The diversity of denim

Where would we be without denim? This fabric has become part of the very fabric of our society and can be worn in many different ways, making these items truly flexible and adaptive clothing. Jeans, skirts, jackets and accessories have all been the mainstay of our closet for a long time now but where did denim start and how did it become the world’s favourite fabric?

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While the origins have been debated, it is generally thought that denim first appeared in the late 18th century in Italy and France. The story goes that the weavers in Nimes, France tried to imitate the fabric they saw in Genoa, Italy, but ended up with a cotton twill that was slightly different. That which we now know as denim. ‘De Nimes’ means of Nimes in France, so it is clear where the name denim comes from at least! For a range of current Diesel Clothes, visit

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Men who worked in Italy adopted the material for their work pants for the cheapness and durability of it. Dungarees are actually made from a slightly different so-called dungaree, which began in the Indian village of Dungri in Bombay. Dungarees were exported to the UK for factory workers to wear. One hundred years later, we see jeans entering the scene in the early American West Gold Rush of the 1850s. One German immigrant called Levi Strauss (you know where this is heading right?) took a trip to New York on business. Hearing of the Gold Rush, he travelled across America to set up his efforts to sell his goods and become friends with a local tailor and the rest is history.

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