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June 23, 2022 7 min read

SA1NT's innovative, space-age denim has taken the motorcycling world by storm. It takes a special kind of clothing to armor the risk-takers and adrenaline junkies of the world, and most riders will only settle for the best when it comes to protection.

So check out the process of how motorcycle jeans are made for the modern rider and the awesome new applications that modern technologies have made possible.

WHAT FIBERS ARE USED FOR MAKING JEANS?

DYNEEMA

At SA1NT we've chosen Dyneema to line our range of denim clothing. It's a futuristic, tough-as-nails material that's been previously used to make bullet-proof armor, tether space shuttles, and armor helicopters. James Bond would be proud.

Dyneema is incredibly lightweight despite its' impressive strength, which is why so many manufacturers have flocked to it. More comprehensive info can be found here in our guide on Dyneema.

KEVLAR

Kevlar has been the traditional way of making jeans for years. It's a strong, durable fiber but also the heaviest which means less airflow and flexibility.

NYLON

Nylon is favored for its lightweight properties but it's the weakest of the major fibers. It's fire-resistant which is great for friction burns, but when things go random on the road you can definitely do better.

motorcycle rider on dirt with trees in the background

WHAT MAKES RIDING JEANS SO SPECIAL?

Unlike traditional blue jeans, biker jeans are lined with tough materials that can take a punch. Riding gear has to be ultra-durable to account for the fast-paced lifestyle of motorcycle enthusiasts.

Any riding jeans worth their salt have armor pockets in the knees and hips. Body armor provides crucial shock absorption and should be worn anytime a rider steps onto their bike. You can read more in our guide on body armor.

HOW ARE MOTORCYCLE JEANS MADE?

STEP 1: DESIGNING THE PATTERN

First, a pattern is sketched out so that each part of the jeans can be cut to specification.

STEP 2: CUTTING THE SHAPE

A special blade is needed to cut the tough fabrics of motorcycle gear into shape. Cutting the strongest materials like Dyneema can be especially challenging.

Once the cutting is finished, positional red dots mark the fastening where the armor pockets will be placed.

STEP 3: PATTERNS ARE STITCHED AND HEMMED

The loose pieces of denim are painstakingly sewn together using an industrial machine. Powerful rivets are strategically inserted to hold everything in place.

Next, the fly zip is stitched together, the inner lining is inserted, and every armor pocket is put into place.

STEP 4: FINISHING TOUCHES

Finally, the jeans are hemmed to a suitable length and belt loops are added. The manufacturers will sew their brand logo and a label stating their specific washing requirements.

black motorbike jeans closeup

STEP 5: QUALITY CONTROL

The final product is only complete once we know it's up to scratch. Consumers demand the best gear possible, and we pride ourselves on the strength of our clothing.

At SA1NT we like to do things our own way. We field-tested our unbreakable denim by slashing it with a box cutter, towing a car, and even using it to lift a two-tonne skip!

HOW MUCH PROTECTION DO MOTORCYCLE PANTS OFFER?

It's often said there are two kinds of riders: those who have crashed and those who haven't crashed yet. We all love the thrill of riding. The eye-watering speeds, the roar of the engine, the unrivaled sense of freedom. But let's face it, shit happens.

When things don't go your way on the road you don't want to be caught out in the wrong gear. Riding jeans are made from abrasion-resistant materials that protect your legs and hips in the event of a gnarly road slide. They will literally save your skin.

The thick lining of motorcycle clothing protects all your most precious parts during an unplanned meeting with the ground. Wearing the right gear can mean the difference between a cool story to tell your friends the next day or a life-altering event. Check out our crash stories if you need the proof.

BODY ARMOR FOR MOTORCYCLE JEANS

If you happen to be buying your first riding pants, they absolutely must include armor pockets. Body armor on the hips and knees is crucial. Anytime someone hits the ground at high speed it's bad news for their joints and they'll need the extra padding.

Thankfully the current market offers armor solutions that reduce bulk and discomfort. Slim gear like the D30 Ghost Armor is produced with flexibility in mind. It's light enough to comfortably slip into your clothes but hardens on impact.

man hanging from helicopter from a pair of sa1nt jeans

SINGLE-LAYER VS LINED RIDING JEANS

SINGLE-LAYER JEANS

Single-layer jeans are made by weaving a protective fiber like Dyneema or Kevlar into the fabric of the jeans instead of layering it on top.

Denim jeans made this way are often lighter and more flexible. The reduced weight means more flexibility in styles, like the elastic component needed to make stretch denim.

