farmers denim

Farmers And Denim Are Strongly Connected

Farmers and denim have been strongly linked to each other in the history of denim. And even today! While farming was mostly taking place for family use in the first place, it rapidly grew after the 1800s. After 1840, industrialization and urbanization opened up lucrative domestic markets. It is said that the number of farms in the United States grew from 1.4 million in 1850 to 4.0 million in 1880, and 6.4 million in 1910.

Until the mid-1800s and early 1900s, denim was mostly used by miners. But, as many mines closed during the 1920s and 1930s, more and more people started farming life in the United States. Therefore they needed sturdy workwear that was durable and resistant to get the job done each day. Over time, denim became synonymous with the American frontier spirit and the hardworking ethos of farmers and laborers.

Farmers wore jeans primarily for practical reasons. Denim, the fabric from which jeans are made, is known for its durability and strength. These qualities make denim jeans well-suited for the demands of farm work, which often involves physical labor, exposure to the elements, and rough terrain.

The Link Between Farmers And Denim

Here are five reasons why farmers choose to wear jeans. Learn about the link between farmers and denim.

1) Durability

Farm work can be rugged and physically demanding. The many activities such as tilling soil, plowing land, planting crops, and repairing equipment were part of many farmers. Even today, most farmers are using denim styles such as the bib-overall and the (carpenter) pants styles to wear on their land. The durability of denim is the ideal choice for withstanding the rigors of farm work.

2) Protection

Jeans and denim styles in general provide a layer of protection against scratches, abrasions, and minor injuries that can occur while working. The many tools to use to work on the land, and the handling of their livestock means that they need to protect the best they can. Denim is such a sturdy fabric that keeps them safe and protected.

3) Comfort

In the beginning, denim can be tough to break in. Especially back in the day, each denim garment was made of unwashed (rigid) denim fabric. Over time, the denim fabric softened and became more comfortable. As the farmers were working very long shifts outdoors in all kinds of weather types, comfort was key, same as the fact that it needed to be a strong fabric for productivity and well-being.

4) Cultural

Denim became synonymous with hard labor. But also with independence and freedom. That’s what denim is for many people, even today. It’s a ‘suit’ that stands the test of time. Affordable for most people, and easy to get your hands on via your local denim dealer. Denim became a cultural symbol that conquered the world. As some people say, ”America was built by men wearing denim!”

5) Practical

The blue denim color is a perfect combination with labors as the dark fabrics covers the dust and dirt spots easily. This means that you don’t have to wash it after each day. Some farmers were wearing their denim pants over their clothing so they could easily undress themselves after their work shift. This practical reason was, and still is, key for most laborers to choose styles made of denim.


Tip! Learn more about jeans in the previous articles;

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.