Style Manual

The modern man’s guide to dressing well every day

It’s always useful to know what you’re getting, especially when it comes to a must-have in your wardrobe – denim jeans. Let us decipher the terminology for you in our denim dictionary below.

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100% COTTON DENIM– This is the majority of our denim, providing comfort with natural elasticity and excellent dye affinity. 100% cotton denim is very hard wearing and has the capacity for unlimited treatments to it such as bleaching, whiskering, tinting etc.
ABRASION– The process of making garments look worn and aged by the scraping of the fabric, usually by pumice stones, causing abrasion.
ACID WASH – This is also referred to as marble moon or stone wash. This finish provides the jean with sharp contrasts in colour. The process is achieved by soaking pumice stones in chlorine and letting these stones create contrast during the wash process.
ATARI OR WHISKERING– This refers to the faded lines formed from the creases that are usually found in the front pocket area of the jeans. This is often achieved by the application of enzyme active bleach to stimulate a “whisker” effect.
BACK CINCH – Before belts there were Back Cinches. They’re an old fashioned way to tighten your jeans via a buckle at the back. With a renewed trend for vintage inspired designs, back cinches have come back into style.
BACK SEAM RISE – This is the seam down the centre back of the jean, this is adjusted depending on different fit. For example a jean has a lower/shorter back and front seam. This then sits lower down on the hips – hence the term ‘lower rise’.
BARTACK -A sewing procedure that re-enforces stress points on jeans typically around pockets and near zippers.
BELT LOOP – This is the denim fabric added at the waist band so you can wear a belt with your denim.
BROKEN TWILL – Where the twill lines are not continuous and have zigzag formation on the reverse of the fabric. Compared to Left Hand Twill and Right Hand Twill, broken twill is when the diagonal weave of the twill is intentionally reversed to form a random design. As a result, the natural torque characteristic of regular twill weaves is reduced, eliminating the leg twist effect.
BUSTED SEAM -This is where the seam is an open over lock and used for out leg seams for cosmetic and bulk reducing purposes.
COATED DENIM– PU coating is applied on the fabric and is usually set under intense heat and should last the life of the garment. This coating aids in setting creases and folds as desired. Arcadia ensures all coatings are formaldehyde free. jeans crop 4
COIN POCKET – Also known as a ticket pocket or money pocket. On denim this is often called the 5th pocket hence the common name 5 pocket jean.
CROCKING – Crocking occurs in heavily dyed fabric like raw denim when the dye is dry rubbed off through friction and causes fades, creases and ‘atari’.
CROSSHATCH – Crosshatch is used to describe when the fabric has the appearance of a cross effect at the front with diagonal twill lines on the reverse of the fabric. This gives an obvious texture on the denim and in washing stages can create more surface interest on the fabric.

DENIM WEIGHTS– The weight of denim fabric is usually given in ounces e.g. 14oz (this would be a very heavy weight) 12oz (this is medium weight for menswear, the majority of our denim is around this weight) 10oz this is a light weight for menswear denim.
Environmental Impact- A typical pair of blue jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its life cycle (this includes the water to irrigate the cotton crop, manufacture the jeans, and the numerous washes by the consumer)
DISTRESSING – See “Abraison”.
DOUBLE DENIM – Wearing two denims at once, most commonly a pair of jeans and then either a denim shirt or denim jacket. The key with double denim is to go for contrast, for example a black or very dark denim pair of jeans, contrasted with a lighter or bleach wash shirt or jacket. Check out a great example of double denim below.
FIVE POCKET JEANS– The most common style of jean. Two pockets at the front, two at the rear, and a coin pocket.
FLY – This is the term used to describe the opening at the front of a jean where you can have a button fly or zip fly.
FRONT TACK – This is a term used for the centre front button on a jean.
GRINDING – This is a process to achieve a worn out distressed effect usually applied to hems and pocket edges achieved by running the garment against an abrasive surface.

Denim Dictionary: H – P


Denim Dictionary: Q – Z


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