I respect the many people involved in the shirt & textiles
The World’s 1st shirt website

What is the Difference Between Denim, Chambray & Dungarees?

MAY – 2023 15 MINS READ
Do you know the difference between denim, chambray and dungaree? These fabrics, which are very similar, have differences in the way they are made and their history. This section studies those differences.
Denim, Chambray, and Dungarees are fabrics that are closely associated with indigo dye. Indigo dye is derived from the plant Indigofera(Especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa.) and has been used for centuries to achieve the characteristic blue color of these fabrics. Indigo dye has unique properties that contribute to the appeal of denim, chambray, and dungarees. The dye molecules do not fully penetrate the fabric fibers, resulting in a surface color that gradually wears away over time, revealing lighter areas beneath and creating a distinctive aged appearance.
First we should learn about indigo dyeing.
Etymology of Indigo
17c. spelling change of indico (1550s), “blue powder obtained from certain plants and used as a dye,” from Spanish indico, Portuguese endego, and Dutch (via Portuguese) indigo, all from Latin indicum “indigo,” from Greek indikon “blue dye from India,” literally “Indian (substance),” neuter of indikos “Indian,” from India . Replaced Middle English ynde (late 13c., from Old French inde “indigo; blue, violet” (13c.), from Latin indicum). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, As “the color of indigo” from 1620s. As the name of the violet-blue color of the spectrum, 1704 (Newton).
Indigo has a long history and was widely used in ancient times, particularly in Asian countries, for producing blue dyes. Red dyes were derived from various plant extracts and also from the kermes insect, similar to cochineal, as well as madder. Scarlet and yellow dyes were created using safflower, saffron, weld, Persian berries, and other plant-based materials. During the early stages of European history, the Phoenicians gained renown for their dyeing expertise, and their beautifully colored fabrics became valuable trade commodities with other nations. The famous “Tyrian purple” dye is believed to have originated from the Phoenicians, and its exquisite quality and high cost made it a symbol of royalty.The origins of dyeing with indigo using fermentation vats can be traced back to India, although this area of study remains relatively unexplored. Evidence of indigo-dyed garments dating back to 3500 BCE has been found in Thebes, and archaeological research has revealed that the ancient Egyptians used safflower to dye iron buff and employed yellow dyes as early as 2500 BCE.
The scarlet color of the Tabernacle curtains mentioned in the Bible was likely achieved using kermes. This material, known as “kermes berries” to the ancients, was initially thought to be of plant origin and was only recognized as an insect akin to cochineal in the eighteenth century. Kermes was known to the Egyptians even before the time of Moses and was attributed to the discovery of the Phoenicians. The Hebrews referred to it as Tola, while the Egyptians called it worm dye. In Persia, kermes was highly sought after and considered even more valuable than Tyrian purple. Egyptians utilized safflower to dye silk a brilliant but less durable scarlet color. The Greeks also employed safflower as a royal hue, and in ancient Ireland (and even until the seventeenth century), the king’s mantle was dyed with it.

Pliny provides a comprehensive account in his “History of Nature” regarding the nature of Tyrian purple, the methods used to extract it from shellfish, and the application techniques on fabrics. The dyeing material was derived from specific shellfish collected along the coast, and recent research has revealed that this dye was dibromindigo, a substance that can now be synthesized and is one of the modern “vat” dyestuffs. According to Pliny, the Greeks during the time of Alexander the Great were familiar with the art of dyeing wool in purple and other colors, as well as dyeing linen in black, yellow, blue, and green shades that were resistant to washing. Plutarch informs us that dyeing was practiced as a handicraft in Rome, and Numa Pompilius, an early Roman king, sought to support and promote this craft by establishing a college dedicated to it. This “collegium tinctorum” is noteworthy as possibly the first dyeing school ever established.

