While industry experts surely know the answer, we find that non denim experts do not and find this bit of information rather interesting.
This season jeans are coming back and there doesn´t seem to be any end in sight. Certainly jeans is a garment of which we all have at least one pair in our closet. But have you ever noticed little silver or copper studs all over your jeans and wonder why they are there?
These are rivets, which are round mental attachments that are especially placed on areas of the jeans that are most likely to be pulled apart by strain or movement and they help hold the fabric together, therefore making them last longer.
These little pieces play an important role in the development of jeans as we see them today. Although denim trousers had been used for many years previously due to the strength of the denim, it was the creation of rivets that led to them becoming a workman´s jeans which then years later became a fashion item.
Here is the story of the evolution of your jeans.
In the 1870s, denim was commonly worn by labour workers, but despite the strong denim weave, they were still not resisting strains they were put under during hard labour, namely ripping at the seams. As a result, a miner’s wife in the Reno area, tired of sewing her busband´s trousers together, took them to Jacob Davis, a tailor, and asked if he could fix this problem. Mr Davis came up with the idea of putting rivets on the areas that endured the most strain, such as pocket corners and the base of the fly. The rivets helped hold the fabric together, and meant the trousers were less likely to tear.
In 1873, Davis set up a partnership with Levi Strauss, who he usually purchased the denim fabric from. Together they acquired a patent for “improvement in fastening pocket-openings.” Levi Strauss was the first company to manufacture riveted pants in the 1800s.
After that, bar tacks — “a necessary anchor placed at the top and bottom of a belt loop” — and zippers are other essential elements that have been added to jeans over time.