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Diesel to reproduce world’s oldest known jeans fabric

Tom Shearsmith
03 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 instances 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.


As to the accuracy of the denim’s reproduction and integrity, the fabric and garment are certified and verified by art, textile and costume historian Marzia Cataldi Gallo.

The jeans fair also includes a multi-part exhibition from Diesel that centres on the heritage of its jeans, its journey towards a more sustainable denim product and practice, and how the company has utilised jeans to help transform the world of advertising.

Ultimately, this initiative serves as another spoke in Diesel's "For Responsible Living" strategy, which is a company-wide mandate to continuously shift its culture, business practices and footprint into a more sustainable arena.

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