By now you’ve heard the big news: Our best jeans have gotten even better. And since we’ve been living and breathing denim while dreaming up the perfect pairs, we’ve become a little obsessed (to put it mildly) with speaking the lingo too. Here, we share a dictionary of all of these terms so you can indulge your denim obsession as well.


Dual-fiber yarn noun \ˈdü(-ə)l fī-bər\

A stretchy core wrapped with soft cotton that creates a spring-like effect. (Thanks to this fancy-pants, totally state-of-the-art yarn, our denim has great stretch and recovery, plus that heritage look and feel we love.)

Hand sand/scrape verb \ˈhand ˈsand/ˈskrāp\

A finishing process in which the denim is sanded to have a softer, smoother feel and a more distressed look. The final effect can be subtle or extreme depending on the length of the sanding process. (Like that distressed effect? Then you might wanna check out the Rivet & Thread Worker Jeans in Seablue.)

Hemming verb \ˈhem-iŋ\

The process of adjusting fabric to a desired length by folding a cut edge, folding it again and then sewing it down. (Psst…we now offer free hemming on all our jeans—just swing into your local Madewell and ask for details.)

Indigo noun \ˈin-di-ˌgō\

A unique dye that doesn’t penetrate fibers completely, which explains why denim fades over time as each washing cycle removes additional specks of indigo from the fabric. (And that’s why we’re into the idea of not washing our jeans all that often.)

For more terms to test your denimhead status, right this way.

Leg opening noun [leg ˈōp-niŋ]

The circumference of the bottom of the hem that indicates how wide the opening of the leg is. (We’ve got lots of options, from Skinny Skinny Ankle to The Bootlegger.)

Ring-spun adj. \ˈriŋ spən\

A method of yarn spinning that continuously rolls and thins fibers into shape, producing a softer and stronger yarn. Unique surface characteristics develop in the fabric, such as unevenness (or “slubs”), giving jeans an authentic vintage look. (Speaking of vintage, our High Riser Skinny Skinny Ankle style has that ’70s vibe down pat.)

Rivet noun \ˈri-vət\

A metal accessory that is used for reinforcement of stress points as well as for nonfunctional ornamentation. (We totally love these little guys and make sure to stamp each one with our name.)

Stone wash verb \ˈstōn ˈwäsh\

A process in which pumice stones are added to the wash cycle to abrade denim and loosen color to give it a worn-in effect. (Live for that lived-in look? Then try our Skinny Skinny in Blue Hill.)