Denim vs. Twill
Denim is a material used to make a style of pants called Jeans. Jeans can also be made out of twill fabrics which are lighter in weight and not woven the same as denim. Denim first appeared in Italy where the cloth makers there were trying to copy a French fabric, corduroy. Their efforts resulted not in corduroy but in a rugged twill where the weaving thread passes through and under two or more warp threads (the length wise threads held in place to weave through) making a sturdy twill with diagonal lines or ridges.
This first version of denim was known as “serge de Nimes” where it was first woven. Through time, it was called just “serge”. Our word denim combines ” de” and “nimes”. The first serge fabric was made from wool and later cotton as we know it today.
Genovese sailors using serge for their sails thought to make the fabric into a pant and died it indigo. Hence blue denim is the fabric and blue jean’s is the style of pants. Jeans traditionally had pocket grommets to strengthen the fabric for workers carrying tools in their jeans. Over time, grommets are only for decoration if they are used at all. The style jean has 5 pockets with two in the back and three in front, the smallest inside the right front pocket is a coin pocket.
So today we have jean styles made from denim and thinner twill and without the double weaver used in denim.
Most jeans have a stretch to them called spandex or Lycra (which is the brand name for spandex) Traditional jeans are blue, but in today’s fashion jeans have become so important that they are available in all kinds of color and patterns. Whether you like denim jeans or lighter twill jeans, jeans are everywhere and with so many styles, you can find a style and fabric which best suits you.
Do you have a favorite jean? Do you prefer original denim or some of the lighter weight twill?