Of Blue Jeans
Long before Sal Herman came up with the idea to manufacture Sloops
Blue Jeans this denim and Jean fabric has a history dating back before the founding of the
USA. Sloops© has a Patent pending for jeans designed specifically for suspender wearers
on both style, fit and functionality. This was not the first Patent granted for this most
popular of all casual pant material which has migrated to a fashion trend for the young
and old since the 1960's. Let take a look at the history of today's modern blue
In 1969 a writer for American Fabrics magazine declared, "Denim
is one of the world's oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young." If continuous
use of and interest in an item makes it "eternally young," then denim certainly
qualifies since even worn denim material is prized in all corners of the world.
Legend and fact are also interwoven when scholars discuss the origin of the name denim.
Most reference books say that denim is an English corruption of the French phrase
"serge de Nimes;" a serge/twill fabric from the town of Nimes in France dating
back to the 17th century. At the same time, there was also a fabric known in France as
"nim." Both fabrics were composed partly of wool and we infer de Nimes = denim.
Mis translated when it crossed the English Channel , let alone when reaching the American
shores in the NE mill towns.
Serge de Nimes was also known in England before the end of the 17th century. The
question then arises: was this fabric imported from France or was it an English fabric
bearing the same name? Fabrics which were named for a certain geographic location were
often also made elsewhere; the name was used to lend a certain cachet to the fabric when
it was offered for sale. Therefore a "serge de Nimes" purchased in England was
very likely also made in England, and not in Nimes, France.
To confuse things even more, another fabric known as "jean" also existed at
this same time. Research on this textile indicates that it was a fustian - a cotton, linen
and/or wool blend - and that fustian from Genoa, Italy was called jean. This is evidence
of a fabric being named for a place of origin. It was apparently quite popular and
imported into England in large quantities during the 16th century. By the end of this
period, jean was being produced in Lancashire. By the 18th century, jean cloth was made
completely of cotton and used to make men's clothing, valued especially for its property
of durability even after many washings.
Denim's popularity was also on the rise. It was stronger and more expensive than jean,
and though the two fabrics were very similar in some ways, they did have one major
difference: denim was made of one colored thread and one white thread; jean was woven of
two threads of the same color. The thrifty Americans took the liberty to wed the two
fabric milling techniques and just used the best grade cotton, one thread dyed indego blue
and the other left the cheaper white, to make todays modern denim jeans.
The invention story is a simple one. Levi Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853, at the
age of twenty-four, to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods
business. Dry Goods stores were the predecessor to today's department stores. He had spent
a number of years learning the fabric trade in New York after emigrating there from his
native Germany. He built his business into a very successful operation over the next
twenty years, making a name for himself not only as a well-respected businessman and is
considered to be the founder of today's blue jeans, which are prized the world over for
comfort and durability by men and women alike.
One of Levi's many dry goods customers was a tailor named Jacob Davis.
Originally from Latvia, Jacob lived in Reno, Nevada, and regularly purchased bolts of
cloth from the wholesale house of Levi Strauss & Co. Among Jacob's customers was a
difficult man who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that Jacob made for him. Jacob
tried to think of a way to strengthen the man's trousers, and one day hit upon the idea of
putting metal rivets at the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the
base of the button fly.
These riveted pants were an instant hit with Jacob's customers and he worried that
someone might steal this great idea. He decided he should apply for a patent on the
process, but didn't have the $68 that was required to file the papers. He needed a
business partner and he immediately thought of Levi Strauss. Amazing fact that blue jeans
themselves were never patented ...just the pocket seam rivet idea.
Jacob wrote to Levi to suggest that the two men hold the patent together. Levi, who was
an astute businessman, saw the potential for this new product and agreed to Jacob's
proposal. On May 20, 1873, the two men received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office. We consider that day to be the official "birthday" of denim
blue jeans as this was the only type of pant material to use riveted pockets.
Although denim pants had been around as work wear for many years, it was the first use
of rivets that created what we now call jeans. "Waist overalls" rather then
Coveralls was the traditional name for work pants, which is what these first jeans
were called. The word jeans became more popular around 1960 when the baby-boom generation
adopted the term for its favorite type of pants worn by early Cowboy movie stars. Credit
James Dean and the Fonz for breaking casual blue jeans into a fashion statement for
teenagers all during the 60's.
Sometime during 1873, the first riveted blue jeans were made and sold. (We're not sure
of the exact date because all our historic records in the 1906 San Francisco
earthquake and fire.) Jacob Davis was in charge of manufacturing when Levi Strauss &
Co. opened its two San Francisco factories.
The denim for the riveted work pants came from the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester, New
Hampshire, a company known for the quality of its fabrics. Within a very short time, all
types of working men were buying the innovative new pants and spreading the word about
their unrivaled durability. Around 1890, these pants were assigned the manufacturing
number 501 by the Levi Staauss & Co plant, which they still bear today.
Holding a patent on this process meant that for nearly twenty years, Levi Strauss &
Co. was the only company allowed to make riveted clothing (jean pants and jackets) until
the patent went into the public domain around 1891. When the patent expired, dozens of
garment manufacturers began to imitate the original riveted clothing made popular by Levi
Strauss & Co. Sloops Jeans have these same pocket seam rivets and are a direct
descendant of the original pair made in 1873. And it was two visionary immigrants, Levi
Strauss and Jacob Davis, who turned denim, thread and a little metal into the most popular
clothing product in the world - blue jeans.
Sloops Jeans have a patent pending on design and fit made specifically for
Un-common features include:
No unsightly belt loops ~ these are designed
to be worn with suspenders
Higher rise waistband with brass closure
button and pocket saving edge rivits.
Relaxed jean front with a tighter seat give
them a custom fit look. These jeans boast year round 12 oz. weight and are made from
soft-washed 100-percent cotton composition, ensuring a comfortable fit right from day one!
Sloops are recommended to be worn
1" larger in the waistband then regular jeans. This extra inch eliminates the
unsightly indentation at the waistline and adds to the comfort portion of The Perfect
Equation in fashion. A longer, leaner look is instantly created, and the wearer appears
both taller and slimmer as the jean drapes perfectly with new found style. Add on one of
the 180 styles of Patented Holdup Suspenders and your Always UP for any occassion. The
boot cut pair on the left is worn with our Double-UPs dual clip suspenders in the
"Sand Dunes" light Tan color. Boot cut jeans taper out
at the bottom to allow more room for work or dress boots. The straight
leg version has the same tighter seat fit and relaxed front but hangs straight from
the thigh area to the cuff.
Double-UPs / Sloops® = Style + Comfort
Holdup Suspenders is not new to patenting men's fashions.
They hold the only USA patents in 107 years for their no-slip suspender clips....click for