While nowadays the working clothes are, depending on the cases, mono-use or especially made for a specific environment and use, in the past centuries security on the workplace was a topic still to be developed: to make work clothes they simply looked for resistant and cheap materials.
When cotton became easily available and cheap, in Nimes the production of a kind of cloth made with linen and cotton started, and it was known as the cloth de Nime, hence the name denim. It arrived in Italy, where in Liguria it was coloured with the bleu de Gnes and initially used for the ships sails, to cover the goods and to make the Genoese mariners trousers, because it was very durable. From there it reached the United States, where the production of work pants, which we can consider as the ancestor of the modern personal protection clothing, gave life to the blue jeans.
Until the first half of the XIX century, saying blue-jeans you meant the cloth, while from then on that term will indicate the famous model of trousers. While in those times they were used as a protection clothe, durable and cheap, together with the boots, rather different from the modern safety shoes.
The arrival of the cloth from Nimes coloured with the blue of Genoa in the United States is due to Lb Strau, who after his arrival and naturalization in the States changed his name into Levi Strauss: Levi stayed in New York for some years with his brothers, who had started a business with clothes. Some years later he moved to San Francisco, where he used the demand of resistant cloths for the production of working clothes and sails opening, together with his brother-in-law David Stern, the Levi Stauss & Co.
Apart from having been among the first one to use the cloth de Nimes bleu de Gnes for clothing, Levi Strauss has the merit of having invented a particular model, especially thought for miners: the dungarees.
Once entered in the market, the jeans arrived in the whole world: comfortable, durable and cheap, they were perfect for anyone who needed trousers to work. In fact, Garibaldis Redshirts, in Italy, are said to have wore blue jeans during the battle of Marsala, in 1860.
To remind the origins of the blue jeans, in 2004 in Genoa they made a giant pair of jeans, 18 meters high and with a waistline of 5 meters: they have been designed by the students of the artistic high school Barabino and made by those of the professional high school Duchessa di Galliera, using six hundred pairs of used jeans.
Nowadays the situation changed a lot both for jeans and working clothes: while the first are not the cheap and durable clothes of once, the latter became more technical, especially studied to protect at the best those who wear them.