Different Types of Denim

Denim is an icon and one of the most familiar products within the textile industry that attracts all age groups. In the history of textiles and apparel, no other fabric has received such a wide acceptance like as denim and it is the fabric of generations, worn by people of all classes and ages. Denim is a cotton fabric, may be the most considered article of style today. Denim is cut and sewn in an assortment of clothing types fit for all ages, seasons and events. Today denim is available in shades of blue, dark and cocoa; each has diverse impacts produced by washing.

The name ‘denim’ is thought to have originated from the French serge de Nimes, a fabric from the town of Nimes in France. ‘Denim’ has been synonymous with ‘jeans’ since time immemorial. It is unrealistic to separate one word from the other. Denim jeans are only the most commonly worn form of denim apparel.

The word ‘denim’ refers to a color, not refer the type of fabric. The shading indigo is blended with a large group of different hues, for example, blue, dark, white or dark, to give a variety of hues. At first, denim jeans were just used as easygoing wear; however denim jeans are currently entering the meeting rooms of vast organizations as ‘easygoing formals’. In the past denim apparel was considered to be weekend parlour wears; however individuals now wear them for work as well as gatherings.

Now denims are stylish wear for everyone. Today’s denim fashion comes in an assortment of hues, styles and textures. Without a doubt, fashion designers’ attire is comparatively more costly, yet most of the time it is justified regardless of the expense.

There are some solid reasons why some people want to spend more to purchase famous designer denim than the typical stuff accessible to the market. The foremost reason is the quality. The fabrics, sewing methods and patterns are special which used by designers. The designer brands guarantee that their apparels give the best fit to their clients. Various new trends are launched for every season by designer brands and are craze among men, ladies and kids. New and innovative patterns, fine shapes and various hues are the most recent choices to fulfill each client.

Denims for children offer a variety of garments. Thin jeans, obliterated jeans, sweetheart jeans, shaded jeans and leggings are the most sizzling patterns for children.

What is Denim?
Denim is a hard and durable warp faced 3/1 twill cotton fabric, woven with indigo dyed warp and white filling yarns, having weights of 14½ ounces per square yard. Denim is a solid cotton warp confronted material in which the weft goes under two or more warp strings. This twill weaving produces a corner-to-corner ribbing that distinguishes it from cotton duck. The most well-known denim is indigo denim, in which the twist string is colored whereas the weft string is left white. It is also considered as the fabric of hard work, expression of youth rebellion and the favorite of American cowboys.

Denim is a strong cotton twill material ordinarily used to make jeans, overalls, and other clothes. To make denim fabric, the weft (flat strings) goes under two or more twists (vertical strings). This procedure makes the slanting ribbing of denim that distinguishes it from cotton duck, another twill fabric.

Denim has had an incredible social and cultural influence on consumers and is considered an expression of youth independence, a symbol of opposition or an attitude towards life, and there is an international appeal of jeans among all age groups.

Types of Denim:
Although the first denim was a 100% cotton serge material, you can now get it in an assortment of materials, including mixes that give you the same magnificent look of 100% cotton denim with some extraordinary extra components. Denim’s one of a kind look originates from the rich indigo blue in some shade woven together with white strings to give the depth that individuals partner with denim. Today, some denims no longer use indigo, but instead different hues with the white restricting strings, delivering denim in a rainbow of shades.

Cotton is now extensively blended with lycra, polyester, lyocell, flax, etc. to develop special types of denim. Although most of the world production of denim jeans is still 100% cotton, the market for stretch denim is one of the fastest growing segments of jeans manufacture. Cotton blends that use both lycra and polyester, combining both strength and stretch properties, are becoming more popular, especially in Europe. This trend is also significantly growing in other parts of the world.

Types of denim are broadly categorized as:

  1. Dry denim
  2. Selvage denim
  3. Stretch denim
  4. Poly denim
  5. Ramie cotton denim
  6. Linen denim
  7. Organic denim
  8. Tencel denim
  9. Wool denim
  10. Silk denim
  11. Polyester blend denim
  12. Natural dyed denim
  13. Slub denim
  14. Ecru Denim
  15. Colored Denim

Above types of denim described briefly.

