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Lauren Whitley

DENIM Twill patterns of weaving seem to have developed early in the first millennium b.c.e. Hallstatt culture in Europe. Technically speaking, denim is a warp-faced twill weave fabric. The most basic twill weave calls for passing the weft (crosswise) yarn over two and under two warp (lengthwise) yarns (2/2 twill), a pairing that gives the pattern its name, two-ing or twill. In warp-faced twills, warp yarns are predominant on the front or face of the fabric and because warp yarns have a higher twist, the resulting fabric is stronger than many other weaves. In denim, the warp-faced twill pattern calls for passing the weft yarn over one and under two (1/2), or over one and under three warp (1/3) yarns. Because there are fewer lacings in twills than in plain weaves, the yarns are freer to move when being worn resulting in a fabric that is both flexible and resilient. The fewer the lacings, as in twills compared to plain weaves, the closer together yarns may be packed, thus producing a higher number of yarns per inch, making the resulting fabric stronger yet.

Popularly speaking, denim has been associated with fabric coloring, garment style, and lifestyle. Whole books have been written about twentieth-century denim and its popularity with teenagers and celebrities. The word has become so popular and generic in its use that rock bands, stage troupes, and even bottled water, have taken the name denim. The name itself is derived from Nimes, a small city in southern France that had long been famous for its textile industry.

Levi Strauss is given the credit for the common use of denim in the rugged trousers first sold to gold miners

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