When given our brief at the start we had to upcycle denim, and we could either carry on using it for our brand or use vintage, or 100% cotton. I’ve found denim to be really useful for my final piece as I am thinking of making cushions for the seating area and whenever I think of Dewalt, these keywords come to mind:
Power, Durable, Robust, Sturdy, & Bulky.
Denim fits in perfectly as it’s durable and a robust fabric. It withstands a lot, I know this as when i wanted to use my soldering iron on some denim it wouldnt even burn or make any slight hole in the denim. I am going to sample as much as I can using the denim as well as other fabrics just to see which looks more successful and fits with the Dewalt theme.
I started to look at the history of denim, and it surprised me how much it links in with Dewalt as it’s a brand aimed for workers and construction sites. Denim had also started out simply for workers, whereas today it’s turned into a highly desirable fashion, most people you see around are wearing jeans, or people own a lot of them. However, years ago denim was used for clothes worn by the workers because of the high durability. Denim is a durable textile, so it seemed to be the most logical material to be worn when working in factories. It was worn for protection and for the farmers. Denim was seen as working clothes and wouldn’t be associated with everyday life in the 1800’s.
In the 1800s, in the time of the Gold Rush, American gold miners needed clothes that were strong, lasted longer and did not tear easily. Levi Strauss, a businessman, and Jacob Davis, a tailor, supplied miners with denim trousers that were made from durable material. This marked the beginning of the legend of jeans and brand Levi Strauss is still hugely successful today. Then it became popular in the 1930s. This was due to actors staring in the Hollywood movies when wearing denim. With the beginning of the World War 2, American soldiers started wearing them when they were on the leave. When the war ended, other companies that made denim started appearing like Wrangler and Lee. Young people started wearing denim in the 1950s which was seen as a way of rebellion. This fashion was also inspired by Hollywood with by Marlon Brando with his 1953 film “The Wild One” as well James Dean’s movie “Rebel Without a Cause” from 1955. Some public places like schools and theatres banned jeans because of what they symbolised. Denim crossed from counterculture to fashion in the 1960s and 1970s when manufacturers started to make different styles of jeans.
It’s crazy to think that Denim was thought of as a working clothing item whereas now it’s used on the catwalks for designer clothing.