What is denim fabric and its types ?

Denim Fabrics

Definition of “Denim”:

Denim is a sturdy cotton twill textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. The denim is structurally stronger than regular trouser because of the intended use of coarser yarn count and heavy GSM of the fabric. Denim is a sturdy cotton warp-faced textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces a diagonal ribbing effect. This type of dyeing also creates denim’s fading characteristics, which are unique compared to every other textile.

The name “denim” derives from French serge de Nimes, meaning ‘serge from Nimes’. Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue jeans, although “jean” formerly denoted a different, lighter, cotton fabric. The contemporary use of the word “jeans” comes from the French word for Genoa, Italy (Genes), where the first denim trousers were made.

Denim Pants
Denim Jeans

Properties of Denim Fabric:

  • It is for long wearing.
  • It is hard wearing.
  • It is very strong and durable.
  • It resists snags and tears
  • It creases easily.
  • Warp yarns are colored (usually with indigo, vat, blue or Sulphur black).
  • Structure: Right hand or left-hand twill, i.e. z/s-twill of 2/1 or 3/1construction.
  • Usually made of cotton yarns of coarser count (7s, 10s, 14s, 16s, etc.)
  • Coarser cloth (weight lies between 6-14 oz/sq.yds ) and used for pant and warm jackets.
  • Rotor yarn are usually used.

Classification of denim fabric:

  1. As per weight /unit area.

  • Light weight: 4.7 to 8 oz/sq.yd
  • Medium weight: 8 to 11 oz/sq.yd
  • Heavy weight: 12 and above.
  1. As per hue and color.

  • Indigo vat.
  • Sulphur black.
  • Pigment.
  1. As per slub yarns:

  • Warp yarns are slub only.
  • Weft yarn is slub only.
  • Cross Hatch: both way slub i.e. both warp and weft yarn are slub.
  1. As per fabric structure /design:

  • Plain.
  • Twill (S-twill, Z-twill, herringbone or zigzag twill)
Denim Dress
Denim used in Garments


  1. Project report of “Effects of Different Types of Wash on Denim Fabric” by Tutul Ghosh, Junayed Hossain Chowdhury & Amit Ghose under supervision of Md. Aswad Al Haque Sarker, Lecturer, Department of Fabric Engineering, Bangladesh University of Textiles
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