5 Steps to a 5-Pocket Jean
My boss walks into my office…No it’s not a set up for the best professional joke ever, but it usually signals that I will have something to write about. Thanks Micah.
This time my boss asked why the hem of two jeans looked different. One was cut and hemmed at our facility as part of a value-added service—the other, straight from the factory. One had a crisp appearance while the other looked broken in. Why the difference? Micah asked. Do you want the long answer or short answer? Long? Okay, buckle up, butter cup as we break down the five steps to a 5-pocket jean.
Spinning and Dying
No, I’m not talking about what I feel like after a hard-core work out, but I’m talking about the first step of the denim process. Cotton and/or synthetic fibers are spun into yarns which are then dyed in an indigo bath.
This next step is the coolest if you’ve ever gotten to see it person. The yarns are then woven into an actual denim fabric using a loom. So, yes, those little nothing fibers are now multiple yarns that are being put together to make a fabric. How cool!
Cutting and Sewing
What are the two worst parts about being a fashion designer, Alex? (R.I.P.) But the two most necessary parts about constructing any garment. This is where the magic happens. The pattern pieces are cut and sewn together to make the denim jeans we all know and love.
Designers let your creativity shine! This is the part of process where designer creativity meets consumer demand. Designers use a variety of techniques to achieve desired effects. Using stones could lighten up the fabric while using an enzyme on a fabric could create a super soft hand. There are so many fantastic things you can do with denim. (Someone get me a t-shirt with that quote, please and thank you).
Washing and Finishing
Denim bleeds. Ew…Don’t be gross. I meant denim can make your skin blue if it isn’t washed and finished properly. This final step of washing and finishing ensures that the garment is ready to be worn with the desired design intent.
A boss walks into an office and asks why does this factory denim look different from this denim we just hemmed here in our facility? PUNCHLINE: Because it was distressed at the factory, you know, step four of the denim process. You see, not that funny, but super informative.
About the Author:
With a passion for innovation and creativity, Lauren Brizendine has spent over 20 years working in the apparel industry for a variety of notable brands and private labels. When she is not talking about fabric, fit, and fashion, she moonlights as a comedic creator and writer and enjoys eating crawfish and hanging with her Yorkie, Meaux.