DENIM DICTIONARY

from arcuate to zipper, here’s levi’s® definitive guide to denim.

    • LEVI’S® COMMUTER

      Designed for life on the go. Comfort, coverage and durability in Levi’s® iconic styles. Built to ride day or night, rain or shine.

    • LEVI’S® WATER<LESS

      Levi’s® Water® Earth-designed Waste

  • LEVI’S® MADE & CRAFTED®

    A premium expression of the our brand, created with artful construction, elevated details and a design that’s authentically Levi’s®.

    LEVI’S® WATER®

    Levi’s® WATER® innovation techniques are designed to save water in the denim finishing process. In total, these processes have 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® innovation techniques. Garments are designed with a single-fiber material so they can be easily recycled. We also invest in the health & well-being of people who make these products.

    MADE IN THE USA

    Levi’s® Made in the USA jeans and Trucker Jackets are crafted in the United States.

    • ANTI-FIT

      Anti-fit is a slightly looser fit that is characteristic of a pair of Men’s Levi’s® jeans. Derived from Levi’s® Workwear origins, Anti-Fit deliberately leaves some room in the buttocks area. It provides both comfort and an effortless coolness. Bruce Springstein’s “Born in the USA” album cover is a classic representation of the Anti-Fit.

      ARCUATE

      The iconic stitching on the back pockets of Levi’s® jeans is referred to as an “Arcuate” because of its arc formation. The Arcuate trademark is one of the most globally recognizable design details on a pair of Levi’s® jeans. It 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 designed to illustrate the strength of our pants and reinforce our status as the originator of patented riveted clothing.

      BAR TACKS

      A series of tight zigzag stitches used to reinforce stress points and provide strength and durability.

      BUTTON FLY

      The front metal button closure, most often associated with Levi’s® 501® jeans.

      BELT LOOP

      A strip of fabric sewn onto the waistband of a pair of jeans to hold a belt.

    • COIN POCKET

      The smaller front pocket, known originally as the "watch pocket," that sits inside the right-front pocket.

      CROPPED

      A garment that’s slightly shorter in length, usually falling above or at 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 at the back 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 pair of jeans or a pant leg.

      INSEAM

      The inseam of a pair of pants is the measurement along the length of the inner leg, from the top of the inner thigh to the bottom.

      OUTSEAM

      The outseam is the measurement along the length of the outside of a pair of pants from the very top to the bottom of the leg.

      RISE

      The measurement up the center of a pair of pants to the waist. Common styles are low rise, high rise and mid rise.

  • RIVET

    A 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

    The seat extends from the top of the jean to just below the pockets, where the legs begin, on the back of a pair of pants or jeans.

    SHANK BUTTONS

    A shank is a piece of metal that, when combined with a button, extends from the backside, creating space between the button and the fabric.

    TOP BLOCK

    Refers to the area from the lower hip to the waist. It’s also used to describe the fit through the wearer’s hip, whether slim, skinny or relaxed.

    TWO HORSE PULL

    First branded onto the leather patch of our "XX" jeans in 1886, Levi’s® Two Horse Pull depicts two horses pulling apart a pair of jeans. This trademark was designed to demonstrate 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 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 (vertical) yarns, across the width of the fabric.

    YOKE

    As seen on Levi’s® Western shirts, a yoke is the shaped pattern piece that forms the upper part of the shirt, usually around the neck or shoulders.

    ZIP FLY

    Refers to a zipper closure at the front of a pair of jeans, pants, shorts or skirts.

    • 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.

    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.

    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.

    • BARSTOW WESTERN SHIRT

      A classic shirt with details such as traditional western yokes and snap-front closures.

      BLUE JEANS

      Blue jeans are pants made of denim, typically featuring riveted reinforcements. In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis combined quality denim and patented copper rivet reinforcements, creating the first-ever pair of Levi’s® jeans.

    • SAWTOOTH WESTERN

      An update to the original Levi’s® Barstow Western Shirt from the 1930s, featuring details such as western yokes and snap-front closures, along with a slim, modern fit and Sawtooth pockets.

      SHERPA TRUCKER JACKET

      An update to the original Levi’s® Trucket Jacket, the Sherpa Trucker Jacket is cold-weather-proof with warm sherpa insulation and a soft quilted lining in the sleeves.

  • SHRINK-TO-FIT™ DENIM

    Refers to raw, unsanforized denim, meaning that no shrinking was applied during the production process. The fit, wear and finish of garments made with Shrink-to-Fit™ denim are all unique to the wearer depending on wash, wear and care. Before 1960, this was the only way to buy jeans.

