The story of denim

How many facts do you look up each day?

I’m not sure if counting will make me feel good or bad so I probably won’t audit it but I’m pretty certain we’re talking double figures (possibly even treble?…)

Of course it didn’t always used to be that way. Pre-Internet and at times when I didn’t have access to books for fact verification, I’d find my mind building its own connections and stories to put a conceptual handle on things.

I rather liked it. I remember thinking it when I went through Calicut in India by train when I was 18 and thinking, ‘I wonder if the fabric calico comes from that?’ [turns out it does, though I only just Googled it 30 years on. I’ve been a bit busy].

A sign that I’m a true dyed-in-the-wool colour nerd is that I’m obsessed with colour names and their origins, like magenta (that I previously blogged about) or denim blue,

The History of Jeans website says: ‘The name “denim” comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called “Serge de Nîmes”, initially made in Nîmes, France, hence “de Nîmes” – “denim”.’

The indigo colour used to dye denim originally came from an organic dye from the plant Indigofera tinctorial but when synthetic indigo was discovered in the late 19th century that became widely used.

Martha, The Colour File x

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