New Arrivals FARM Rio ICONS SCULPT JEANS
MY ACCOUNT

DENIM DICTIONARY

From arcuate to zipper, here's the Levi's® definitive guide to denim.

ANATOMY

It's all about the details. Now it's time to learn about them.

 

 

ANTI-FIT • Anti-Fit is a term used to describe clothing that abandons traditional fit categories.
 
ARCUATE • The iconic stitching on the back pockets of Levi's® jeans is referred to as an “Arcuate” because of its arc formation.
 
BACK LEATHER PATCH • The Two Horse Pull leather patch was first used on our waist overalls, used to illustrate the strength of the pants and reinforce our status as the originator of patent riveted clothing.
 
BAR TACKS • A horizontal stitch that bisects a seam, for added strength and durability.
 
BATWING • Nicknamed ‘Levi's® Batwing' because it mirrors the Arcuate stitching on the pockets of Levi's® jeans, the Batwing trademark has become synonymous with Levi's® authenticity & quality.
 
BELT LOOP • Strips of fabric sewn onto the waistband to hold a belt.
 
BUTTON FLY • The button fly is the front metal button closure, most often associated with Levi's® iconic 501® jeans. The button fly was a key feature of the first riveted work pants, patented in 1873 and known today as blue jeans.
 
COIN POCKET • The smaller front pocket, known originally as the ‘watch pocket,' sits inside the right-front pocket.
 
CROPPED • A garment that's slightly shorter in length, usually falling at or around the ankle.
 
DROPPED HEM • A garment's hemline that's slightly longer than standard length. Some Levi's® Commuter™ styles are designed with dropped hems for increased coverage when riding.
 
HEM • The edge of a piece of fabric where it's been turned in and sewn. It most commonly refers to the bottom of a jean/pant leg.
 
INSEAM • On a garment, an inseam is the measurement along the length of the inner leg.
 
NEEDLE STITCH • Also referred to as a lock stitch, needle stitching is the most common mechanical stitch; a top thread interlocking with a lower thread.
 
OUTSEAM • The outseam is the measurement along the length of the outer leg from top of the jean/pant to the bottom of the leg.
 
SEAT • In the back of a pair of jeans, the seat extends from the top of the jean to just below the pockets, where the legs begins.
 
SHANK BUTTONS • A shank is a piece of metal that, when used on buttons, extends from the backside creating space between the button and the fabric. Similar buttons are used on Trucker Jackets and 501® Jeans.
 
TOP BLOCK • A top block on a pair of jeans or pants refers to the area from lower hip to waist, depending on the rise. It's also used to describe the fit through the wearer's hip.
 
WAISTBAND • The strip of cloth at the waist of a pair of jeans or pants, often featuring a front button and belt loops.
 
WARP • In fabric weaving, the warp is the set of strong, vertical yarns held in tension across a loom.
 
WEFT • In fabric weaving, the weft is the set of horizontal threads or yarns woven through tightly bound warp yarns, resulting in the fabric.
 
YOKE • As seen on Levi's® iconic Western, a yoke is the shaped pattern piece that forms the upper part of the shirt, usually around the neck or shoulders.
 
ZIP FLY • While Levi's® jeans are often known for our iconic button fly, many of our jeans, including our popular 505™ Straight fit, have a zipper fly or zip fly.
 

GARMENTS

Made first by the Levi's® Brand and built to last.
Our garments are truly unique and we'll tell you why.

 

 

BLUE JEANS • An American casualwear classic, jeans have evolved from hardworking denim pants into a cultural icon, a canvas for self expression; worn by rock stars, cowgirls, presidents, cool moms, skater guys, and you.
 
BARSTOW WESTERN • Worn by cowboys and ranch hands in the 1930s, Levi's® iconic Barstow Western shirt has little choice but to transcend the West. It's become a wardrobe classic with details like a traditional Western yoke and a snap-front closure.
 
SAWTOOTH WESTERN • The iconic wardrobe workhorse, Levi's® Sawtooth Western shirt, is an update to the original Levi's® Barstow Western shirt from the 1930s. It has all the classic details like Western yoke and a snap-front closure, along with a slim modern fit and Sawtooth pockets.
 
