Often with denim and fading terminology, things are called what they look like. As is the fading effect known as “train tracks.” To achieve this type of fading, the jeans must have either a selvedge inside construction or two overlocked seams (busted seams) pressed open at the outseams.
During wear, friction can cause fading along the high points of the pressed open seams or selvedge. See the image below for an example of the train track fading at the outseam.
There are two meanings when it comes to “tapered” as related to jeans, pants, and other garments designed to wear over the legs.
- Related to alterations or tailoring: The term “tapered jeans” and “tapered pants” refer to garment bottoms worn over the legs that have been altered to narrow the shape of the legs.
- Related to the design or style of a garment: It’s a jean or pant with a leg that narrows dramatically from the knee to the leg opening. Tapered clothing should not be confused with slim-fit or other jeans and pants with legs that gradually decrease in size from the knee to the leg opening.
Example of use (related to alterations): I had my jeans tapered because the legs were too baggy.
Example of use (related to design or style): I bought tapered jeans because I wanted the leg opening to be small enough that the hem wouldn’t cover my shoes.
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Knee stretch marks are more common on skinny and slim jeans because of the way the fabric stretches when worn and the stress that comes from bending your knees. When it comes to jeans with a looser fit around the knees, the effect will be minimal to nonexistent.
The effects of stretching start from the center back of the knees as honeycombs that extend over the seams to the front. Just beyond the seams, the stretch marks quickly lose their height, depth, and color as they fade into the knees.
Looking at the images above, it’s easy to see why you don’t need to be a denim guru to see why some individuals prefer to let their jeans fade naturally over time from the raw denim state rather than buying jeans that have been artificially aged through manufactured washing processes. The details and three-dimensional texture that come from time and natural wear are too complicated for the fast industrial washing process to recreate.
SummaryDenim honeycombs are made from compression and decompression at the back of the knees. When denim begins stiff, such as raw denim, the initial breaking points in the bends become the points of least resistance, resulting in repeated bends and well-defined folds.
Denim honeycombs are so named due to their striking resemblance to honeycombs. They are formed as a result of compression and decompression at the back of the knees. When denim begins stiff, such as raw denim, the initial breaking points in the bends become the points of least resistance, resulting in repeated bends and well-defined folds.
The highest points, like whiskers, undergo the most abrasion and hence lighten the most in color. The lower points remain darker, resulting in transitional fades between them.