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5 Trends for the Denim Industry in 2018


USA denim

Hands down, denim is the most popular and versatile textile. Invented by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis in 1873, denim was originally used to create sturdy work pants, but has become a symbol of a wide range of Americans over the past 140 years: the blue-collar laborer, the rebellious teenager, and even the “Casual Friday” worker.

The social and cultural influence of denim is remarkable. With the popularity of clothing products like jeans is only growing, here are five big trends we see for the denim manufacturing industry in 2018:

1) Stretch With Strength

Denim, which historically has been designed for durability instead of comfort, is getting stretchier. In 2018, we’ll see more complex blends of textiles such as cotton, polyester, and spandex come into denim manufacturing to try to achieve the balance of stretch and strength, without sacrificing shape. Manufacturers will continually be challenged to create denim that is durable, comfortable, and has exceptional “stretch recovery.”

2) Improved Washing and Dyeing Techniques

Manufacturers are continually coming up with new denim washing and dyeing techniques to satisfy the consumer demand for unique looks, as well as to lower the costs of current processes. For example, we’re expecting to see more sulfur dying techniques because they’re affordable and eco-friendly. Also, biotechnology will become more prevalent in indigo production and denim washing.

3) Lighter Weights with Higher Sleys

Denim is typically categorized into three weights (with the weight being the ounces per square yard of fabric): lightweight, mid-weight, and heavyweight. Lightweight denim, under 12 ounces, is in demand and we don’t expect that to change this year. It’s easy to break in and more breathable. Manufacturers will be using lighter weight denim with higher sleys – the thread count running lengthwise – to improve the comfort level and quality of denim.

4) Increased Quality

With denim’s increasing popularity and, in the case of higher-end products, cost, consumers are very quality conscious. With both functional and fashionable garments (and the in-between crossovers), this year we predict we’ll see more advanced elements like technical or protective features added to increase the quality of a garment.

5)More Recycling and Eco-Friendly Practices

Businesses inside and outside the denim industry are looking for affordable solutions that also decrease environmental impacts. With denim manufacturing, we’re predicting to more technologies and processes to emerge in 2018 with an eco-friendly goal. For example, manufacturers will come up with practices that reduce water usage when washing garments and increasingly use organic cotton. Recycling denim waste and leftovers will also be a huge priority for this year and beyond.


At All American Clothing, we want to stay on top of the trends, without sacrificing our mission of supporting American families and jobs. Whatever 2018 brings, we’ll continue to produce high-quality, affordable clothing in the USA.

15 thoughts on “5 Trends for the Denim Industry in 2018

  1. These are all awesome trends for the denim industry at large. Better quality and more eco-friendly processes are sure to get more attention because customers are becoming more conscious about who they are buying from. As more businesses take a sustainable manufacturing approach to sourcing materials, producing denim and then fleet tracking their shipments, they could save on a lot of wasted resources. Water and oil usage are key. Hopefully, these trends come true in 2018 and beyond.

  2. I’ve bought many pairs of dark wash and black jeans over the last couple years. I am certain they were all made in China or the like. Problem is this: After I wash and dry them, they STINK. The chemically neoprene smell is so powerful I cannot be near the jeans after that point. Even other clothing that may have been washed with them take on the offensive odor for a couple washes.

    One time I wore a new pair of jeans to work and my coworkers wouldn’t stand near me, and I was ready to barf by the end of the day. Ick. So, I am curious if these American-made jeans will be afflicted by the same issue, considering they are using a new ‘sulfur’ dye. I don’t know if that’s the cause of the smell, but something has changed over the last couple years. Never had this issue before. Have now bought about 10 new pairs of jeans that I washed once and threw away immediately after due to this ‘hidden’ toxic smell that is only unleashed after being submerged in water and/or dried.

  3. With a dark pair of jeans (dark blue or black), make sure to wash them inside out by themselves and use Cheer detergent or Woolite for Darks if you can.

  4. My understanding is that the fabric denim was invented in France long before Levi lived and the word means “de Nimes” (“from Nimes [the name of a town in France]”)

  5. Are your jeans shrink to fit? With Levi’s, if pre washed fairly certain they are true to size. Un washed same size when washed, at least 2 sizes smaller and not going to fit. What’s you sizing suggestion? Thanks

  6. I need heavy jeans for hard work. I am reading however that your trend is lighter weight. Can you list fabric weight with you product descriptions? Thanks. I would also be nice to know exactly what is made in America i.e yarn, thread, dye, rivets, zipper. Thank you.

  7. Any chance of ever offering a 29″ waist for us small guys ? That’s wh
    y I can’t buy jeans here !

    1. We take orders by phone and through our website. We do have a retail showroom at our headquarters in Arcancum, Ohio, but it’s temporarily closed due to complications with COVID. We hope to have it open again soon!

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