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Durable twill-woven fabric with coloured (usually blue) warp (lengthwise) and white filling (crosswise) threads, also sometimes woven in coloured stripes. The name originated in the French serge de Nîmes. Denim is usually all-cotton, though it is sometimes made of a cotton-synthetic mixture. Decades of use in the clothing industry, especially in the manufacture of overalls and trousers worn for heavy labour, have demonstrated denim's durability, a quality that, along with its comfort, made denim jeans extremely popular for leisure wear in the late 20th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on denim, visit Britannica.com.