The 1944 501 from Levis Vintage Clothing came to the market during WWII when American clothing manufactured faced limitations on the supply of many of their raw materials. This combined with many manufacturers who went to great lengths to remove unnecessary or decorative features from their goods as a show of respect for their fellow countrymen who were fighting overseas.
The 44' 501 was produced with a printed arcuate and bartacking reinforcement rather than rivets. High waisted with a roomy seat and full straight leg it mirrored the fashion of pants that were being worn during the era. The soon to arrive 1947 model would change all that.
- 100% Cotton
- 12 oz *Kaihara Selvedge Denim
- Button fly Closure
- Bartacked stress points
- Shrink to Fit. 5 -10% shrinkage
- Button Fly closure
- High rise
- Fuller straight leg and seat area
- Leg Opening 19" on size 32
- Initially Hand or gentle machine wash inside out
- Preferably cold water to reduce shrinkage and preserve denim
- smooth jeans to reduce need for pressing
- line or air dry
- Liquid detergent or ensure powder detergent is dissolved
- Do not tumble dry. Do not wash in hot water
We recommended washing jeans inside out and wash in cold water and then line dry. The cold water wash can either be done by hand or in a front loading machine on a delicate cycle. It is worth noting that most top loading machines tend to spin the jeans too aggressively which can lead to streaks in the denim where the jeans rub against themselves.
Regardless of the washing method, air drying is essential. Air drying helps the jeans retain the custom fit you obtain through months of wear when starting with rigid denim.
Warm water washing once a jean has been worn in is perfectly acceptable but also avoid hot water or tumble drying with any denim products.
The 1944 501
Everything changed during World War II. The United States government informed all clothing manufacturers that they had to remove a certain amount of metal, fabric and thread from their garments in order to conserve the raw materials for the war effort. Levi Strauss & Co. did what it could to abide by the rules. Off came the watch pocket rivets, the crotch rivet and the cinch, along with its two rivets (which eliminated both fabric and metal.) Buttons became standard issue during the war and featured a laurel leaf design. Sometimes the buttons were branded; sometimes the waistband had the laurel leaf and the fly buttons were plain. The only explanation is that delivery of sundries was hit-and-miss during the war years, and the brand sometimes had to use what it had on hand. There was one rationing rule that was a little harder to bear: the order to remove the Arcuate Stitching Design from the back pockets, because it was considered decorative and didn’t have a function. Well, LS&Co. thought it did: it was one of the prime identifiers of classic 501® Jeans. Rather than lose this important design, LS&Co. worked out a system to print the Arcuate Stitching Design on every pair of 501® Jeans that came out of the factory. The paint eventually washed off, but having that stitching visible when buying the jeans was the important thing.