DENIM DICTIONARY

FROM ARCUATE TO ZIPPER, HERE’S Levi’s® DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO DENIM.

COLLECTIONS

FIND OUT WHAT MAKES EACH OF Levi’s® COLLECTIONS ORIGINAL.

Levi’s® COMMUTER

Stylish, performance-driven solutions for the urban cyclist. Strong stretch fabrics are combined with water-repellency, reflectivity and thoughtful design details to provide maximum comfort, coverage and durability to ride your bike — day or night, rain or shine.

Levi’s® MADE & CRAFTED

A premium expression of the Levi’s® brand. Skillfully constructed pieces made from the finest possible materials.

Levi’s® LINE 8

A youthful expression of the Levi’s® brand. Simple, modern, unexpected.

Levi’s® WASTE<LESS

Designed with the planet in mind, Waste<Less products are carefully crafted with a minimum of 15% post-consumer recycled waste.

Levi’s® WATER<LESS

Levi’s® Water<Less innovation means next to no water is used in the denim finishing process, saving a serious amount of H20. In total, we’ve saved up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing.

Levi’s® WELLTHREAD COLLECTION

Our Wellthread products are produced and finished using Water<Less H20-saving innovation. Garments are 100% cotton for easier recyclability. We also invest in the health & well-being of people who make these products.

Levi’s® VINTAGE CLOTHING

Faithfully capturing the spirit and heritage of American workwear, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing reproduces the fits, fabrics and details of bygone eras.

Levi’s® SKATEBOARDING COLLECTION

Adopted as the denim of choice by skaters some thirty years ago, Levi’s® Skateboarding Collection meets the demands of skateboarding today. Modern classics, designed and constructed to endure.

MADE IN THE USA

Some of the finest denim in production today, Levi’s® Made in the USA jeans and Trucker Jackets are crafted in the United States at Cone Mills, North Carolina: The most iconic denim mill in America.

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. One of the most globally recognizable design details on a pair of Levi’s® jeans, the Arcuate trademark was used on our earliest waist overalls, the original name for our blue jeans that were patented in 1873.

Back Leather Patch

The Two Horse Pull leather patch was first used on our waist overalls, the original name for our blue jeans, in 1886. It was used to illustrate the strength of the pants and reinforce our status as the originator of patent riveted clothing. The back leather patch still lives on the back of every pair of Levi’s® Red Tab jeans, testament to the durability of our 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.

Rise

The measurement up the center of a jean/pant to the waist. Levi’s women’s jeans are either Low Rise, Mid Rise or High Rise.

Rivet

The rivet is a piece of metal hardware that helps to reinforce a garment. The first riveted work pants were patented on May 20, 1873 by Levi Strauss & Co. and Jacob Davis, and are known today as blue jeans. Rivets on our 501© jeans are made of copper and are designed to add strength to the pockets.

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 Levi’s® Trucker Jackets and iconic 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.

Two Horse Pull

First branded onto the leather patch of our “XX” jeans in 1886, Levi’s® Two Horse Pull trademark demonstrates the incredible strength of our clothing.

Waistband

The waistband is 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.

FITS

WE’VE BEEN PERFECTING OUR FITS FOR OVER 140 YEARS. EXPLORE THE RANGE TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU.

710 Super Skinny

The seriously sexy fit. The 710 Super Skinny fits slim through the hip and thigh with our skinniest leg opening and added stretch for comfort.

711 Skinny

The perfect go-to fit. The 711 Skinny fits slim through the hip and thigh with a classic mid-rise.

712 Slim

The timeless chic fit. The 712 Slim has a mid-rise and fits slim through the hip and thigh.

721 High Rise Skinny

A classic high-waisted skinny jean, designed slim through the hip and thigh with a skinny leg and high-rise.

Bermuda Shorts

Typically straight through the thigh, Bermuda Shorts usually fall at or around the knee.

Boyfriend

Levi’s® boyfriend styles are based off their male counterparts (jeans and shirts), looser, effortless fits but designed with feminine details like a slimmer leg (jeans) and more tailored cut (shirts).

Capris

Typically tapered and cropped, most Capris fall at or around the calf. Perfect for spring and summer.

Plus

Levi’s® Plus sizes for women range from 16 to 24.

501© Original

The iconic straight fit with signature button fly. Since 1873.

501© CT

A new take on an icon. The 501© Original, customized with a perfect tapered leg.

504 Regular Straight

A modern straight fit that sits below the waist.

505 Regular Fit

The original zip fly since 1967. A classic straight fit with extra room in the thigh.

510 Skinny

Sits below the waist with a skinny leg from hip to ankle.

511 Slim

A classic since right now. The slim, modern fit with enough room to move.

513 Slim Straight

A versatile classic, cut slim through the leg.

514 Straight

A Levi’s® classic. Sits below the waist with a straight leg and more room in the thigh.

522 Slim Taper

Modern and refined. Fits close through the thigh with a tapered leg from knee to ankle.

527 Slim Bootcut

A modern boot-cut fit. Sits below the waist with a slim fit through the thigh.

541 Athletic Fit

A tailored look with added room in the seat and thigh.

550 Relaxed Fit

A comfortable classic. Sits at the waist with a relaxed straight leg, and fits loose through the thigh.

WOMEN’S PERFORMANCE STRETCH

Performance stretch denim has over 80% stretch with excellent recovery. Premium stretch fabric features shape-holding technology to help slim, lift, and lengthen.

