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15 Facts About Jeans

By: Liz Flynn

​The Italians have invented many everyday items and one piece of clothing with its origins in this country is the humble pair of jeans. These are something that the majority of people have at least one pair of in their closet. Here are 15 interesting facts you may not know about jeans.
  1. The origins of jeans date back to the 16th century.
  2. The word jeans is derived from Genoa, the city where jeans were first documented. However, they were originally called work overalls.
  3. Denim is a fabric that was once called serge. It became known as denim as it was ‘di Nimes’, or from Nimes, a city in France.
  4. Originally, jeans were dyed with indigo as the darker color hides dirt.
  5. The average number of pairs of jeans owned by Americans in seven.
  6. It is estimated that 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the United States annually.
  7. Businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis obtained a patent for the first riveting process for denim jeans in 1873. The patent number was 139,121.
  8. In the 1870s, men would order their Levi’s 3 inches too long. This was because they would shrink when washed. Until they shrunk, men would turn up their jeans and use the folds for the storage of tobacco.
  9. In 1951, Bing Crosby was refused entry into a hotel in Canada. The reason? He was wearing jeans!
  10. Bell-bottom jeans became popular in 1971 after they were worn on the Sonny & Cher comedy hour. 63 episodes of this program were aired on television.
  11. In 2005, an anonymous Japanese buyer and collector bought a pair of jeans on eBay for $60,000.
  12. The word ‘jeggings’ was a new entry in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011 along with 3999 other new entries.
  13. The making of Levi 501s is more complicated than you may think. In fact, it takes 37 separate sewing machine operations.
  14. The popularity of jeans grew outside the United States thanks to World War II American soldiers wearing this item of clothing while they were off duty.
  15. Now, approximately 50% of denim is made in Asia. The biggest producers of this fabric are China, Bangladesh, and India.
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