This is the Levi's Vintage Clothing reproduction of a 501 model from 1890. The 501 from this era could be describe as the mother of blue jeans and were created back in the days when a pair of denim trousers were intended to be worn as a protective garment working in the mining industry in western USA. The miners needed durable garments and quite a few companies started to produce work garments in the San Fransisco area during this period. Levi's was one of them and thanks to the patented granted in 1873 for the invention of reinforcing the distress points of the garment using copper rivets the brand is the only one remaining still in the business of making blue jeans today.
Even if Levi's made jeans earlier than 1890 this was the year when they first referred to them as the 501. The leather patch was redesigned and now featured the iconic tug of war patch picturing two horses that are trying to rip apart a pair of Levi's pants, a great way to indicate the strength of the garment. The patch later became known as the "two horse brand" patch.
The text of the rivets was also changed this year. On previous models one could read "LS & Co Pat May 1873" around the rivet and now it was changed to "L S & Co SF". The reason behind the changing of the text is that the patent had run out and from this year everyone was free to add copper rivets to their garments.
Looking closer at how these jeans are stitched and constructed one can see that they are completely sewn using a single needle lock stitch sewing machine, as in 1890 the chain stitch machine had not yet become a standard machine for making workwear. However the single needle seams sure adds a unique detail to the jeans and not a single pair will look just like the other, just like it was back in the days. These jeans have not been folded or lock stitched at the edges of the fabric, since they were made to be worn as work pants and aesthetic details such as clean edges weren't considered necessary. It would take up until 1901 before another back pocket was added and the speculation behind the single back pocket is that the miners didn't have use of another pocket, and if one was working in a mine one would often be laying on ones side or back, and thus the back pockets would have been a very unpractical place to keep anything in.
The 1890 501 model has a high rise and a wide and relaxed fit that gets tighter closer to the foot opening, just as they were worn back in the days.
Hemming is always included when you purchase a pair of jeans from us! Give us a comment or an email when you place your order and we will shorten them before we send them. Keep in mind that you won't be able to return the jeans if we alter the length for you.
- LVC 1890 501XX Jeans Rigid - 100% cotton - 9 oz Japanese plain selvedge denim - Unsanforized, will shrink approximately 4 cm in the waist and 10 cm in length when washed - Button fly - Crotch rivet - Exposed back pocket rivets - Cinch for adjustable fit - Suspender buttons - Single backpocket - Printed pocket bags - Single needle Arcuate - Made in Bulgaria
All measurements are in centimeters and measured on a flat surface. The thigh measurements are taken 10 centimeters down from the crotch straight across the pant leg.