We all have times where we want to dress casually. Ask yourself—when was the last time that you went out wearing a t-shirt and sneakers? Chances are, it wasn’t that long ago. The great thing about casual wear is that it lets you show off your style. Not only that, but it’s comfortable. Take jeans, for example—they’ll conform to the shape of your hips over time. Of course, it depends on the fabric, but generally speaking, that’s how it works.
History of Jeans
Believe it or not but jeans have been around for nearly 150 years. Invented by Jacob Davis, they’re named after the city of Genoa, a place that’s known for manufacturing a cotton-like material called jean. For many years, they were called “waists overalls” and were worn by male workers. It wasn’t until the early 1920s that they became popular among cowboys in the United States. Why? They were durable and could withstand wear and tear.
By the 1950s, jeans had become a fashion symbol. Popular brands included Wrangler, Lee Cooper, and Levi’s. From there, its popularity grew with the hippie age. People would add rhinestones, patches, and embroidery to the denim fabric. As far as designer jeans go, those didn’t really come out until the 1980s. A status symbol, they became one of the most desired looks of the decade.
About Denim Material
Denim is a strong and durable material that’s been used for many decades. Traditionally, it’s woven with cotton yarn. Nowadays, however, it’s often blended with synthetics such as polyester and elastane to prevent shrinkage and add flexibility. Why is it blue on one side and white on the other? That has to do with the way it’s made. A complex process, it involves dozens of steps, each of which has an impact on what the finishing product will look like.
How is Denim Made?
The first step involves gathering the raw materials. Generally speaking, these fibers come from the cotton plant. As for synthetic fibers, they’re typically added during the spinning process—when the fibers are turned into yarn. Once that’s complete, the yarn is dyed to get its color. From there, it’s weaved into fabric.
The Various Styles of Jeans
There’s more than one type of jeans. Here are some of the most popular styles.
Straight Leg: This is pretty much the “classic look”. As its name implies, the jeans are straight and narrow—right down to the ankles. Great for any occasion, you can both dress up or dress down, depending on what you pair it with.
Boot Cut: Boot cut jeans are narrow around the thighs and become wider as you move towards the bottom. Not only do they give the appearance of longer legs, but they also give the illusion of a narrow waist. Why are they called what they are? Because they’re compatible with boots—that is, you can wear them without much problem.
Skinny Jeans: Skinny jeans are exactly what they sound like—that is, they offer a slimming look. Close-fitting, they hug your figure all the way down to the ankles. At the same time, they’re comfortable. If anything, they’re one of the best choices for those with a slender figure.
Boyfriend Jeans: Boyfriend jeans are known for their loose fit. More comfortable than skinny jeans, they’re favored by many fashion icons worldwide including Kim Kardashian and Marilyn Monroe.
Different Jean Rises
As it is, there are various jean rise options. Put it simply, it allows you to choose where you want the pair of jeans to sit on your body. In doing so, you can change your perceived waistline.
High Rise: These types of jeans sit above the belly button. They’re a good choice for curvier or shorter women as they can help to elongate the legs.
Mid Rise: Mid-rise jeans are likely the most popular type. Unlike the ones that are high-raise, the waistband sits just below the navel. This can help create a “wider hip look.” Not only that, but it’s also comfortable.
Low-Rise: Low-rise jeans sit below the belly button. For this reason, they’re best worn for casual occasions.
Taking Care of Your Jeans
Jeans, like all clothing, will get dirty. For one thing, mud and dirt can easily get on the fabric—especially if it’s long at the ankles. Sweat is another issue as well. Sure, you might not wear them to the gym but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be sweating. Chances are, some of that moisture will be absorbed into the denim fabric. Left alone in the laundry hamper, the item can easily start to smell. Considering that, it only makes sense to wash them every now and then.
How to Get Blood Out Of Your Jeans
Ever fell down while wearing a pair of jeans? The material can easily rip, which can lead to cuts. In cases like that, it’s not uncommon for blood to get on the fabric. Period stains are a thing as well. Don’t worry, though, there’s an easy way to get it out.
Removing Wet Blood Stains
The first thing that you want to do is saturate the blood stain with cold water. You can do this by using an old toothbrush or sponge. Gently scrub the spot as that’ll help to loosen the blood. Continue until the blood stops coming out of the denim material. From there, you want to rinse the area with water (one of the easiest ways it to put it under running water).
Dissolve a bit of ACTIVE detergent in warm water in a bowl. Once it’s mixed, saturate your old toothbrush with the mixture and apply it to the bloodstain. The goal is to work it into a lather—that is, there should be bubbles. Continue to scrub until the stain fades. If necessary, add more detergent. When you’re done, rinse it clean.
Removing Dried Blood Stains
Dried blood stains are generally harder to remove compared to “fresh” stains. With that said, it is possible—it just might take a little longer. First things first, soak the jeans in a bucket of warm water. Leave them in there for at least 30 minutes. From there, you can take it out. Do your best to wring out the excess water.
In a small bowl, combine a teaspoon of meat tenderizer with water (the meat tenderizer will help to break down the proteins in the blood). You should end up with a viscous paste. Using your finger or a brush, saturate the dried bloodstain with the mixture. Allow it to sit for another 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can use baking soda. Pour a teaspoon of it directly onto the stain and rub it in with a brush. The key is to use small, circular movements. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing as normal.
Hydrogen peroxide is another option. Simply pour it onto the stain. Afterward, cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. That will allow the hydrogen peroxide to soak in better into the fabric. Leave it on for 15 minutes before blotting the stain with a clean towel. Keep in mind, however, that there’s always a chance that it’ll bleach the fabric. For this reason, you want to test the hydrogen peroxide on an inconspicuous part of the jeans first.
How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Jeans
Ever had a pair of jeans smell musky? That’s due to mildew and mold growth on the fabric. Here’s how you can get rid of that odor once and for all.
If there’s visible mold on your jeans, scrape it off. You can do that with an old toothbrush. Just make sure to be gentle; you don’t want to damage the denim fibers. Once you’ve done that, put it in the washing machine. For the best results, wash it separately from your other clothes—that way, you won’t have to worry about it possibly contaminating your other items.
Add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent to the drum and set your washer to a warm setting. You can also add some non-chlorine bleach. Avoid using hot water as that’ll set the mildew stains in further. Let the washing machine run before taking out the jeans and letting them air dry completely. It’s important that you do not dry it in the dryer.
Is mildew still present? If so, you’ll want to soak the item. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent, mixing until it’s fully dissolved. Place the jeans in, making sure that the stained area is fully submerged in the soapy solution. Allow it to sit for 2-3 hours before placing it back in the washer.
Pro-tip: Consider adding a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle. Not only will it remove any unpleasant smell, but it’ll also soften your jeans as well! What’s more, is that it’s capable of killing the mold spores. In doing so, you’ll be able to treat the root of the problem. If necessary, you can also soak it with vinegar first, before running the machine.
Tips For Taking Care Of Your Jeans
Here are some things to keep in mind if you want your jeans to last.
- Don’t overload your washer with jeans (generally speaking, you don’t want to add more than 3-4 pairs at a time) as that’ll reduce the efficacy of the cycle
- Certain jeans (e.g. ripped jeans) may need to be put in a laundry bag
- Remove your jeans promptly from the washing machine to prevent wrinkles
- Turn your jeans inside out when washing to prevent damage from friction
- Only wash them when necessary—doing it too often can cause the colors to fade