The Romans possessed knowledge of various coloring substances, categorizing them as major and minor dyes. Major dyes were used for dyeing garments for both men and women, while minor dyes were specific to either gender, such as yellow, which was exclusively used for dyeing bridal garments. This classification of dyes based on sociological factors was quite remarkable. In his writings, Pliny provides a description of the dyeing materials used during his time. He mentions alum and distinguishes between white and black varieties. However, it should be noted that the term “alum” in his context encompasses not only the alum we recognize today but also soda, which naturally occurred in various deposits, as well as possibly other salts. According to Pliny, the Romans were also familiar with the technique of using metallic mordants on wool.
See Friedländer , Berichte der deutschen Chem . Gesellschaft , 1909 , p . 765. The dyestuff was obtained directly from the shell – fish , 12,000 being used in the research , with a total yield of 1.4 grams of pure color
The Romans seemed to use a decoction of sea grass as a fixative for the alum mordant, similar to how dyers used cow dung in more recent times. They were also familiar with using tannin as a mordant for dyeing black, utilizing a decoction of oak bark for this purpose. Pliny mentions various dyewoods, such as genista (possibly equivalent to our Flavine) for yellow, elderberry and walnut shells for brown, and woad for blue. Woad was applied in a manner similar to indigo, though the mention of the dye indicum raises debates regarding its identity and whether it was true indigo or not.
Madder root was used to obtain red colors, and even today, the root of the red cabbage (known as alkanna) is used for this purpose in Russia. Kermes was employed for dyeing a purplish red hue. Purple dye was made in a manner similar to Tyrian purple, extracted from a specific shellfish. The Venetians were among the first European nations to develop expertise in dyeing and textile-related industries. From Venice, the art of dyeing gradually spread to other European countries and reached a high level of excellence in Holland, France, England, and Germany. Though true indigo was not widely introduced to Europe until the fourteenth century, Woad, a similar dye, was used as a substitute. When indigo was imported in large quantities from India, it faced significant competition with woad for dyeing blue. There seemed to be a sort of woad syndicate at that time with enough political influence to impose severe obstacles on indigo. Historical records from Venice in 1194 mention the importation of brazil-wood(Caesalpinia echinata) from India(Caesalpinia sappan L). The latter dyestuff eventually gave its name to the well-known South American country. Although indigo was used in Venice during that period, its use did not seem to extend to the rest of Europe until the decline of Venice and its industries, which led to the widespread dissemination of the art of dyeing throughout Europe. This was likely due to a decline in trade with India, which was not regained until the discovery of the sea route to Asia.
The red pigment precursor (brazilin C16H14O5) in the core material is colourless, but changes to the red quinomethane type (brazilain C16H12O5) when oxidised. The red colour is considered to become darker as the oxidation process progresses, and it becomes even darker when dyed in sunlight. This is due to the synergistic effect of photo-oxidation and dehydrogenative oxidation. Acidic dyeing produces a reddish tint, while alkaline dyeing produces a bluish tint. Unfortunately, colours dyed with Brasil-wood have low fade-fastness and have long been recognised as being susceptible to fading.
The discovery of America had a significant impact on the art of dyeing as it introduced a multitude of new coloring substances. Logwood, as well as various red woods from Central and South America, were among the newly available materials and quickly gained widespread use. Fustic, another American product, along with cochineal, also made valuable additions to the existing dyestuffs of the time. The Netherlands and Belgium emerged as prominent centers for wool dyeing, a position they held for a considerable period. However, the art of dyeing gradually advanced in England, Germany, and France as well. A wide range of vegetable-based coloring substances were employed, offering a diverse palette of hues. Notably, in England, a yellow dye was extracted from onion skins and found extensive application in dyeing practices.
When indigo was invented in 1897, the traditional natural indigo dyeing industry began to decline. Synthetic indigo soon began to spread, mainly to European countries, and Ward, as well as Indian indigo and Japanese indigo, suffered a fatal blow. Today, only a few indigo dyes using traditional methods remain in Japan, China and South-East Asia.
The War Between Woad and Indigo
Etymology of WOAD
Old English wad “woad,” also the blue dye made from its leaves, from Proto-Germanic *waidīn (source also of Danish vaid, Old Frisian wed, Middle Dutch wede, Dutch wede, Old High German weit, German Waid “woad”), which is perhaps cognate with Latin vitrium “glass” , but Boutkan considers it a substratum word. Formerly much cultivated; since superseded by indigo. French guède, Italian guado are Germanic loan-words.
The history of colors often intertwines with exploration, trade, commerce, and national interests. Even in Paleolithic times, artifacts have been discovered with pigments not naturally occurring in the immediate vicinity, hinting at the early stages of color sourcing and trade. The discovery of new color sources could render established trade routes and industries obsolete, shaping the course of history. Indigo dye, known for its deep blue hue and lightfast properties, was highly prized. It was famously utilized by Napoleon to outfit his army. During Roman times, indigo was a mysterious import, with dried dye bricks mistaken for stones. Interestingly, two different plants yield nearly identical versions of the dye: Indigofera tinctoria, the indigo plant of South Asia, and Isatis tinctoria, the woad plant, which produces a slightly weaker dye but thrives in the colder European climate.
Woad played a significant role in the European dyeing industry since early medieval times. However, it was not without its drawbacks. Woad cultivation depleted the land of its nutrients and posed a threat to the local farming communities, risking widespread starvation. Additionally, the fermentation process required to convert woad into distribution-ready balls resulted in a strong ammonia odor. Nevertheless, in the 16th century, the opening of trade routes with India posed a significant challenge to the lucrative woad industry, as the far superior indigo dye began to be imported. This sparked a battle to discredit indigo and protect the local industry. By the 18th century, the French and German governments even attempted to pass laws restricting the importation of the rival dye, reflecting the economic and political importance attached to maintaining the dominance of woad.
The most primitive indigo dyeing method is ‘raw leaf dyeing’, in which raw indigo leaves are directly rubbed into the dyed material to dye it with the indican contained in the leaves. In fact, when the Roman general Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) marched into Britain and saw “Britons painting their bodies and faces blue with woad indigo”. At the time, British warriors apparently painted their bodies with indigo to strike fear into the Roman army and challenge them to battle. Even during the Roman Empire, Gaius P., Governor of the Overseas Territories Linius (23-79), in his natural history journal Natural is In his natural history journal Natural is historia, Linius (23-79) noted that during his invasions of Gaul (northern Italy), Belgium and France, “the women of Brittany used to dye their bodies with indigo juice”.
Hurry, Jamieson B. and Warren R. Dawson. The Woad Plant and its Dye. London, Oxford University Press: H. Milford, 1930. Crerar Library
Woad is a biennial herb, sown in spring in the first year, with clumps of blue-green leaves spreading all over the field in summer. The following year, around May, it grows into a herb with a full crop of young purplish leaves on twigs, with small yellow flowers at the tips of the twigs. The young leaves are harvested several times before 79 May. The picked leaves are ground with stone white until the veins are no longer visible, then piled up and fermented with water. When indigo begins to form, the odour becomes stronger and it is gathered into balls or indigo balls and dried. Thus, in the 6th century. Ward was widely cultivated in England, France, Germany, Turkey and along the Mediterranean coast. The Languedoc region in southern France and Thuringia in Germany in particular produced and shipped thousands of tonnes of indigo balls, providing blue dye for woollen fabrics all over Europe and becoming a centre of the indigo trade. and brought enormous economic benefits to the region. 
This woad became an essential part of the dyeing of woollen military uniforms and uniforms. However, in the middle of the 16th century, cheap, high-quality Indian indigo began to be imported. Initially, it was only used for dyeing silk and fustian, but gradually woollen weavers began to mix Ward with Indian indigo. The impact of woad on the agricultural economy was so great that Henry IV (1553-1610) banned Indian indigo and Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) adopted a protective policy of encouraging and subsidising new methods of cultivation and indigo production, but the price and colour quality of Indian indigo were superior to those of woad. In the 18th century, wars broke out across Europe and demand for the blue dye indigo, especially for military uniforms and uniforms, temporarily increased. Thus. The indigo boom was triggered by the establishment of plantations in the colonies of Brazil and India, as well as in the new continent of America and the West Indies, and the production of Indian indigo was encouraged. The indigo produced in this way contributed greatly to the development of the woollen industry not only in Britain but also in European countries. The indigo produced in this way contributed greatly to the development of the woollen industry not only in Britain but also in European countries. 

