by Rhonda Riche photograph courtesy of roden gray
Become your own jean genius and learn the language of denim. USDG's primer is a great place to start.
Abrasion is the process of making jeans look and feel worn in by scraping or rubbing the fabric with sandpaper or pumice stones.
Bartacks are heavy hand- or machine-made stitches used to reinforce pocket openings, fly openings, or buttonholes.
Chainstitch is a style of stitching that looks like a chain and provides seam flexibility and strength.
Dry Process refers to anything done to denim by hand before they go into the wash.
Enzyme Wash is the process that softens denim by breaking down the natural cellulose molecules found in indigo dyes.
Felled Seams are made by folding a raw edge of fabric underneath itself and then stitching it down.
Garment Dye is when a garment is dyed at the very end of the manufacture.
Honeycomb refers to the area behind the knee where the indigo fades with wear leaving a honeycomb pattern.
Indigo is a dye that dates back to ancient times. It is the blue of blue jeans
Lockstitch is another sewing technique where the top thread weaves into the bottom thread.
Loomstate is the fabric that comes straight off a loom, which means there’s no sanforizing, anti-skewing, singeing, or other finishing processes applied.
Oxidation occurs when raw denim is removed from an indigo bath and exposed to oxygen. This causes the deeper blue color to reappear.
Railtracks happen when the dye fades along the outer seams of your jeans.
Sanforized. A process by which the denim has been stretched, fixed and shrunk at the mill so anything made with it, including USDG jeans, don't really shrink (only between 1-3%) after their first wash.
Twill. Denim is a type of twill fabric, meaning that it is made of warp and weft yarns. Traditionally, only the warp is dyed, which is why denim is blue on one side and white on the other.
Unwashed jeans have skipped the laundry process, giving them a stiff feeling. AKA raw denim.
Yoke is a V-shaped seam below the waistband that determines how the jeans will fit your behind.