The history of denim jeans started in 19th century at America. The Levi Strauss and Jacob Devis were the main key persons and founder of denim jeans pant. The Levi Strauss came from Germany to US in 1853 where he joined his brother’s dry goods business. He was dealing in different items in which cotton fabric was also included. Whereas, the Jacob W. Davis (a tailor of different items like tents, horse blankets, and wagon covers) was one of his customer of cotton fabric. One day, Jacob Devis customer ordered him a stardy pant that could bear hard work. So, he bought denim-jeans fabric from Levi Strauss and made stardy pant with copper-rivets at different parts of the pant.
After making the first successful development in jeans, the Jacob decided to do continue this line with some more advancement. So, he contacted the Levi Strauss and asked him to join him for this project. The Levi Strauss agreed to support him for this development and then they started work on denim jeans garments. So, this is how the first jeans pant was invented in 1873 with the joint efforts of Jacob Devis and Levi Strauss. And after that their jeans factory introduced and changed the main concept of jeans pant. And it’s the tireless efforts of both experts which introduced the denim jeans from workwear to fashion wear.
History of Denim Jeans Fabric:
As we all know that the jeans are made from denim. The word denim is derived from sturdy fabric called “Serge de Nîmes” in French language. The weavers of Nîmes in Italy were trying to reproduce the cotton corduroy fabric but due to some error they developed a sturdy twill fabric known as denim. And this twill fabric’s weft passes through two or three warp threads. Initially, the warp thread was indigo blue dyed whereas the weft threads remained in white color. So, the facing part of the fabric was blue whereas the reverse side of the denim fabric was in white color.
Although with the passage of time, there are too much enhancements in the characteristics and look of the denim fabric. But, the regular denim jeans fabric still has the same look (reverse side white and front side blue indigo). The blue indigo is a dye which was initially made from trees. But with the passage of time, it is now making with synthetic chemicals with some advance look and features. There are mainly four types of denim fabrics which are usually extensively use in denim jeans fashion industry. The main denim jeans fabrics are cotton/stretch, poly cotton stretch, 100% cotton and poly cotton. Although there are some other types too in denim yet they are not as hot selling items as above said qualities.
Denim Jeans Garment Making Process:
After having a basic information about denim jeans history, making and types of denim. Let’s have a look on below step by step detail of denim jeans pant making process. And for this we will start the same from development process from fabric development to garment finishing step:
Spinning & Weaving:
The cotton denim jeans fabric is developed by cotton thread which is made from cotton crop. The field workers picked the crop from fields and send it to spinning mills for yarn development. The spinning mills follow the sequence of processes that convert raw cotton fibres into yarn. And by following these numbers of spinning processes, they get clean, strong, uniform yarns required for weaving process. After going through rope dyeing and sizing process, the yarn sized beams are ready for weaving. This yarn is used both in warp and weft thread of the denim to develop a stable and long lasting fabric. After weaving process, the fabric is moved to finishing department for final finish/look.
At cutting, first of all, the required garment (top/bottom) patterns are made before cutting start. And these patterns are drawn on cutting layers on denim fabric. Cutting layers length and thickness (05/200 layers per cutting table) are decided according to the requirement of order. Once the layers are done, the plotter machine drawn the paper pattern which is laid on the denim layers for cutting. The sharp cutters are used to cut these layers according to the drawings.
The cut parts of denim fabrics layers are then move to stitching department for stitching purposes. In some garments, the embroidery or printing is required. So, these parts normally move to embroidery or printing department before stitching process. The stitching of normal pant is done by polyester/cotton thread (top thread: 30-40 count, inner thread: 50-100 count). And normally the stitching process is done in chain production system (garment stitching operations divided into number of operators). Once, the stitching is done then raw top/bottom moved to washing process.
The washing process is divided into two steps, the first one is dry process and the other one is wet process. In dry process, all the before wash effects like distressing, sand blasting, tie & dye, pintuck effects etc. are done before the washing process. After completing the dry process the garment steps into enzyme/stone wash process. During this process, the shade and grain effects are matching through different enzymes and bleaching chemicals. The white used effect at front and back is normally made with KMNO4 (Potassium permanganate) chemical. If the wrinkles are required on garment then the garment wrinkles are cure into oven after washing process.
After washing, the garments are landed on finishing department. Here, all pre-finishing (cropping, buttoning, mending etc.) and finishing (pressing, quality, tagging & packing etc) processes are done. Once quality is done then garments are packed into cartons according to the required client’s ratio for final dispatch.
Some Ending But Important Points:
The above fabric and garments making process is a conventional process. Although there are so many enhancements are already made in the above process but the basic procedure is still same. If someone wants to closely understand the denim jeans making process then he/she must go through the above steps first. After having a complete know how about the conventional method. Then he/she should review the other modern steps which are mostly related to environment sustainability in garment manufacturing process.
As it’s really necessary to know these sustainable technologies enhancement too. Because the old or conventional manufacturing process is not eco-friendly. Although the manufacturing steps remain same in new method yet the techniques which we adopt in these steps will be changed. For example, the crop cultivation method and spinning method has improved now. As in old cultivation method, we were consuming too much water and chemicals in our fields. Whereas now, the consumptions of water and chemicals are now too much controlled in both cultivation and spinning process.
Same is the case with garments manufacturing. After knowing the above steps, you should know about the lean manufacturing process. As it considers as best manufacturing approach which guides you how to enhance manufacturing with zero waste. The traditional or old washing process was the more water and hazardous chemical consuming process. So, now there are some enhancements in washing process too which considers as eco-friendly. There are so many technologies which are working perfectly and saving too much water and chemicals. And more importantly, it is saving our land from the toxic chemicals of washing and finishing process of garments.