World’s Oldest Jeans as Inspiration

Posted in today in light of the 18th century by Editor on September 9, 2021

From Industry.Fashion.com (with coverage also at HypeBeast). . .

Tom Shearsmith, “Diesel to Reproduce World’s Oldest Known Jeans Fabric,” The Industry.Fashion (3 September 2021).

Diesel has announced it is to honour Genoa, the birthplace of Jeans, and celebrates Made in Italy by presenting a reproduction of the oldest jeans fabric ever documented in history.

Dating back to 1760, local townspeople and labourers in Genoa were first seen wearing jeans as part of their daily wardrobes. Colours ranged from standard indigo to brown to white. A nativity figurine by Pasquale Navone shows a man with denim trousers (woven diagonally, 2 to 1, in a blue cotton weft and white linen warp) that appear remarkably similar to iterations from the modern era. This sculpture represents the oldest historical instance of jeans.

Diesel has replicated the original fabric and garment as they existed three hundred years ago using handmade Italian textiles and workmanship. The re-creation is exhibited at Genova Jeans fair in Genoa, Italy through September 6, where Diesel was invited to celebrate the heritage of Made in Italy jeans.

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The nativity figure by Pasquale Navone (1746–1791) is now housed at the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola in Genova, a building begun in 1594 and updated substantially in the eighteenth century. As noted at Wikipedia:

In the 18th century it [the palazzo] again passed through marriage to become the property of the House of Spinola, when Maddalena Doria married to Niccolò Spinola. Maddalena directed the Rococo refurbishment in the mid-18th century, and engaged Lorenzo De Ferrari, Giovanni Battista Natali and Sebastiano Galeotti to paint the quadratura and decoration. She also commissioned the Gallery of Mirrors. Her grandson, Paolo Francesco Spinola, however was forced during the Napoleonic occupation to sell many works of art; his portrait (1794) by Angelica Kauffman is on display in the palace.

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Note (added 9 September 2021) — The title of the original posting misleadingly used the word denim.

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