SHRINK-TO-FIT™ DENIM • Authentic garments made of raw, unsanforized denim, where no shrinking was applied during the production process. The fit, wear and finish are all unique to the wearer depending on wash, wear and care. Before 1960, this was the only way to buy jeans.
 
SUNSET TEE • Featuring the same 1902 sunset pocket shape as shirts from the Levi's® Archives.
 
TRUCKER JACKET • The Levi's® Trucker Jacket arrived on the scene in 1962. Since then, it's been worn over pretty much everything, by pretty much everyone. We continue to evolve it every season with new prints, styles and fabrics like fleece, corduroy, sherpa, down and lightweight cotton.
 
5-POCKET • A classic Levi's® design, designed with two back pockets, two front-side pockets and one smaller 5th pocket (sometimes referred to as a “coin pocket”) on the right hip.

 

FABRICS

We're more than just denim. Explore all the fabrics that make Levi's® iconic products.

 

 

CHAMBRAY • Chambray is a lightweight, woven fabric that's denim-like in appearance. It's often used in shirts for comfort and breathability.
 
CORDUROY • Corduroy is a type of fabric made from twisted fibres that, when woven, lie parallel to form “cords”.
 
COTTON • Known for its softness and breathability, cotton is one of the most common fabrics used in clothing of all types. Most Levi's® jeans are made from cotton dyed with indigo.
 
CROSSHATCH • Denim woven with uneven yarns in both the warp and weft, creating a unique, grid-like finish.
 
DENIM • Denim is a strong, durable fabric made of cotton twill, used to make jeans, overalls, Trucker Jackets, Western Shirts and other clothing. The Levi's® brand is known for using denim and copper rivets to make the first pair of jeans ever, in 1873.
 
DIRT REPELLENT • Dirt repellent fabrics are treated with a coating to repel liquids and particles. Some of our Levi's® Commuter™ styles use these fabrics to keep cyclists clean and dry on their ride.
 
DYNEEMA© • The world's strongest fibre, Dyneema© is woven into our garments for added durability.
 
ELASTANE • Elastane is a synthetic elastic material made of polyurethane, used to add stretch and recovery to clothing. Levi's® denim is made with varying amounts of elastane, depending on the level of stretchiness desired.
 
FABRIC WEIGHT • Fabric weight is the measure of ounces per square yard of fabric. Denim is typically woven in weights ranging from 4 to 15 ounces.
 
FINISHES • Any treatment to jeans after they've been cut, sewn and washed to give them a desired surface effect. Common finishes are whiskering, fraying and embroidery.
 
FLEECE • A lightweight, breathable fabric known for its supreme softness, commonly used in jackets, scarves and hats.
 
HAND FEEL • The “hand feel” of the fabric refers to how it feels. Examples: soft, crisp or dry.
 
HEAVYWEIGHT DENIM • Extra durable denim weighing 13 oz or more per square yard of fabric.
 
JERSEY • A soft, ultra lightweight knit fabric typically used to make tees.
 
LIGHTWEIGHT DENIM • Lightweight denim weighs less than 10.5 oz per square yard of fabric. Because of its lightness, it's perfect for warm weather styles.
 
LINEN • A lightweight-yet-durable natural fiber that comes from the flax plant. Linen is often used in spring/summer clothing because of its maximum breathability.
 
MADRAS • Madras is a lightweight plaid cotton fabric, used primarily for summer clothing like shorts and dresses.
 
MIDWEIGHT DENIM • Denim weighing between 10.5 oz and 12.5 oz per square yard of fabric. Most Levi's® styles are crafted from midweight denim.
 
MOTION FABRIC • Levi's® stretch denim engineered for maximum comfort. Easy fit for every wear.
 
PRESHRUNK DENIM • Also known as “sanforized,” preshrunk denim is treated to prevent shrinking after washing and drying. Preshrunk denim first became available in the ‘60s – before that, all denim was Shrink-to-Fit™ Fabric.
 
RAW DENIM • A favourite of denim purists, raw denim has not experienced any washing or distressing processes. It has a more rigid feel, shrinks roughly two sizes when washed, and forms to your body and movements over time.
 
SATEEN • Sateen is a cotton fabric similar to satin, known for its soft, smooth texture and shine.
 
SELVEDGE • Premium selvedge denim comes from the term “self-edge,” the woven strip on both edges of a roll of fabric. It's traditionally woven on narrow-width shuttle looms, producing a clean edge with no fringe.
 
