Anyway, it ended up that a good friend of mine commented on how fabulous they are (the dungarees… Yes, they are/were) and she works for Lee Jeans… These were made by Lee! After some ‘oh my god, that’s mad…’ and general South East London banter I dug out the rest for her to pop in the Lee Instagram. Feeling famous thanks to Denim!
I spent most of 2007 in them, but alas I no longer know there whereabouts. I’ve tried to purchase new pairs, but it’s just not the same. I’m guessing Mama Bea will know where they are hiding. Mums always know.
Any who… Through out all of this, my friend at Lee UK was referring to them as Bib’s. I have heard this term before but usually this is just for work wear. So given the nature of my job and general need to know everything about nothing… I did some digging. Now I’m not a denim head at all. I’m constantly reading books & blogs trying to absorb the information. But the land of denim is a big and vast one…
So the word ‘Dungaree’ comes from the original term ‘Dungri’. This was a word used to describe the material that the poor people of the dockside villages in Bombay wore. It was a rough, cheap and thick cotton cloth. It was imported over to the UK for work wear and used through World War One by the US navy for sales and later for women’s overalls all purely for the hard wearing. As time went on the word got morphed to ‘Dungaree’ and was used not only for the material, but for the ‘bibs’ that were made from the cloth. YES. THIS IS NOT A DENIM.
It’s ok if like me you assumed that dungarees were denim. After much research it seems it’s the norm to get mixed up. The main difference is that denim is coloured AFTER weaving, however dungaree is already a pre-coloured yarn. So there ya have it. Dungarees are not denim and they are not really called ‘Dungarees’. They are bibs made from Dungaree cloth. No excuses now!