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When Did the Fabric in Men’s Jeans Change?

Posted on September 11 2019

Have you noticed that mens jeans have changed their material?

Some men go out for cocktails in them. Others play baseball in them. Many renovate the house in them. But regardless of the variety of scenarios in which men’s jeans play a supporting role, one thing remains constant. They are made of the same good old cotton denim as they have been for well over a century.

Except, no, that's not true, which is something that many jean wearers don’t realize.

How Consumer Demand Changed the Fabric of Men’s Jeans

The history of denim jeans is rooted in the demand for sturdy trousers that gave the wearer the freedom of movement they needed for jobs in 19th century factories, mines and farms. 

But somewhere along the way jeans became more of a fashion statement than utilitarian workwear. And keeping their place as a hip fashion accessory has forced a change in the very fabric that made them famous.

Unfortunately, denim doesn’t lend itself well to the following demands of menswear fashionistas.

  • Skinny Fit - One of the leading reasons for cotton to be dropped in favour of other fabrics, including tencel and polyamide, is the trend to “skinny jeans”. If you try to get cotton denim to fit as closely as your skinny jeans, you might have trouble walking.

  • In the Office and On the Town - Unfortunately, it's difficult to manufacture cotton denim in colours without the colours fading at some point. Many men kept a set of “good” jeans for the office or more formal occasions, but headed out after work in their “torn and worn” specials. Newer fabrics help you choose the level of fade you want, including none, and lets manufacturers put the tears in all the right places.

  • More Men Want the Look - Let’s face it, few of us are very well cut out for skinny jeans. But we still want the look. Without the forgiving stretch that newer fabrics offer, there’d be no hope for us.

If you enjoyed this post, get in better shape to wear your jeans with these 5 fitness tips for men who don’t like to workout.