    SUNSET TEE

    Our t-shirt style that features the same 1902 sunset pocket shape as shirts from the Levi’s® Archives.

    TRUCKER JACKET

    The Trucker Jacket is a denim jacket complete with riveted reinforcements, shank button closures and historic Levi’s® design that originated in 1962.

    5-POCKET

    A classic Levi’s® design, referring to jeans or pants designed with two back pockets, two front-side pockets and one smaller fifth pocket (sometimes referred to as a “coin pocket”) on the right hip.

    WESTERN SHIRT

    The typical western shirt features a stylized yoke on the front and back as well as distinct pockets, like a “Barstow” (a Levi Strauss & Co. term for a single-yoke pocket) or “Sawtooth” (another Levi’s® term for a double-yoke pocket) design. Western shirts typically have snap closures instead of buttons to minimize need for repair.

    • 3M™ REFLECTIVE TAPE

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

      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 woven fabric made with additional yarns that, when cut and brushed, form plush vertical “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 appearance.

      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.

      DYNEEMA®

      The world’s strongest fiber, Dyneema® is woven into some garments for added durability.

      ELASTANE

      Elastane, another name for Spandex, is a fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. It's used to add stretch and recovery to clothing. Levi’s® fabrics are made with varying amounts of elastane, depending on the level of stretchiness desired.

    • FABRIC WEIGHT

      Fabric weight is the measure in ounces per square yard of fabric. Denim is typically woven in weights ranging from 4 to 15 ounces.

      FLEECE

      A lightweight, breathable knit fabric known for its supreme softness, commonly used in sweatshirts, jackets, scarves and hats.

      HEAVYWEIGHT DENIM

      Denim weighing 13 oz. or more per square yard of fabric.

      JERSEY

      A soft, 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 processed to minimize shrinking after washing and drying. Preshrunk denim first became available in the 1960s; before that, all denim was Shrink-to-Fit™ fabric.

  • RAW DENIM

    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

    SATEEN

    Sateen is a cotton fabric similar to satin, known for its soft, smooth texture and shine.

    SHERPA

    A soft, thick fabric originally made of sheep’s wool and now typically made of polyester. Used to line garments, like our Trucker Jackets, for added warmth.

    SLUB

    Slub refers to a thick, nubby area of a yarn that’s intentionally spun to look irregular in shape, adding texture to knit or woven garments.

    SPANDEX

    Spandex (also known as Elastane) 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 (also known as Spandex) for increased comfort and recovery.

    SILK

    Silk is a soft, lustrous thread or fabric made from the fibers produced by silkworms.

    TENCEL®

    A branded lyocell fiber produced by Lenzing, Tencel® is made from eucalyptus grown in sustainably managed forests. It has a similar feel to rayon.

    THERMADAPT

    A Levi’s® Strauss & Co. Fibers engineered to wick moisture away from the body and provide insulation. Helps wearer cool off in warm conditions and stay warm in cool conditions.

    TWILL

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

    WATER REPELLENT

    Water-repellent fabrics are treated with a finish designed to cause water to bead and roll off the fabric surface. We use them in some of our outerwear and Levi’s® Commuter™ styles

    WATER RESISTANT

    Water-resistant fabrics are tightly woven or treated with a finish to prevent water from penetrating the fabric surface We use them in some of our outerwear and Levi’s® Commuter™ styles.

    • FINISHES

      Any treatment to jeans after they’ve been cut, sewn and washed to give them a desired surface effect. Common finishes are bleaching, stonewashing and whiskering.

    • HAND SANDING

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

  • 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.

    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 draw lines on the jeans with sandpaper and then stonewash them.

    • BOOTCUT

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

      CROPPED

      A garment that’s slightly shorter in length, usually falling above or at the ankle.

      HIGH RISE

      A pair of jeans or pants that sits above 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, closer to the hips.

      MID RISE

      A pair of jeans or pants that sits just below the natural curve of the 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 extra room in the seat and thigh.

    RELAXED

    Relaxed jeans give the wearer a looser, baggier fit.

    SUPER SKINNY

    Super skinny jeans fit tight from waist to ankle.

    SKINNY

    Jeans that fit snug from waist to ankle.

    SLIM

    Jeans that fit between a traditional straight and modern skinny, cut narrow from hip to ankle, but with enough room to move.

    STRAIGHT

    Straight-fit 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.