The Edict of Nantes : April 13, 1598

The Edict of Nantes, signed on April 13, 1598, by King Henry IV of France, was a landmark decree that granted substantial rights to the Protestant Huguenots, who were a minority in a predominantly Catholic nation.

The edict aimed to provide religious toleration to the Huguenots, who had long struggled for their rights in France. Its main provisions included:

1. Freedom of conscience and the right to practice Protestantism in certain specified towns and cities throughout France.
2. The right to hold public office, including serving as judges and administrators, without having to renounce their religion.
3. The right to establish and maintain their own schools and universities, with government funding.
4. The right to fortify their towns and cities for their protection.
5. The right to maintain their own military forces, known as the “Huguenot militia,” paid for by the French government.
6. The right to engage in specific trades and professions, such as textile and arms manufacturing.
7. The right to travel freely within France without being subject to searches or property seizures.
8. The right to bury their dead in their own cemeteries.

The Edict of Nantes played a significant role in ending the Wars of Religion in France, which had ravaged the country for many years. It provided the Protestant minority with religious and political freedom, contributing to the establishment of a more tolerant and pluralistic society in France. However, King Louis XIV revoked the Edict in 1685 with the Edict of Fontainebleau. This led to a mass exodus of Huguenots from France and resulted in the loss of talented individuals and resources for the country.

Henry IV’s primary goal in issuing the edict was to promote civil unity. By separating civil and religious unity, the edict recognized Protestants as more than mere schismatics and heretics and paved the way for secularism and tolerance. It granted general freedom of conscience and offered specific concessions to the Protestants, including amnesty and the reinstatement of their civil rights. They were allowed to work in any field, even for the state, and had the right to address grievances directly to the king. The Edict of Nantes successfully marked the end of the French Wars of Religion, which had plagued France in the latter half of the 16th century.