WOMEN’S ADVANCE STRETCH

Advanced stretch denim has 50-80% stretch and great recovery. High stretch fabric slims and enhances your shape.

WOMEN’S COMFORT STRETCH

Comfort stretch denim has 25-50% stretch. Medium stretch fabric is engineered for comfort, with built-in recovery to help retain shape over time.

WOMEN’S LOW STRETCH

Low stretch denim has 10-25% stretch. With an authentic look and feel, it has just the right amount of give.

MEN’S PERFORMANCE STRETCH

Performance stretch denim has 25-35% stretch. Premium fabric with next-generation stretch has excellent recovery to help retain shape over time.

MEN’S COMFORT STRETCH

Comfort stretch denim has 10-25% stretch. It’s engineered for comfort with built-in recovery.

560 Comfort Fit

A modern relaxed fit. Roomy through the seat and thigh with a slight taper.

569 Loose Straight

A modern, laid-back straight fit. Sits below the waist with extra room in the seat and thigh and a slim leg.

Big & Tall

Levi’s® Big and Tall sizes for men range from 58” waist and 38” length.

Bootcut

Originally designed to fit over work boots, bootcut jeans are built a little wider from knee to ankle.

High Rise

A pair of jeans or pants that sits at or near the natural waist.

Leg Opening

The width of jeans or pants at the bottom of the leg (or thigh if they’re shorts).

Low Rise

A pair of jeans or pants that sits lower on the waist, nearer the hips.

Mid Rise

A pair of jeans or pants that sits in between the hips and natural waist.

Original Fit

Original fit jeans or pants are designed with a straight leg and rise that sits at the waist.

Regular Fit

A regular fit refers to a straight jean or pant with a little extra room in the thigh and seat.

Relaxed

Levi’s Relaxed jeans are a looser fit, made for comfort.

Super Skinny

Levi’s® Super Skinny is intended to fit very snug from waist to ankle.

Skinny

Levi’s® Skinny jeans fit snug from waist to ankle, with stretch for comfort.

Slim

Somewhere between a traditional straight and modern skinny, Levi’s® Slim jeans are cut narrow from hip to ankle, but with enough room to move.

Straight

Levi’s® Straight jeans are cut in what’s also called our ‘standard fit’, straight from hip to ankle.

Tapered

A style of jeans/pants in which the leg has been taken in and narrowed from knee to ankle. A tapered jean or pant has a tailored, refined look.

GARMENTS

MADE FIRST BY THE Levi’s® BRAND AND BUILT TO LAST, OUR GARMENTS ARE TRULY UNIQUE AND WE’LL TELL YOU WHY.

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.

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Blue Jeans

In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis combined quality denim and patented copper rivet reinforcements, creating the first-ever pair of Levi’s® 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.

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.

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Shrink-to-Fit Denim

Authentic garments made of raw, unsanforized denim, meaning that 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.

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Sunset Tee

Featuring the same 1902 sunset pocket shape as shirts from the Levi’s® Archives.

Trucker Jacket

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.

3M Reflective Tape

3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape is highly reflective material that increases visibility of those who wear it in low light conditions. Example: in our Levi’s® Commuter Collection, 3M is used on hems and seams for safe night rides.

3XDRY

3XDRY technology is water repellent on the outside and moisture wicking on the inside, preventing perspiration and creating a comfortable, cooling effect. Fabric with 3XDRY© also improves dirt and water repellency. Used in our Levi’s® Commuter collection.

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 fibers 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, gridlike 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.

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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 fiber, 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 it’s 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 favorite 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.

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Sanitized Band

Antimicrobial Sanitized fabric technology is added to waistbands of jeans in our Levi’s® Commuter line for freshness and odor control.

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.

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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 fiber 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 fibers produced by silkworms.

Tencel

Also referred to as Lyocell, Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made from wood pulp, with a similar feel to rayon.

ThermoCool

ThermoCool fiber is designed to regulate a wearer’s body temperature as they change activity levels. It can be found in some styles from our Levi’s® Commuter collection.

Twill

A lightweight, woven fabric with a surface of diagonal parallel ridges. Denim is made of durable cotton twill fabric dyed with indigo.

Water Repellent

Even stronger than water-resistant fabrics, water-repellent fabrics are tightly woven or treated with a finish that causes water to bead and roll off. We use them in some of our outerwear and Levi’s® Commuter styles.

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.

FINISHES

JEANS ARE CUT, SEWN AND (USUALLY) WASHED TO GET THEIR COLOR—THEN COMES THE FINISHES.

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.

Flat Busted Seam

Flat busted seams are sewn and then pressed flat, creating a reinforced closure that covers raw edges.

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.

Hand Sanding

Hand sanding is a process used to replicate whiskers or other destruction details normally achieved through wear over time.

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.

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 liters of water and counting (as of August, 2015).

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.

WASHES

EVER WONDERED HOW JEANS GET THAT COLOR OR FADE YOU LOVE. IT’S ALL IN THE WASH

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 color of denim or give it a lived-in look and feel.

Cast

The underlying colors or tones in indigo denim. Depending on dye or technique, denim can have a variety of casts, like red, green or yellow.

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.”

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 color variations.

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.

Tannin

Tannins are organic substances present in some barks and other plant tissues, which are used in leather production and pigment manufacture.

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