Popularised by miners during the California gold rush when it was introduced to the market more than 140 years ago, denim is now a universally adored fabric that has been reinterpreted in every aesthetic and finish but always expresses simplicity, modesty and a laid-back je ne sais quoi that we love. Get to know some of the most common phrases in the industry as we introduce our ultimate denim legends.
Words and Photography by HYPEBEAST
13oz Cotton Denim – Scotch & Soda
13oz denim has long been considered one of the most practical weights for denim. Without being overbearing and uncomfortable, denim at this particular weight is sufficiently rugged while allowing for the ability to fade beautifully over time.
Resin Wash – Rag & Bone
Developed in the 1980s, resin is a type of wash applied to jeans to give off a distressed and faded look. Distressed using chemicals rather than manual applications such as sandpaper or drills, this process makes the jeans appear shinier with a softer feel, while creating that highly desirable, worn-in look.
Selvedge – 3x1
Initially referred to as self-edge, selvedge as it is now known, is a self-finished edge of fabric. The tightly woven band is seen on both edges of the outer seam, keeping it from unravelling or fraying, resulting in a clean, finished look. In the earlier eras, different colours of selvedge were used to differentiate different mills.
Five-Pocket – McQ Alexander McQueen
With two pockets in the back, two pockets in the front, and a coin pocket inside the right front pocket, the ubiquitous Five-Pocket design is the purest form of the classic style. The original Levi’s prototype was produced in 1873 with only three pockets: two in the front and one in the back. This was adapted in 1890 with the introduction of the coin pocket, which was dubbed as the watch pocket. In 1905, Levi’s added the final back pocket to its classic 501XX jeans.
Indigo Cotton – McQ Alexander McQueen
Indigo has become the most popular colour used to dye denim. The dye was initially taken from the indigofera tinctoria plant, then synthesised in the early 20th century to be used in the garment industry. With its inability to penetrate into fibres completely, indigo-dyed denim continually fades, providing characteristics unique to the wearer.
Raw – Acne
Unwashed denim is often known as raw denim. This means that the denim has not undergone any sort of processing except perhaps a prewash for shrinkage. Presented in its purest, unadulterated form, the term ‘raw’ is also often interchanged with the term ‘dry’. Each pair comes in a dark, even hue, ready to be broken into and worn by you to create your own unique story with each wear.
Atari – Denham
Atari is used to describe the selective fading that occurs on the ridges of creases. These include the side seams, the front and back of the knees, upper thigh, along the hem, and belt loops. At times, atari is aesthetically reproduced to recreate a vintage feel.