1. Dry denim:
Dry or crude denim, rather than washed denim, is a denim fabric that is not washed subsequent to being coloured amid its creation. This denim also called raw denim. Conventional denim is washed after being crafted into an article of clothing, to make it softer and give the desired preshrink. Notwithstanding being washed, nondry denim is at times misleadingly ‘troubled’ to accomplish a ragged look. A significant part of the claim for dry denim is that, with time, the fabric will blur in the way of industrial facility troubled denim. With dry denim, notwithstanding, such blurring is influenced by the body of the individual who wears the jeans and the exercise in his or her everyday life.

This type of denim is identified by its lack of wash or fade. So, it typically starts out as a dark blue denim which gradually fades with time and use.

2. Selvage denim:
Selvage denim (also called selvedge denim) is a sort of denim which shapes a perfect regular edge that does not disentangle. It is generally introduced in the unwashed or crude state. Normally, the selvage edges will be situated along the outside crease of the jeans, making it obvious when sleeves are worn. Although selvage denim is not totally synonymous with unwashed denim, the nearness of selvage ordinarily infers that the denim used is of a higher quality. ‘Selvage’ originates from the expression ‘selfedge’ and signifies that denim is made on old-style transport looms. These looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft circles once again into the edge of the denim it makes this ‘selfedge’ or selvage. Selvage is alluring because the edge cannot shred like lower-quality denims that have separate wefts which leave an open edge that must be sewn. Transport approaching is an additional tedious weaving process that produces denim of a more tightly weave bringing about a heavier weight fabric that endures. Transport looms weave a smaller bit of fabric, and in this manner a more extended bit of fabric is required to make a couple of jeans (around 3 yards). To amplify the yield, customary jean creators use the fabric the full distance to the selvage edge.

Selvage denim
Fig: Selvage denim

This type of denim is made on an old-style shuttle loom. The selvedge edge is usually stitched with colored threads like green, brown, red and yellow, with red being the most common. Most selvedge jeans today are dyed with synthetic indigo.

3. Stretch denim:
Stretch denim is more often than not around 98% cotton and 2% Spandex for a touch of that easygoing stretch we love as a whole. This blend gives wonderful ease of movement and at the same time some support for those ‘trouble spots’ such as around the hips or thighs. Stretch denim jeans are one of the quickest developing segments for ladies’ jeans manufacturers.

Stretch denim
Fig: Stretch denim

4. Poly denim:
The poly blend is for individuals who love the look of denim yet favor polyester mixes that wash and dry rapidly and are of lighter weight and somewhat dressier. As a rule these speak to a somewhat more established business sector, but on the other hand are discovering support for jeans suits and so on when the look is intended to be ‘dressy but easy-going’.

5. Ramie cotton denim:
Ramie cotton denim is found in an assortment of blends, with a wide value difference. Ramie is a plant fiber more often included because it diminishes wrinkling and adds a luxurious brilliance to the fabric. It is not as solid as cotton, however, so it must be mixed with this more grounded material with the goal of standing up as a denim material.

6. Linen denim:
Linen is considered to be an elegant, durable and refined luxury fabric. In fact, the fashion led movement towards an unstructured casual look brought it back into the limelight. Being cellulosic in nature, its chemical processing is similar to that of cotton. Medium weight linen denim of approximately 6 oz/yard2 quality is considered perfect for fuller skirts, dresses, slacks, jackets, etc. A 70/30 cotton/linen blend is often preferred, which is cost effective with good hand and drape. Similarly, denim today is made using other bast fibres like hemp, jute, etc. and their blends.

7. Organic denim:
Organic denim is manufactured with 100 percent organic cotton, which is made to save the earth. Organic cotton is an ecofriendly cotton variety that is cultivated without using synthetic agricultural chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides. General cotton consumption and the use of pesticides to grow it can harm the earth. All chemicals are excluded out of the process of making organic denim. Ecological elements such as potato starch are used instead. So for sustainable development, denim manufacturers are encouraged to use organic cotton rather than standard cotton with a premium price of the product.

8. Tencel denim:
Tencel denim is made from lyocell fiber. Lyocell is a wonder fiber surpassing all other cellulosic fibers in terms of properties, aesthetics and nevertheless ecology in manufacturing. It is the only man-made cellulosic fiber to be stronger than cotton when wet. Tencel denim has a very good soft feel and can be made into various styles with different garment washing effects like enzyme washing, bleaching and over-dyeing. It is a good solution for casual and children’s wear. These denims are available in different qualities like 100% Tencel denim, Tencel/cotton blended denim, Tencel/viscose blended denim and Tencel/stretch blended denim. The 100% Tencel denim is luxurious and self-indulging. Tencel/cotton denim creates a look with more body and excellent texture. It is a good choice for men’s wear.