Édit de Nante : The Edict of Nantes : April 13, 1598
The Edict of St. Germain, issued 36 years prior by Catherine de Médici, had granted limited tolerance to Huguenots but was overshadowed by subsequent events. It was not formally registered until after the Massacre of Vassy on March 1, 1562, which triggered the first of the French Wars of Religion. The Edict of Fontainebleau, promulgated in October 1685 by Louis XIV, the grandson of Henry IV, revoked the Edict of Nantes. This decision prompted an exodus of Protestants and increased hostility from Protestant nations neighboring France.
The Huguenots played a significant role in the textile industry and their expertise and knowledge contributed to the development of the French textile industry. In particular, the Huguenots excelled in manufacturing techniques and design of high-quality textiles. They operated their own workshops and factories, passing on their skills and contributing to the advancement of the French textile industry. However, the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685 by Louis XIV. This revocation subjected the Huguenots to religious persecution and oppression, leading to a mass exodus from France. As a result, the Huguenots took their textile industry expertise and knowledge to their new places of residence, where they made significant contributions to the textile and textile industries in countries such as England, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
For example, Huguenot refugees who arrived in England brought with them techniques and knowledge that led to innovative developments in the English textile industry. They worked on improving the quality and efficiency of textile production, introduced new textile designs and dyeing techniques. Huguenot refugees also played vital roles as laborers and managers in the textile industry, contributing to the economic growth of England. Similarly, in countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland, Huguenot refugees had a significant impact on the development of the textile and textile industries. They introduced new technologies and manufacturing methods, leading to the production of high-quality textiles. As a result, these countries gained international competitiveness in the textile industry and enjoyed economic prosperity. Therefore, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes had a profound impact on the relationship between the Huguenot exodus and the textile industry. The Huguenots’ expertise and knowledge were inherited in the countries where they sought refuge, contributing to the development of their textile industries. Meanwhile, France suffered a loss of Huguenot expertise and experience, resulting in a decline in the competitiveness of its textile industry and economic losses.
Emigration of The Huguenots – 1566 by Jan Antoon Neuhuys ©wikipediacommons
When most people hear the word “jeans,” they typically imagine a sturdy pair of pants, often blue, made from a fabric known as denim. Denim and jeans are so closely associated that “denims” is often used as a synonym for jeans, and it can also refer to a pair of denim overalls. It’s not uncommon for fabrics or weaves to be named after their places of origin. For instance, terms like “damask,” “chambray,” and “suede” all come from place names (Damascus, Cambrai, and Sweden).
Similarly, “jeans” and “denim” have their roots in the city of Genoa, Italy. The cloth known as jean was initially referred to as “jean fustian,” with “fustian” being a type of twilled cotton fabric. The term “Gene fustian,” which evolved into “jean fustian,” dates back to the mid-16th century. “Gene” (or “Genes”) is a Middle French spelling for “Genoa,” the port city in northwestern Italy. Hence, “jean fustian” or simply “jean” was a specific fabric that originated in and was distributed from Genoa, Italy.
the Genoan fabric was dyed with indigo both for its warp and weft yarn
Etymology of denim
1690s, from French serge de Nîmes “serge from Nîmes,” town in southern France. Originally a kind of serge; application to “coarse, colored, twilled cotton cloth” is by 1850 in American English. Denims “pants made of denim” is recorded from 1868; originally typically overalls. The place name is Roman Nemausus, said to be ultimately from Gaulish nemo “sanctuary.”
Denim is a thick woven fabric made of cotton, with a warp yarn of No.10 or more fibres dyed with indigo and a twill weave of unbleached weft yarns (yarns that have not been dyed). It is characterised by a large number of white weft yarns on the reverse side of the fabric. Often used for pants, but also for bags. Denim is a type of fabric that is known for its durability and versatility. It is typically made from cotton and is characterized by a twill weave pattern. The twill weave creates a diagonal ribbing effect on the fabric’s surface, which sets denim apart from other types of cotton fabric, such as plain-woven cotton. Denim fabric is recognized for its use in creating denim jeans, a popular style of pants that are known for their strength and ruggedness. However, denim is also used to make a wide range of other garments, including jackets, skirts, shorts, and shirts. It is a versatile fabric that can be dyed in various colors, but the most common and iconic shade of denim is indigo blue. The durability of denim makes it well-suited for casual wear and workwear, as it can withstand regular use and rough handling. Over time, denim can develop a worn-in, faded appearance that is often sought after for its unique aesthetic. Additionally, denim fabric is also used for accessories like bags and wallets, as well as in upholstery for furniture.
Denim is a cotton fabric with a similar weave; its name is believed to be derived from “serge de Nîmes” after Nîmes in France.
Located in the Occitanie region of Southern France, serves as the prefecture of the Gard department. Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes, this bustling commune is home to approximately 148,561 people (as of 2019). Renowned as the most Roman city outside Italy, Nîmes boasts a captivating history that traces back to the days of the Roman Empire when it served as a regional capital with a population of 50,000 to 60,000. The city of Nîmes features several famous monuments, including the impressive Arena of Nîmes and the well-preserved Maison Carrée, earning it the moniker “French Rome.” However, Nîmes endured its fair share of challenges throughout the centuries. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Rhone Valley faced a relentless wave of invasions that led to economic ruin, famine, religious conflicts (such as the French Wars of Religion), and devastating epidemics. Nîmes, being a stronghold for Protestants, faced severe repression and internal strife, including the tragic Michelade massacre, which persisted until the mid-17th century. The city also endured periodic outbreaks of plague, further adding to its misery. However, in the mid-17th century, Nîmes experienced a period of prosperity. The population surged, prompting the expansion of the town and the replacement of slum housing. Notable construction projects from this time include the reconstruction of Notre-Dame-Saint-Castor, the Bishop’s palace, and numerous mansions (hôtels). This renaissance period bolstered the city’s manufacturing and industrial capabilities, resulting in a population surge from 21,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. Additionally, during this era, the picturesque Fountain gardens, known as the Quais de la Fontaine, were created. The areas surrounding the Maison Carrée and the Amphitheatre were cleared of encroachments, and the general prosperity benefited the entire population of Nîmes.Denim, the fabric of blue jeans, derives its name from this city (Serge de Nîmes). The blue dye was imported via Genoa from Lahore the capital of the Great Mughal.
– The jean is a cotton serge twill-weave fabric with warp and weft threads of the same colour. – Denim is also a cotton serge, but is characterised by an indigo blue warp yarn that is not throughly dyed and an ecru(unbleached linenthe or colour of unbleached linen=shade of beige) weft yarn.
Since the Middle Ages, the City of Nîmes has developed high-quality and very economical textile products. Serge is one of them. This twilled fabric, whose oblique crossed weave (twice above and once below) gives it a more resistant character than canvas, has been used on a large scale for everyday clothing and furnishings. There are different types of serge whose names, given by merchants and manufacturers, served to identify their quality, and their place of invention and manufacture. Nîmes serge is thus a textile appellation based on the name of its region of origin. But it is manufactured throughout southern France, as is the case with the royal manufacture of Sieur Ayrolles in Carcassonne. Nîmes serge is renowned as far away as England from the end of the 17th century. Mystery hovers over the origin of the denim appellation which has fuelled many legends, including the Nîmes origin of denim. The first point to clarify is a question of vocabulary:
This combination, for the sake of economy, explains its natural and progressive fading after washing. – Jeans, an abbreviation of the American expression “a pair of jeans”, is a precisely shaped pair of trousers made of denim. It is likely that time has created confusion between the two types of fabric (jean and denim) and their respective names. Fustian (twill fabric of wool and cotton, or wool and linen) such as the Genoese twill, also known as jean or jeane, were made from the 16th century onwards. From the 18th century, cotton will be preferred to wool for the manufacture of fabrics. The Lancashire region rapidly produces and distributes jean on a large scale. It is therefore normal to see jean and denim produced in the United States from the earliest developments in the cotton industry.
about SERGE
late 14c., sarge, in reference to a woolen cloth in use in the Middle Ages, apparently of a coarse texture, from Old French sarge, serge (12c.), Medieval Latin sargium, sargea “cloth of wool mixed with silk or linen,” from Vulgar Latin *sarica, from Latin serica (vestis) “silken (garment),” from serica, from Greek serikē, fem. of serikos “silken”
Silk serge has a rich historical association with Greece and France. Evidence of this can be seen in the discovery of a piece of silk serge, dyed with Byzantine motifs, found in Charlemagne( 768 – 814)’s tomb. It is believed to have been a gift from the Byzantine Imperial Court during the 8th or 9th century AD. The term “serge” also refers to a form of silk twill that was produced in the early Renaissance, particularly in or around Florence. This type of serge was commonly used for clerical cassocks. A mention of this can be found in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, where the character expresses delight in finding a cassock made of the finest Florentine serge.
I am more pleased to have found it than anyone had given me a Cassock of the best Florentine serge — The Curate, in Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Book I, Chapter VI
In early Saxon times, the majority of English wool was exported. During the 16th century, it was sent to a Royal monopoly in Calais, which was then under English control, and woven into cloth in France or the Low Countries. However, when the French took possession of Calais in 1558, England began to develop its own weaving industry. The European Wars of Religion, including the Eighty Years’ War and the French Wars of Religion, played a significant role in this expansion. Skilled serge weavers, including Calvinist refugees from the Low Countries in 1567, and silk and linen weavers, including Huguenot refugees in the early 18th century, contributed to the growth of England’s weaving industry. Wool worsted serges have been known since the 12th century, and modern serges are typically made with a worsted warp and a woollen weft.
According to one theory , The shepherds in the Cévennes mountains, located northwest of Nîmes, were credited with the creation of a durable fabric known as serge. This twill weave fabric originated as a blend of wool and silk. The shepherds ingeniously combined indigo yarns and threads with white silk and wool, utilizing the abundant resources available in the mountains. The resulting cloth proved sturdy enough to withstand their demanding work, making it an ideal choice for their attire.
One source today revealed one very serious incident, which is mentioned here. However, as the source was not mentioned, it needs to be confirmed whether this is indeed correct. The following is the text. (23 July 2023)
Serge de Nimes
Starting just a little later than Genoa, from around the late 1600s to early 1700s Nimes in France had a booming textile industry which specialised in silk, and with large factories making it the third largest industrial French city after Paris and Lyon.
Nimes manufacturers were also the top French producers of hosiery, woollen sheets and shawls, which they exported across Europe. Naturally they tried to replicate the Genoan jean fabric with their own fabric called Serge de Nimes- serge being a twill fabric of a white wool and silk blend (originally) and said to have been invented by shepherds in the Cevennes mountains in an effort to create an even harder wearing cloth than the Geanes Fustian (silk being the toughest natural fibre out there)- something hardy enough for their work in the mountains. This was later, like the Genoan jean fabric, indigo dyed – but only for their warp threads, with the weft threads left white (whereas the Genoan fabric was dyed with indigo both for its warp and weft).
There is a question as to whether the Serge de Nimes is a true predecessor of denim as, whereas denim in the UK was always associated as being made of cotton, the claim is that Serge de Nimes never was. Although it is equally possible that by the late 1700s Serge de Nimes evolved from wool and silk to wool and cotton, and then to 100% cotton- all the more likely with the explosion in the cotton industry around the time.