SHERPA • A soft, thick fabric originally made of sheep's wool. Typically used to line garments for added warmth.
 
SLUB • Slub refers to a thick, nubby yarn that's intentionally spun to look irregular in shape, adding texture to knit garments.
 
SPANDEX • Spandex is a fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It's used in some of our denim to give it extra stretch and recovery.
 
STRETCH DENIM • Stretch denim is made with a blend of cotton and elastane for increased comfort and recovery.
 
SILK • Silk is a soft, lustrous thread or fabric made from the fibres produced by silkworms.
 
TENCEL • Also referred to as Lyocell, Tencel is an eco-friendly fibre made from wood pulp, with a similar feel to rayon.
 
TWILL • A lightweight, woven fabric with a surface of diagonal parallel ridges. Denim is made of durable cotton twill fabric dyed with indigo.
 
WATER RESISTANT • Water-resistant fabrics have been treated to become resistant to water penetrating the fabric weave. We use them in some of our outerwear and Levi's® Commuter styles.

 

WASHES & FINISHES

Ever wondered how jeans get that colour or pattern you love? It's all in the wash and finish.

 

 

ACID WASH • The acid wash process involves washing denim with bleach-soaked stones for a marbled finish.
 
BLEACH • Bleach is sometimes used in the finishing process to lighten the colour of denim or give it a lived-in look and feel.
 
CAST • The underlying colours or tones in indigo denim. Depending on dye or technique, denim can have a variety of casts, like red, green or yellow.
 
CHAIN STITCH • A sewing technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Chain stitching can be used in embroidery to “draw” illustrations on fabric.
 
CROCKING • The term for when indigo dye unintentionally rubs off onto another fabric or surface. Crocking most commonly happens with raw or dark denim.
 
DESTRUCTION • Destructed jeans have fraying, slashes or rip-and repair details for a coveted lived-in look and feel. Just like you've worn and loved them for decades.
 
EMBROIDERY • The art of using needle and thread to embellish garments. First made popular by hippies in the ‘60s and ‘70s, custom embroidery on denim gives it a personal, one-of-kind look.
 
FINISHES • Any treatment to jeans after they've been cut, sewn and washed to give them a desired surface effect. Common finishes are whiskering, fraying and embroidery.
 
FLAT BUSTED SEAM • Flat busted seams are sewn and then pressed flat, creating a reinforced closure that covers raw edges.
 
GARMENT DYE • Placing an entire article of clothing into a dye bath for a well-worn, vintage-like appearance. Garment dyeing is also sometimes called “over-dyeing.”
 
HAND SANDING • Hand sanding is a process used to replicate whiskers or other destruction details normally achieved through wear over time.
 
INDIGO DYE • Indigo dye is used to give denim its rich, distinctive blues. Through regular washing and wearing, fabric dyed with indigo will artfully age, developing one-of-a-kind characteristics.
 
LEVI'S® AUTHENTIC WASH • Developed in our Eureka Innovation Lab, Levi's® Authentic Wash has a lived-in look, perfectly broken-in feel, and one-of-a-kind colour variations.
 
PATCHES • Originally added to a pair of jeans where denim had worn thin and needed to be reinforced, denim patches are now used as a finish to give jeans a vintage feel.
 
RESIN COATING • Resin coating is a finishing technique that gives jeans a rigid, crinkled look and feel.
 
SHIBORI • Originating in Japan, Shibori is a dyeing technique that involves binding certain sections of cloth and dipping them in indigo to achieve a tie dye-like pattern.
 
STONEWASH • Stonewashing is accomplished by washing denim with pumice stones to achieve a lived-in look and feel. This step occurs during the finishing process.
 
SUSTAINABLE FINISHING TECHNIQUES • The Levi's® brand utilizes highly innovative sustainable finishing techniques aimed to minimize water usage in the denim production and finishing process. So far, we've saved over 1 billion litres of water and counting (as of August 2015).
 
TANNIN • Tannins are organic substances present in some barks and other plant tissues, which are used in leather production and pigment manufacture.
 
WHISKERING • Subtle horizontal lines that many jeans have along the thighs or wear points for a perfectly well-worn look. To craft this finish, we first draw lines on the jeans with sandpaper, and then stonewash them.