9. Wool denim:
Denim made with cotton is widely used, but this denim lacks some of the important characteristics like protection against cold and comfort. To overcome these properties, denim manufacturers have tried to add new denim products. The new denim fabrics are made with different type of blends. Wool denim is usually produced with 85–90% cotton and 10–15% wool. These cotton and wool blend denims generally meet the denim property requirement. Wool denim is generally softer and warmer compared to traditional denim

10. Silk denim:
Silk fabrics are very popular due to their properties like softness, suppleness and strength. Silk is preferred for its lightness with warmth, sheerness with strength and delicacy with resiliency. Hence research has been pursued to produce silk denim with different combinations of silk to have light weight denims, aided by elasticity and resilience and excellent drapability. Silk denim garments are soft to touch, light in weight, comfortable to wear in all the seasons, blended with the luxury and smooth feel. The eri silk has thermal properties nearly equivalent to wool, which makes 100% eri silk denim garments used for winter. Silk and cotton, as well as silk and linen union denim fabrics, are more cost effective without losing their comfort and silky appearance.

11. Polyester blend denim:
This type of denim is made of polyester blends that wash and dry quickly, and is lightweight and dressier. They usually appeal to a slightly older market, but also find favor for pantsuits when the look is meant to be dressy but casual. Use of polyester blended denim has in fact steadily increased. First, the production cost per meter is cheaper, which makes selling of denim fabric easier. Second, the loom efficiency is better, with polyester replacing 100% cotton weft.

12. Natural dyed denim:
Natural dyes are obtained from natural sources such as vegetable matter, minerals and insects. These dyes find use in the colouration of textiles, food, drugs, cosmetics, etc. Although the market for natural dyes is very small and is less than 1% of the world synthetic dyes consumption, they have a demand in the niche segment mostly due to their ecofriendly attribute. Use of natural dyes in denims is one such limited domain. Natural indigo, Indigofera tinctoria, is the only natural vat dye and gives a similar shade to that of synthetic indigo. However, the former needs to be applied at a higher concentration as it is weaker than the synthetic one. Dyeing of denim with several other natural dyes, and using ecofriendly mordants, is possible, by which different shades are achieved on denim. Onion extract has been attempted on denim using natural and synthetic mordants. A synergistic effect of natural mordant combinations like a tartaric acid and tannic acid combination has been reported, giving good results by the meta-mordanting process.

13. Slub denim:
Slub denim is made with indigo warp yarn, which is different than traditional denim fabric due to the difference in thickness throughout. This denim fabric is made from uneven-thickness thread. Uneven-thickness thread creates a texture effect on slub denim. We know that the strength of slub thread is very low. That’s why slub denim strength is also low.

slub denim
Fig: Slub denim

14. Ecru Denim:
Ecru Denim Fabric is the natural color of cotton or denim that is without dye. Denim is traditionally associated with a blue color, but ecru denim is very light beige or off-white color. Ecru denim can provide a softer and more casual look compared to the darker indigo denim. It can be used to create jeans, jackets, and other denim products with a lighter and more neutral appearance.

15. Colored Denim:
Traditionally denim is a blue fabric. Blue denim is made using indigo dye. There are wide range of shades, including but not limited to black, white, gray, red, green, yellow, and more. Colored denim can be used to create a variety of garments, including jeans, jackets, skirts, and shorts, allowing individuals to express their personal style with different colors and tones.

colored denim
Fig: Colored denim

Denim fabric has first appeared in the late eighteenth century. It is a cotton twill fabric and the weft passes under two or more warp yarns. Denim was traditionally colored blue with the indigo dye with ring dyed effect. Through the years, denim has evolved and has become one of the most fashionable items in the fashion and textile industry. It can provide durability and different appearance effects for the garment and fashion products. Various washing effects have been introduced to make the denim garments and jeans attractive to consumers.


  1. Denim : Manufacture, Finishing and Applications. Edited by Roshan Paul
  2. Sustainability in Denim. Editors: Subramanian Muthu
  3. https://textilelearner.net/different-types-of-denim/
  4. https://www.denimsandjeans.com

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