POP QUIZ: From whence came the word denim? (Answer below)
Back in the 70's, I won a district 4-H competition in the clothing and textiles project. During the Q&A portion of the competition, one of the judges asked me if I knew where the word denim came from, and I did. She was surprised, since she, a Home Economics professional, had just recently learned that. I may have won on the strength of knowing that little bit of trivia. Later, I took the presentation ("Cotton - The Clothesbasket of Today." A little corny, but descriptive) on to win State, and took a wonderful trip to Nationals in Chicago, where I did not win. As result, I missed a whole week of school, including the explanation of a limit in Calculus. I struggled for the rest of the year trying to make sense of why we were doing these things. During the first week of college Calculus, I got it - the explanation of a limit, and breezed (well, relatively speaking) through the rest of Calculus. Then came Differential Equations. --a whole 'nother ballgame. But I digress.
I love that recycled denim has come back around. During my teen years, we recycled a lot of denim. My Mama, Nanny (my grandmother), and I made purses, hats, vests, and they made some beautiful jackets. I look forward to Earthgirl growing into the jacket Nanny made me, comlete with little embroidered flowers on the collar, cuffs, and down the zipper. When we studied Julie and the 1970's in American Girls Club, we made little recycled denim purses one week.
1974: That's me, 2nd from the right, in a little top Mama whipped up from Holly Hobby fabric, and wearing my then-favorite jeans. Picture taken with my trusty little Instamatic.
Earthgirl (Summer 2006) is wearing a skirt I whipped up from my favorite jeans from 2 faves ago. (She and her friend decided they liked using their denim skirts as swimsuit cover-ups.) The jeans busted through the knees and I kept wearing them. When they busted through the seat, they had to retire. But they enjoyed a recycle season with Earthgirl before moving on.
ANSWER TO POP QUIZ: The fabric originated in Nimes, France. It was serge de Nimes, later shortened to denim.