Friday, July 5, 2013

Riveting... Recycled Blue Jeans

Riveting, a new yarn by Kollage (available from Cotton Clouds) made of 100% recycled blue jeans, is what I used in my latest weaving project. Although available in 25 colors (15 solid and 10 marled), I chose to use a classic denim blue for the weft and and neutral greyish white that reminds me of the reverse side of denim.
The weave structure is an 8-shaft turned twill. For those of you who are not weavers, you might be interested to know that twill is the structure of denim. Take a close look at your blue jeans and you'll see the diagonal twill lines. If it's difficult to see, look on the reverse side and you'll find them there.

Here's a bit of blue jeans history according to

In 1853, the California gold rush was in full swing, and everyday items were in short supply.   Levi Strauss, a 24-year-old German immigrant, left New York for San Francisco with a small    supply of dry goods with the intention of opening a branch of his brother's New York dry goods  business. Shortly after his arrival, a prospector wanted to know what Mr. Levi Strauss was selling. When Strauss told him he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers, the prospector said, "You should have brought pants!," saying he couldn’t find a pair of pants strong enough to last.

Levi Strauss had the canvas made into waist overalls. Miners liked the pants, but complained that they tended to chafe. Levi Strauss substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called "serge de Nimes." The fabric later became known as denim and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans.

While planning the vest it occurred to me that it might be fun to combine the woven fabric with some actual pieces of blue jeans. Here is the resulting vest:

 Front; zipper removed and waistband extended for the closure.
The collar pieces were cut from the legs.

  and the back.

I'm happy with the finished vest. Now all I need is cooler weather so I can wear it! 

Now back to the loom!