We like to call denim our BFF — best fabric friend. From skinnies to boyfriend jeans to that can't-stop-wearing-it faded denim shirt, we'd be lost (or at least a whole lot less comfy) without our blues.
So what makes denim so amazing? We asked textile expert Sunne Pollart Meyer of Denver, Colorado to spill the facts.
It meets you where you are — literally. "If you buy your jeans right, they should actually stretch to fit you and take on your shape, which is part of why denim is so cool," Meyer says. "That's why it's hard to buy second-hand jeans unless you get just the right pair. You have to find someone who is shaped like you."
It can take a beating. Denim is made of cotton (often with stretch fibers added) and constructed with a tight twill weave, giving it a characteristic diagonal pattern in the threads of the fabric and a whole lot of substance—meaning that it's no fragile fabric. Denim comes in different weights and finishes, so some jeans might be softer and thinner while others are coarser and sturdier, and eventually they all will show wear. But denim really goes the distance before you have to either replace or repair.
It gets better with age. Turns out this is even more true if your jeans happens to be made with natural indigo. "Coloring fabric with Indigo is a fermentation process, while dye is a chemical reaction," says Meyer. "Real indigo is always going to show wear in a beautiful, authentic way that you just don't get with dyes. And the dark blue is so gorgeous."
It's a perfect canvas. When your jeans do start to show wear, that's when the fun really begins. Consider fraying and holes your invitation for colorful patching or other fancy stitching.
DIY jeans? Yes, it's a thing. We know, it sounds a little scary. But for the ultimate jeans customization you actually can sew your own. The materials are easy to find at most fabric stores. Good luck!