Chemistry Of Jeans

Looking at your nice blue pair of denim, have you ever wondered what is it made of , what is behind the the beautiful blue colour and thick fabric?


Denim” is a traditional way of weaving cotton into a thick , sturdy material. Cotton is mostly cellulose , a strong polymer of beta D glucose monomer. Thousands of monomers are present in each polymer chain. Polar hydroxl groups forms hydrogen bonds with hydroxyl groups on adjacent chains to form a strong microfibrilis , which the cotton plant then meshes into a strong poly -saccharide matrix. The matrix and the denim weave give high strength and durability to your jeans.

Stroy behind the beautiful blue color :-

Indican , a colourless water soluble compound , is extracted from the plant of Indigofera genus. At high alkalinity it hydrolyses giving the Indoxyl group. Vigorous whisking adds air to indoxyl solution ,this oxidises and turn the indoxyl into Indigotin ,the final blue dye. Indigotin is then reduced to leuco – indigotin (indigowhite) to make it water soluble. Jeans is then soaked in this soluble dye that attached very well to cotton. When removed the leuco -Indigotin sticks to the jeans and oxidises to indigotin again. Indigotin is water insoluble so its sticks to the cotton and can keep their color.

The first blue jeans was produced by Levi Strauss co in 1873 before the invention of the synthetic Indigotin which was invented by Baeyer and Drewsen in 1882 , 9 years after the first blue jeans.

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