If this statement is ture, then both items are considered ancestors, and neither of them is not. The reason behind this is that they differ in terms of dyeing and materials used. Undoubtedly, there must have been a rich history even before the rivets were introduced, solidifying their connection as genealogies of that lineage.

From 1778, John Hargrove, an Irish émigré living in Baltimore, probably a weaver who became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, will play a major role in the development of the American textile industry (Weavers Draft and Clothiers Assistant). His treatise on weaving lists 9 variations of jeans and 3 of denim. In the 19th century, jean and denim are still two different fabrics and their production increased throughout the 19th century following the development of the American industry. The well-cut and durable trousers are made in jean. Three main products will emerge in the United States: dungarees (overalls), trousers and jackets.
Historical Note

The English word jean actually came from a French term in the mid 1400s. This was Jene Fustian’s term, but it’s a term that has long since fallen out of use. The word Fustian refers to a type of twilled cotton cloth and Jene was a city in Genoa. Thus jene fustian was Genoan Fustian or Justian from Genoa. (The current French name for Genoa isn’t much different.It is Gênes.)

When the word jeans arrived in English, it referred to this twilled cotton cloth and jeans was first used for pants made from jean in about 1843. It was probably used in the plural as “jeans” to correspond with trousers, an older word. and with pants,itself first shortened from as an made from jeans in about 1843. It was probably used in the plural as “Jeans” to correspond with trousers, an older wold,and with pants,itself first shorted from pantaloons in 1840.

the plural “jeans” to correspond to the old word trousers. The pants themselves are his 1840 shortened pantaloons for the first time. Thus when jeans returned to French as un-Jean was another of the words we have discussed which started as a French word, was adopted into English, and returned to French in altered form as an anglicisme.

