jeans recipe

The Production Steps For Jeans

What is needed as recipe for one pair of jeans? First, creating a pair of jeans involves a complex manufacturing process that requires specialized machinery and expertise. The first step in the whole process of creating a pair of jeans starts when a designer has an idea in mind. They will start with a sketch or drawing to get their idea on paper or computer. Most people use existing jeans styles as a reference for the fit, fabric, and details. Then, they send out their design to a pattern maker. Someone who translates the rough idea into a pattern that is needed to create the first sample. A designer translates this into size sheets with all the correct measurements for each size, details, and so on.

The factory that’s in charge of sampling can make the first fit sample. This is to see if the idea of the designer is executable. The sample is a good reference for the designer to check the fit of the jeans. And to see how the fabric they selected works with the design.

The Next Production Steps

After the sample is approved (most of the time after tweaking it multiple times), the fabric cutter can cut out the final pattern on the fabric. All the cut-out elements of a pair of jeans are now ready for the sewing machine operator. An average factory can produce in around 15 minutes one pair of jeans. After this process, the buttons, rivets, labels, and back patch can be added to the jeans. If the jeans design requires a washing, the wash treatment can start. With a raw (unwashed) pair of jeans, this step isn’t needed of course.

Next, the inspection department will do the quality control as they will measure everything. And check if there are no mistakes made during the production process. The final step is the finishing department where a finishing worker is responsible for the last stage: ironing, thread cutting, trims, and embellishments.

The jeans are now ready to pack and ready to ship out to the designer or brand so they can start the sales.

The Recipe For 1 Single Pair Of Jeans

One pair of jeans needs quite some ingredients. It can vary a bit according to the specifics and design elements of a pair. These ingredients below are needed for an average pair;

  • 150 cotton balls (= around 7 – 8 kilometers yarn)
  • 1,6-meter denim twill (if it is non-selvedge, and 3 meters when it’s selvedge denim fabric)
  • 2 front panels
  • 2 back panels (incl. yoke)
  • 2 front pockets
  • 2 back pockets
  • 1 coin pocket
  • 1 waistband
  • 2 inner pockets
  • Washing (care) label
  • (Woven) brand label
  • 5 belt loops (some brands have 6 or 7 belt loops)
  • 6 copper rivets (some pairs have 4 rivets + 1 crotch rivet)
  • 1 top button
  • 4 buttons on the fly (some pairs have a zipper)
  • 1 brand patch (this can be leather, sky-leather, piece of fabric, etc.)
  • Thread for branding stitching on the back pockets
  • 1 pocket flasher (or hangtag) with info about the jeans

Extra Additional Elements On Jeans

Some pairs of jeans have a cinch back. Especially when the design is inspired by authentic jeans from the 1930s or older. This design element can be sewn to the jeans, or fastened with 2 rivets. Also, older-inspired jeans styles can have rivets on the corners of the back pockets for extra strength. These rivets disappeared over time as back in the day a lot of complaints came in as these rivets would scratch leather saddles or furniture.

Extra special design elements can be added to achieve the desired pair of jeans. The sky is the limit and so are the design details!


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.