Denim as She is Worn

image courtesy vivarin

Taught by zach

Z. D. Smith fixes laptops in New York City. In his free time, he drums for the metal band Flaming Tusk, writes a little bit, and practices shorthand writing and Yiddish. He has a child-like sense of wonder and a terribly geeky tendency to immerse himself into odd areas of the human experience, like cricket, menswear, and linguistics.

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Denim is a cotton textile that you make jeans out of, and if you don't wash it before you make jeans out of it, then it does wondrous or at least interesting things.

This course will talk a little bit about this one particular fabric: where it comes from, how it's made, and some of the ways that it behaves once garments are made out of it.

Why is any of this interesting? Well, it helps to find clothes interesting. Once you've gotten that far it's not long before you'll notice that nearly everybody wears blue jeans at least some of the time. And if you look a little bit at what blue jeans are made of you'll find that some people have actually put quite a lot of work and technique into the craft of making things out of denim.

Right now a culture of connoisseurship and craftsmanship exists in the world of raw denim. Manufacturers will go to extravagant lengths of authenticity and workmanship, and the folks who buy it will go just as far in their attempts to draw out the desired effects in a fabric that changes and responds to its wearer and its environment as it is worn.

When it comes to learning about the pants themselves, we'll be focusing on raw denim and 'heritage' workwear, as opposed to things with spray paint and rhinestones all over them. That said, everybody likes looking at pictures of outrageously tasteless and expensive jeans, right?

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