The French word “denim” is another of the words with an interesting history. It started out as the French term ‘serge de nîmes’, referring to a specific  serge cloth which was manufactured in Nimes, and the term came into English in the 1600s as “serge denim” and  then “serge denim”. The use of denim by itself , to refer to coarse  cotton cloth in American English, date from about 1850.Then denim migrated back to French. as an anglicisme, in the 1970’s as the name for the cloth used to manufacture jeans.
Priestley’s “Huguenot” Cloth Fashions ©The Canadian Magazine, Toronto: Ontario Publishing Co. Ltd., Vol. XXIX, No 6, October 1907, p. 37.
Priestley’s unrivalled dyeing and finishing have produced a cloth sure of immediate appeal to the present day’s demand. “Huguenot” Cloth contains all the durability and close texture of the old-time serge, with the soft, rich, draping qualifies of a French cashmere. Colors include the latest shades, rich tints of red, green, blue, brown, and new evening shades.
Etymology of Chambray
This is kind of gingham fabric used for women’s gowns, 1801, alteration of Cambrai, city in France (formerly Flanders) where the cloth originally was made.cambric is type of thin, fine linen, late 14c., from Dutch Kamerijk or Flemish Kameryk, Germanic forms of French Cambrai, name of the city in northern France where the cloth was said to have been first manufactured. The modern form of the English word has elements from both versions of the name. The place-name is from Latin Camaracum, according to Room from the personal name Camarus, “itself apparently from Latin cammarus ‘a crawfish, prawn’ …. It is not known who this was.”
Cambric is a meticulously woven fabric with a smooth surface and a plain weave. Its attractive appearance is achieved through a process called calendering. This fabric can be produced from linen or cotton fibers, and it offers a wide range of color options for dyeing. French “Batiste”, on the other hand, is a type of cambric fabric that shares a similar texture but has a different finishing process. It can be made from both cotton and linen fibers. Similar to cambric, batiste can be dyed or printed. While some sources consider batiste and cambric to be the same, in English, they are recognized as two distinct fabrics.
Cambric was a finer quality and more expensive than lawn (from the French laune, initially a plain-weave linen fabric from the city of Laon in France.
In the 18th century, after the prohibition of French cambric imports into England, similar cotton fabrics, such as nainsook, gained popularity. These cotton fabrics were initially called Scotch cambrics to differentiate them from the original French cambrics. Over time, they became known as cotton cambrics or batistes. Some confusion arose when authors suggested that the word “batiste” could be derived from the Indian fabric “bastas.” Chambray, although belonging to the same fabric category as cambric, has a unique characteristic. It features a colored warp and a white weft. However, it can be made with various colors in both the warp and weft threads, as long as they contrast with each other. One notable difference between chambray and denim is the way the warp and weft threads are arranged. In chambray, these threads alternate, with one going over the other. Denim, on the other hand, has its warp thread going over two weft threads before going under one. As a result, the color of chambray fabric appears similar on both sides, while the reverse side of denim is lighter in color.In the 19th century, the terms cambric and batiste gradually lost their association with linen, implying only different kinds of fine plain-weave fabrics with a glossy finish.
In the English folk song ‘Scarborough Fair’ it is sung tell her to make me a cambric shirt, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Cambrai, town, Nord département, Hauts-de-France région, northern France. It lies along the Escaut River, south of Roubaix. The town was called Camaracum under the Romans, and its bishops were made counts by the German king Henry I in the 10th century. Cambrai was long a bone of contention among its neighbours—the counties of Flanders and Hainaut, the kingdom of France, and the Holy Roman Empire—and it frequently changed hands. The League of Cambrai was an alliance (1508) against Venice formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII, Ferdinand II of Aragon (and united Spain), and the emperor Maximilian I. The treaty between the Holy Roman emperor Charles V and Francis I of France was signed at Cambrai in 1529. Cambrai eventually was assigned to France by the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678). The town’s former cathedral was destroyed in 1793 after the French Revolution, and the town’s present cathedral of Notre Dame was built in the 19th century.
Before 1914 Cambrai had a prosperous textile economy based on a fine cloth called cambric. Occupied by the Germans during both World Wars and twice ravaged, the town has been revived. Cambrai now serves as a commercial and administrative centre and has a branch of the University of Valenciennes. The town lies amid a farming district rich in sugar beets, flax, grain, cattle feed, cattle, and dairy products. Historic buildings and the Fine Arts Museum have helped develop tourism. Industry includes woodworking, food processing, building, and the manufacture of textiles and construction equipment. Pop. (1999) 33,738; (2014 est.) 32,897.
Le siège de Cambrai
The siege of Cambrai (March-April 1677) was part of the War of Devolution, led by Louis XIV to pay for the dowry that he claimed was his by right from his marriage to Maria Theresa of Austria in fortresses. It was in fact a question of consolidating the north-eastern border of the Kingdom by anticipating the doctrine of the “pré carré” which was enunciated by Vauban in 1673, a doctrine which advocated the adoption – by force or discussion – of a rectilinear border. Indeed, the north-eastern border was burdened with fortified towns (Cambrai, Tournai, Lille, Charleroi, etc.) which were all foreign thorns threatening the tranquillity of the territory. The frontier was a real Swiss cheese with holes occupied by the forces of the Habsburg Empire. In 1667, under the blows of Louis XIV’s army, Spain gave up a dozen places, but the border was still not secured. Two Spanish salient points remained: between Saint-Omer and Ypres; between Valenciennes and Cambrai. In 1672, hostilities resume against the Netherlands. Valenciennes was stormed in March 1677. The same month, the king himself laid siege to Cambrai, which remained geographically isolated. In the weeks that followed, the city’s fortifications were taken one after the other. On 17 April, the wounded Spanish governor decided to capitulate. With the treaty of Nimègue of August 10, 1678, the town of Cambrai is definitively attached to the kingdom of France.
Prise de Cambrai par Louis XIV le 5 avril 1677
blue collar (worker)