LINED JEANS

Lined Jeans, or double-layer jeans, are made by adding a second layer of protective material over regular cotton denim. This often translates to a baggier fit that's heavier and may be uncomfortable for some riders.

We have a full write-up on  Single Layer vs Lined Jeans.

WHAT DENIM PRODUCTS ARE MADE FOR MOTORCYCLE PANTS?

The latest denim products keep bikers protected in style. Riding jeans are available in most of the familiar styles of everyday denim fabrics like our  Unbreakable Slim Jeans or the more conventional look of Unbreakable Straight Jeans.

Huge leaps in technology have allowed brands to create a perfect balance between protection and fashion. The range of colors means there's something for every rider. Biker jeans come in black, indigo, gravel, and light bleached blue.

IS DENIM FABRIC USED FOR OTHER MOTORCYCLE GEAR?

Why stop at pants? Denim is an incredibly versatile fabric and a popular choice for motorcycle outerwear. OurUnbreakable Denim Jacket is hugely popular with riders, and you can even go forDenim Riding Vest if that's your thing.

Check out our guide onHow to Choose the Right Motorcycle Jacket for some useful tips.

motorcyclist sitting on motorbike with fence in the background

FAQs

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR AND DENIM JEANS?

Jeans and denim are so intertwined that most people don't know the actual difference.

Denim is a cotton fabric that's made using a special weaving process to give it that signature diagonal ribbing pattern.

Jeans are pants that are made from denim fabric. They come in different types of colors but are commonly associated with the classic blue look.

So, jeans are made from denim, which means all jeans are denim but not all denim are jeans. Confused yet? Don't worry, it's not exactly essential information.

WHY IS DYNEEMA SO STRONG?

Dyneema is so strong because of the way that it’s created, it’s not a natural fiber like wool or cotton. It's made in a lab by taking ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and sandwiching it between two sheets of polyester film.

This method makes it way stronger than traditional cotton fibers. The lightweight and durability of Dyneema fabric allow manufacturers to make textile gear with previously unheard-of strength-to-weight ratios.

WHAT IS DENIM MADE UP OF?

Denim is made by taking cotton yarn and threading it together with a twill weave. The yarn that comes from a cotton plant has to be dyed to resemble the desired color of pants. Any cotton fibers that enter a factory must be quality inspected for length and especially strength.

The process can vary slightly for different types of denim products. Stretch denim for example weaves in spandex or similar elastic material to give it stretch and flexibility.


ARE JEANS SYNTHETIC OR COTTON?

Jeans used to be cotton, but these days are often synthetic. Initially, most jeans were made from 100% cotton fibers. Many still are, but with advances in technology, denim fabric is often made with a synthetic mixture. The stretch that's needed for looser fits requires material like spandex to be added to the denim fabric, for example.

There's a very moderate debate about which is better: 100% cotton denim or synthetic denim. Motorcycle pants always have some kind of protective material woven into the cotton fiber anyway, so for our purposes, it's synthetic all the way.

WHEN SHOULD I FIRST WASH MY RIDING PANTS?

You should wait a few weeks before first washing your riding pants, due to the unique dye process. Due to the unique process used to manufacture motorcycle pants, it's important to closely follow the washing instructions included. 

Just like normal jeans, you won't need to wash your riding pants a whole lot anyway. You'll only need one pair, and you want them readily available whenever possible.

WHY CAN'T I JUST WEAR A REGULAR PAIR OF JEANS?

You can’t just wear a regular pair of jeans because according to the TAC, regular denim will only give a rider 0.6 seconds of protection during a crash at 80km/h. That's basically no time at all.

Compare this to motorcycle fabric that's been properly rated and tested. SA1NT's denim fabric is AA rated for abrasion resistance and designed to protect a rider's skin in the event of a nasty road slide.

SHOULD RIDERS WEAR ANYTHING UNDER THEIR DENIM FABRIC?

Yes, riders should wear something under their denim fabric. Compression leggings or shorts can be worn under denim fabric or any cotton fiber clothes. They wick away sweat in Summer to keep riders cool and dry and retain heat during chilly Winter rides.

If you're buying your very first pair of riding pants then this will be a low priority, but something to be considered somewhere down the road.

ARE MOTORCYCLE PANTS MADE FOR WOMEN?

Yes, motorcycle pants are made for women. SA1NT produces Dyneema-infused skinny jeans for the thrill-seeking ladies of the motorcycling world. OurUnbreakable Skinny Jeans come in both black and blue, so any rider can hit the road in their preferred colors.