What is denim? When it comes to this obsession a little background can go along way. So why not explore the basics.
At its core, denim is recognized as a durable and sturdy 100% cotton woven textile with a recognizable twill weave pattern.
Twill being the iconic diagonal rib pattern seen on the fabric surface. In fabric, there are two main directions to consider. ‘Warp’, running the length of the fabric and ‘Weft’, which runs across.
Essentially the most basic weave pattern would be a one over, one under. This means that the weft yarns pass over one warp yarn and then under the next.
In order to create a twill weave (as the one found in denim) the weave pattern has the weft yarn passing under two or more warp yarns in sequence. This creates the diagonal rib found on denim.
By default, we all know denim as a rich blue shade with that unbelievable ability to fade.
Along with its yarn structure and dye technique, this weaving method is what gives denim its contrasts and ability to adapt.
With the two main directional yarns in denim, the warp yarn (length) is generally the indigo rich yarn. Leaving the weft yarn (across) as a standard natural colour. Then give the method itself to seave a twill base, the weft passes largely below the warp yarns (under two or more) meaning that the top of the fabric shows the majority of indigo yarns and the bottom the vivid contrast.
Its all well and good diving into the technical aspect of what goes where and how it all works. But denim isn’t an icon because of its weave, or its staple yarn structure. These are all elements that make up the whole, dare I say the ‘raw’ facts in the entire fade pattern…