The term “blue collar” originated in 1924 when it was used to describe trades jobs in an Alden, Iowa newspaper. The term was inspired by the attire of manual workers who often wore blue denim or chambray shirts as part of their work uniforms. These workers, employed in industrial and manual labor, commonly wore durable canvas or cotton clothing that could become soiled during their tasks. The choice of navy and light blue colors for their attire was practical, as these shades helped conceal potential dirt or grease, making the workers appear cleaner. To protect their clothing, many blue collar workers also wore boilersuits, which are often designed in blue. In some cases, blue collar workers sport uniforms that bear the name of the business or the individual’s name, either embroidered or printed on the clothing. Throughout history, the color blue has been associated with manual laborers, in contrast to the preference for white dress shirts among those working in office environments. This blue collar/white collar color scheme carries socio-economic class implications. However, with the growing significance of skilled labor and the rise of low-paying white-collar jobs, this distinction has become increasingly blurred.In 1667, under the blows of Louis XIV’s army, Spain gave up a dozen places, but the border was still not secured. Two Spanish salient points remained: between Saint-Omer and Ypres; between Valenciennes and Cambrai. In 1672, hostilities resume against the Netherlands. Valenciennes was stormed in March 1677. The same month, the king himself laid siege to Cambrai, which remained geographically isolated. In the weeks that followed, the city’s fortifications were taken one after the other. On 17 April, the wounded Spanish governor decided to capitulate. With the treaty of Nimègue of August 10, 1678, the town of Cambrai is definitively attached to the kingdom of France.

Sears; [catalog] Spring 1910 (no.120)
Sears; [catalog] Spring 1922 (no.144)
Sears; Golden jubilee catalog 1936
Etymology of dungaree
“A coarse cotton stuff, generally blue, worn by sailors” [Century Dictionary, 1897], 1610s, dongerijns, from Hindi dungrii (दुंगरी) “coarse calico,” said to be from the name of a village, now one of the quarters of Bombay. Dungarees “trousers made of dungaree” is by 1868.
Dungaree refers to a type of fabric that is traditionally a coarse and thick calico cloth. It originated in India and is typically made from cotton. Dungaree fabric is known for its durability and ruggedness, making it suitable for heavy-duty use. In terms of appearance, dungaree fabric often has a plain or twill weave and can come in various colors, although it is commonly associated with indigo-dyed warp threads, similar to denim. It has a slightly rough texture and is known for its strength. Additionally, “dungaree” can also refer to a style of garment made from dungaree fabric.
In American English, dungarees usually refer to sturdy work trousers or jeans that are made from denim or dungaree fabric. They are typically characterized by their bib and brace design, featuring adjustable straps that go over the shoulders and a bib-shaped front that covers the chest. In British English, the term “dungarees” can have a broader meaning and refer to a wider range of garments, including bib overalls made from various fabrics. Dungarees in British English can be worn for both casual and work purposes, providing a practical and versatile clothing option.So dungaree fabric is known for its durability, and dungarees as garments are often associated with rugged workwear and outdoor activities.
Denim : Twilled fabric of coarse , single , hard – twisted yarns . Usually colored warp and white or mock – twist filling ; may be piece dyed .” A coarse grade is known as Dungaree “. Overalls , jumpers , and other work clothing ; cushions , upholstery , box – spring pockets ; mattress ticking ; light pads , and mattresses as in canoes , etc .; bags of all sorts ; awnings , canopies , tents , beach shades .(1930 Cotton fabrics and their uses. Textile division)
In Japan, “dungaree” refers to twill weave fabrics using “white threads for the warp and coloured threads for the weft”. Basically, in woven fabrics, “the warp threads appear on the front side of the fabric” and “the weft threads appear on the back side of the fabric”. Therefore, dungarees are characterised by the appearance of many white yarns on the front side of the dungaree instead of coloured yarns.” It is sometimes said that.(I could find no reason why.)
Some sources stated that when the weft yarn is indigo-dyed yarn, it is called jean.
1946 Dan River’s dictionary of textile terms.
DUNGAREE – Work overall fabric of coarse cotton denim , usually blue . Originally used for sailors ‘ work clothes .
Hindi : दुंगरी / coarse kind of cloth
They make a coarse dungaree cloth here,called gujjeeah, thirty-six to forty cubits long, costing from two and a half to three rupees per piece.(*1cubit≒44.4cm)
This is one of the largest towns in Guzerat ; population estimated at between forty and fifty thousand inhabitants. It carries on a considerable trade with Malwa and the interior, importing grain, drugs, gums, and dye stuffs, and exporting in return cotton, coarse dungarees, chintzes, tobacco, coarse sugar or jagree, &c. The lands here are as sessed at a certain rate per beega, but according to the crop raised thereon, from five to ten, and as high as Rupees seventeen, per beega ; tobacco five at seven, sugar-cane ten, and so on — the most valuable crops generally paying the highest rates.
“Dungarees” typically refer to a style of garment that is characterized by a bib and brace design. They are a type of one-piece clothing with attached or adjustable shoulder straps and a bib-shaped front that covers the chest. “Dungarees” are often made from durable fabrics such as denim or dungaree fabric, which is a coarse and thick calico cloth. “Dungarees” are known for their practicality and versatility. They are commonly worn for work or outdoor activities due to their durability and ability to provide ample coverage and protection. “Dungarees” are often associated with functionality and are popular among laborers, farmers, mechanics, and individuals engaged in manual work. “Dungarees” have also gained popularity as a casual fashion trend. They are worn by people of all ages and genders as a comfortable and stylish choice. Dungarees can be found in various designs, colors, and fabrics, catering to different fashion preferences and style statements.
“Oh, My Darling Clementine,” also known as “Clementine,” is a beloved traditional American Western folk ballad written in trochaic meter. The song is commonly attributed to Percy Montross (or Montrose) and was first published in 1884, although some credit is also given to Barker Bradford. Recognized for its enduring popularity and cultural significance, “Clementine” has been honored by the Western Writers of America, who selected it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Its timeless appeal and memorable melody have made it a cherished part of Western music heritage.
The phrase “Oh, My Darling Clementine” refers to a traditional American folk ballad, as mentioned earlier. The song tells the story of a miner’s daughter named Clementine who meets a tragic fate while crossing a river. It is often associated with the California Gold Rush era in the mid-19th century, as miners would sing this song during their journeys and around campfires.
Adolf von Baeyer
Adolf von Baeyer was born in Berlin on October 31, 1835, to Johann Jacob Baeyer and Eugenie Baeyer née Hitzig. He came from a Lutheran family, although his mother, originally from the Itzig family of Jewish descent, had converted to Christianity before marrying his father. Baeyer had four sisters and two brothers. Unfortunately, his mother passed away while giving birth to his sister Adelaide.Although his birth name was Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf Baeyer, he was commonly known as “Adolf Baeyer” throughout his life. On his 50th birthday, he was ennobled by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, receiving the honorific “von” in his name. His godparents were the poet Adelbert von Chamisso and the astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel. Baeyer developed an early interest in science and conducted experiments on plant nutrition at his grandfather’s farm. At the age of nine, he began experimenting with chemistry in Berlin and synthesized a previously unknown compound, the double carbonate of copper and sodium, at the age of twelve. On his 13th birthday, he purchased indigo dye for his initial dye experiments, marking the start of his lifelong passion.

