Everyone knows them and almost everyone has several in his/hers wardrobe. But since when do jeans actually exist and how did they start their worldwide triumph? It’s time to look for the tracks and to start a journey through American and global history.
Everything started with a German man, who migrated to the United States of America. After their father passed away in 1946, Jewish Löb Strauss and his sisters decided to follow their older brothers to America, where they owned a draper’s and dry goods shop. Strauss renamed himself into Levi Strauss after his arrival in the USA.
Levi Strauss wanted to take profit from the upcoming gold rush in California. Not by digging for gold, he provided the gold diggers with supplies like flysheets. He also offered pants, even if they were not mentioned as jeans yet. However, Strauss started to use a dense cotton fabric from French city Nimes, which went down in history as “Denim”.
Jacob Davis, a smart tailor from Reno, Nevada, achieved crucial contribution in the change of sturdy gold digger pants to blue jeans. He had the idea to toughen pants with studs and needed a solvent partner for the patent application. Levi Strauss was keen on this idea. The time has come: jeans were born on 20th of May 1873.
It took a while until the jeans’ laxity was recognized by the mainstream. First, almost entirely the working class in the American west slipped into blue jeans in the morning – predominantly cowboys and workers. Jeans also enjoyed certain popularity among polo players, after they realized that they can hardly damage these sturdy denim pants. On the other hand, citizens from the east initially wore jeans solely when travelling into the “Wild West” and playing cowboy over there. In the west, jeans were a sign of a footloose and fancy-free life in nature – a conjunction visualized regularly in western movies in cinemas. But nobody had worn jeans in New York or Boston.
Hollywood was mainly responsible for jeans’ status as a symbol for rebellion and nonconformism. Whether it was Marlon Brando or James Dean, the movie stars of the bored by conformism and post-war idyll youth, donned blue jeans. Denim pants became highly coveted garments in other countries like Germany, too. Authorities such as teachers, parents and apprentice’s employers were less than thrilled – needless to say that this point made the whole story more exciting for the kids. In addition, Rockabilly was the perfect soundtrack for maladjusted jeans fans. Elvis Presley, Rockabilly and Blue Jeans entered into a close relationship.
After World War 2, jeans started a global sweeping triumph. Increasingly worn by students in the 60s and 70s, psychedelic patterns and flared legs came into the market and made way for pricey designer jeans in the 80s. Today, jeans are worn by cowboys, presidents, mechanics, university professors and students. However, different people wear different jeans.
Jeans are tough and made to last. But can this be the only reason why they became the most popular pants in the world? For most people, their own relationship with jeans has more reasons: different to other pants, denims kind of live their own lives and reflect their owner’s life. Jeans are aging - they change their colors, bleach out, change their fit. Some of them are looking better, the older they get. Vintage jeans of high quality are like a card. Besides, they are straightforward. Forget your iron and any washing hassle – jeans are absolutely modest.
So, what about the rebellion? Depends on your jeans and the way you wear them. Rumble59’s vintage rockabilly jeans dip into the 50s and are made custom-built for all who love Rock’n’Roll, Hotrods and a free and untamed spirit like we do. Whether it’s raw denim, ladies capri or marlene jeans – all these pants add an authentic note to your outfit and set a statement for maladjusted joy of living.
Choosing the best care for your jeans is critical for a long life and a great look even in the sere and yellow. We recommend washing our Rumble59 jeans inside out only, with similar colors and 40 degrees max. For ironing, please use stage 2. Raw denim jeans are outliers. They are untreated and build individual character from wearing them frequently and long. Selvage jeans are produced on a shuttle loom and have a “real” selvage. This selvage has a big advantage: it won’t frazzle.
Best for raw denim and selvage jeans is to wear them about 6-8 months without washing. That way, they get your individual look. After the first wash, the pants won’t really alter, what means that the actual condition will be fixed. Some people recommend to never wash raw denim jeans, but dry cleaning at most. If that’s not yours, preferably wash your denims all alone, inside out at 30 degrees. Use as less soap as possible to avoid ugly stripes and marks. Don’t worry about lack of hygiene. A microbiologist from the University of Alberta spotted that after 15 months of wearing without washing, his jeans had no more germs than 2 weeks after a wash..