What Makes A Pair Of Jeans Good Jeans?

Almost everyone has a favorite pair of jeans in their wardrobe. A pair that they’re wearing for quite some times, sometimes already for many years. With the years the fabric of the jeans aged very nicely, and the jeans have shaped into the wearer’s own body. The jeans became a second skin. And the fabric of the jeans has turned into their perfect color with a natural fading pattern. Even the buttons and rivets are faded with the jeans and have a worn look.

But sometimes they’re also parts of a pair of jeans that didn’t stand the test of time. Most of the time these are the inner pockets. When slippin’ in thousands of times, and carrying each day your personal belongings, the inner pockets ended up with rips and holes. This is something very annoying as you want to wear your favorite pair of jeans for as long as possible. But how does it come that some jeans have this problem very quickly, and some don’t?

Now we’re coming to the topic of this article: What makes a pair of jeans good jeans? There’re a lot of different factors that define this question. Most of the people refer to their own experiences, the brand’s identity, or the price level. But there are more elements to answer this question.


Typical broken inner pocket after wear.

How Japanese Denim Fans Judge Good Jeans

For Japanese denim fans, it’s not unusual to judge if a pair of jeans is well made by flippin’ them inside out. When you put jeans inside out you will see how the jeans is stitched, if it has fold seams, overlock stitches or if the jeans are made with premium selvedge fabric.


Inner pockets by Copen from a pair of Denham the Jeanmaker brand.

Sjoerd Borneman, Production & Buying Director at Denham The Jeanmaker about the essential detail of their jeans;

“The Truth Is In The Details” – Is a Denham statement that stands for our design process and quality level. An essential detail for our jeans is that our entire jeans collection is using Copen pocket lining. We have been working with Copen qualities since 2014. And since then we standardized our pocket lining for a global look, and reaching the high quality level we aim for.”

The Production Of A Pair Of Jeans

There’re several stages involved in the production of a pair of jeans. It starts with the design, then to pick the right denim fabric (this can be done based on the design), then the finish and in the end the hardware (rivets, buttons) and pocketing (inner pockets, and lining for the back pockets). There’re many different denim fabrics to pick nowadays, it starts from rigid (unwashed) to stretch, recycled, and upcycled fabrics. In the end, there’s only one non-denim fabric used on a pair of jeans, that has to endure the same washing processes as the denim, that is the pocket fabric.

One of the leading companies for inner pockets is Copen United Limited. Copen has been supplying pocketing fabrics for more than 75 years to a wide range of customers. All kind of versions is supplied by Copen, basic weaves, all-over prints, Jacquards, yarn dyes, Chambrays, Oxfords, indigo dyed version, Knitted Mesh, and special finishes. You name it, they will supply it.


Inner pocket of a pair of Pepe Jans by Copen.

Trevor Harrison, Design Director at Pepe Jeans about the annoying feeling from broken inner pockets;

“There is nothing more annoying than the pocketing in your jeans disintegrating with time and wear. Once broken its impossible to fix and those highly favoured truly worn in jeans usually get discarded. The pocketing therefor in a jean has to be strong durable and long lasting, Copen offer this service.

Unpleasant Experience

The main mission at Copen is to create a high standard of performance to enable them to maintain a leadership position in the pocketing, lining, and waistband industry. With this mission, they avoid the unpleasant experience to get rips, holes, poor dye quality and excessive pilling on your inner pockets.

While a lot of designers and product managers economize on this element as you can’t see it from the outside, it’s one of the main elements on a pair of jeans. Don’t forget that pocketing is one of the key elements that can be used to promote the brand with their logo’s and prints. Sometimes the cost price is leading the decision to nominate to vendors and they cut out the wrong elements in the production allowing cheaper sources to be used. A good made inner pocket will satisfy the wearer for years and in the end, it may only costs a couple of cents more but leaving you confident that the product is fit for purpose.

Next, to the high qualities of Copen, they understand the need for fast fashion service too and support this with stocks in China, Mexico, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Spain. You can read all about it in previous article here.


Inner pocket of a pair of G-star Jans by Copen.

Laurent Herrgott, Fabric and Finishing Manager at G-Star about the importancy of quality inner pockets;

”At G-Star we are using ‘globally’ pocket sheeting from Copen since 3 years already. Besides providing an amazing service with pre-stored quantities in our major colors, we are happy to use these good quality items in our denims. This will ensure our final customers to have a stable and comfortable to wear pocket bags close to their skin. Consistent and stable colors made out of VAT dyes, less pilling effect from home laundry to home laundry, good resistance to breakage and tearing are contributing to provide a safe product. Sourcing globally as well from one single supplier is giving us the guarantee to have consistency in quality and colors from one delivery to the next.”

Quality Will Survive Cheapness

So to define the question: ‘What makes a pair of jeans good jeans?’ isn’t so easy to answer, but what stands alone is that the inner pocket of jeans is a key element. An element that has to be taken seriously in the sourcing and designing stage of a pair of jeans. In the end, the quality will survive cheapness. And this will lead to satisfaction to the wearer of jeans. Copen is there to service your denim needs and to listen to your concerns and ensure you are provided with a fabric that reflects the end result of the garment to the consumer, and to ensure a long life for a pair of jeans.

Copen At Denim PV Show In Milan

You can explore the new developments and the latest collection from Copen at the upcoming Denim PV show in Milan at stand A36. The denim show will be held on May the 28th and 29th at Superstudio Più in Milan, Italy. Or check more information about Copen on their site:

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.