After completing secondary school in 1853, Baeyer enrolled at Berlin University to study physics and mathematics. However, he temporarily interrupted his studies to serve in the Prussian army until 1856. He then resumed his academic pursuits at the University of Heidelberg, intending to study chemistry under Robert Bunsen. Due to a disagreement with Bunsen, he switched to August Kekulé as his mentor. Even after returning to Berlin to complete his doctorate on arsenic methyl chloride, or cacodylic chloride, Baeyer continued to collaborate with Kekulé.Baeyer’s academic career included positions as a lecturer at the Gewerbeinstitut Berlin and a professor at the University of Strasbourg in 1871. In 1875, he succeeded Justus von Liebig as the Chemistry Professor at the University of Munich.

Baeyer’s chief achievements include the synthesis and description of the plant dye indigo, the discovery of the phthalein dyes, and the investigation of polyacetylenes, oxonium salts, nitroso compounds (1869) and uric acid derivatives (1860 and onwards) (including the discovery of barbituric acid (1864), the parent compound of the barbiturates). He was the first to propose the correct formula for indole in 1869, after publishing the first synthesis three years earlier. His contributions to theoretical chemistry include the ‘strain’ (Spannung) theory of triple bonds and strain theory in small carbon rings

In 1871, Baeyer discovered the synthesis of phenolphthalein, which he obtained by condensing phthalic anhydride with two equivalents of phenol under acidic conditions. He also experimented with phenol and formaldehyde, producing a resinous product that later contributed to Leo Baekeland’s development of Bakelite. Baeyer received several prestigious awards for his contributions. In 1881, he was awarded the Davy Medal by the Royal Society of London for his work with indigo. He became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1884. In 1905, Baeyer received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his advancements in organic chemistry and the chemical industry, particularly in the fields of organic dyes and hydroaromatic compounds. He continued to be an influential teacher in the world of organic chemistry until shortly before his death in 1917.

The Discovery of Chemical  Indigo (1882-1883)
In 1860, Baeyer achieved his habilitation in Berlin and embarked on a teaching position for organic chemistry at the Gewerbein-stitut. Six years later, the University of Berlin, upon the recommendation of A.W. Hofmann, bestowed upon him a senior lectureship, albeit without any remuneration. It was during this period that Baeyer commenced his research on indigo, leading to significant breakthroughs such as the discovery of indole and the partial synthesis of indigotin. Concurrently, Baeyer formulated his theory on the assimilation of carbon dioxide in formaldehyde. Subsequently, following the passing of Justus von Liebig, Baeyer assumed the prestigious chair at the University of Munich, granting him the opportunity to pursue the synthesis of indigo. His remarkable achievements in this field earned him the distinguished Davy Medal from the Royal Society of London in 1881.
The first synthesis of indigo was reported by Adolf von Baeyer in 1882 and its chemical structure was elucidated one year later.  In 1883, Baeyer successfully unraveled the intricate structure of indigo. However, despite patenting the synthesis method, it proved to be economically unviable due to exorbitant manufacturing costs compared to the natural dye. Consequently, this particular synthesis route had to be abandoned. Later on, in collaboration with Viggo Beutner Drewsen, Baeyer explored an indigo synthesis method using nitrobenzaldehyde, although its industrial significance remained limited. It wasn’t until 1900 when Karl Heumann developed an economical synthesis method for indigo, marking a significant milestone in the field.(Shortly after, a practical manufacturing process was developed and since 1897 natural indigo has almost been replaced by the synthetic molecule, which is probably the most produced dye in the world)