great and will last. A single pair can last for years, reducing waste, and that’s better for the environment. We love our ethical and sustainable business practices, and our customers love awesome looking jeans they can feel good about buying and wearing. It’s the perfect match!

To make sure everyone can find the perfect pair for their needs, we make certain considerations when designing our denim.

  • Type Of Garment - While we focus on denim pants at Xabi, there are several types of jeans that aren’t pants. In addition to several styles of pants, shorts and skirts are also popular requests. Each of these has its place in someone’s wardrobe.
  • Rise - The rise of your jeans determines where the waistband sits. A lower rise might hug the hips, but higher rises sit around your navel and give you a garment with different lines.
  • Inseam - This is the length from the bottom of the leg to the center point of the crotch. Usually people think about this when deciding how long of jeans pants they need, but it can also factor in when determining whether the shorts you’re looking at are long enough for your comfort level.
  • Pockets - Keys, phones, wallets, and all manner of other items go right in. The right pockets can make the difference between whether your jeans sit on a manger or are always your go-to choice.
  • Cuffs - The lower edge of the leg can be finished in a variety of ways. From roughly cropped to hemmed for cuffing, the variation you choose can change the entire feel of a pair of jeans.
  • Washes - Not all blues are created equal, but they’re all beautiful. Choosing your favorite wash can give you a dark pair that gets noticed or a lighter pair of jeans that’s ready for fun.
  • Distressing - Artfully modified clothes help set off an entire outfit, but if you prefer the smooth, tight weave of unaltered denim, we can’t fault that.

Finding Your Favorite Style

Getting the right pair of jeans doesn’t have to be hard. Start by deciding where you want your denim to take you. Are you looking for sensible everyday pants that look and feel great or do you want something a little more fun and flirty for the club, like a denim skirt? Maybe you want something casual and fun for your weekends outdoors? Browse our selection and find the denim that speaks to your soul.

Make sure the next pair of good jeans you invest in does good out in the world. Our handmade denim supports the American economy and creates less waste for landfills, making it the ethical choice that looks great on you. If you have any questions about our products, contact our customer service department for additional information. Order your denim online from Xabi Jeans today.