CREATIVITY AT WORK. CHINESE SILK WEAVING ART+INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION+MECHANIZED LOOM+TOILE DE NIMES. FRANCE+CALIFORNIA GOLDRUSH+ MINERS IN NEED OF RUGGED OVERALLS= the blue jeans.
China . by 1st. cent. (Han dynasty), silk weaving already an ancient art. most weaving techniques , as used today already invented(anonymous weavers). among them the TWILL WEAVE . the twill fabric, softer and more drapy than the simpler basket weave cloth. quality much appreciated in the making of luxurious costumes of the chinese courts. AND the twill weave has another quality: it is more wear resistant than any other weave. Through the centuries ( the Silk Road trading) chinese silks and weaving technologies came to Europe.
Nimes. France. centuries old center of hand woven textiles . 18th cent: Industrial Revolution and advent of the mechanized loom. Nimes at the forefront of the textile revolution. the wear resistant quality of the twill weave , put to full use by La Maison Andre . birth of a very rugged yet supple industrial fabric, for wrapping cargos: the name of the fabric: Serge de Nimes ( “serge” comes from “serica”, latin name for china, the land of silk. serge de Nimes: the cloth from China fabricated in Nimes. “denim” derives from serge de Nimes). the serge dyed blue, from left over dye baths of luxurious cloths, Nimes was famous for its dye houses of indigo blue, a natural dye with antibacterial qualities.
San Francisco. USA. The Gold Rush.mid 19th cent. the BLUE JEANS. Levi Strauss, a merchand in dry goods. the miners needed rugged overalls with indestructible pockets. a tailor was looking for a rugged cloth.Mr. Strauss came up with the wrapper of his merchandises, the humble serge de nimes! sewn into overalls with copper rivets to reinforce the pocket corners.
Voila! A creativity chain stretching back thousands of years, and over asia, central asia, europe and america to give us the today global garment : the blue jeans. . Not all cinders become tall flames, but cinders are needed to keep the flame of creativity burning.