Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Month of Denim - Day 6

Day 6 already? Today I would like to talk about the terminology regarding fading denim. What to look for in a nicely faded pair of jeans or possibly what to strive for. I would however like to say, that I think fading jeans is a very personal subject, so you have to figure out, what you like and thereby what you strive for.

Whisker: Whiskers are the horizontal wear lines that you will see in the crotch and thigh area. This is caused by wear or rather repeated wearing of the fabric. Whiskers may also be referred to as moustache or hige.

Atari: No, not the computer. Atari is a term that covers fades around seams. It could be the seams on the belt loops or pocket seams. It will sometimes appear like ridges where the fabric has contracted slightly around the stitches. 

Honeycombs: You'll find the honeycombs on the back of the knees. Sometimes the honeycombs can create an almost 3-d effect because of the colour difference from dark hues to the light blues, going-on white lines. The fades are created through repeated bends of the knees and they can be emulated by starch. 

Railways: Denim shrinks the most lengthwise. Therefore the fabric contracts and creates some very visible small creases along the side seam. The two selvage lines are folded on the back of the side seam which will also create an impression. May also be called railroad tracks and train track.

Stacking: This may not actually be a term that covers a certain fade, but a stack fade will sometimes be discussed. This is achieved if you wear you jeans long - and mostly uncuffed. The bunching of fabric can create some fades in the lower half of the jeans. They can look a bit like honeycombs if done well.

Roping: Roping was mentioned in the post on chain stitch. The thread in the chain stitch pulls and creates a sort of wave resulting in a fade that looks like a bit like a rope.

Leg twist: Leg twist isn't actually a fade, but it surely ads to the character or appearance of a pair of jeans. You'll often see vintage jeans with the side seam being in the center of the front of one leg and in the center of back on the other leg. You can also experience this with some more recent jeans - although mostly from so-called repro brands - if the fabric hasn't been skewed. This is caused by the pulling to the right or left, depending whether the fabric is right or left hand twill (more on twill types later). This will happen after washing, as the fabric tries to follow the direction of the weave so to speak and thereby tugging in the direction of the twill.

There are plenty of more fades, such as the rivet fade covered in the previous post, but these terms should get you covered for now.

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