Indigo denim boro mending. "Indigo" from the Greek "indicon"= India. the plant dye has been used for 4,000 yrs in the East. Denim originated in two places: the French town of Nîmes, hence 'denim'; and in India, where denim trousers were worn by the sailors of Dhunga, came to be known as dungarees. The word "jeans" comes from the French phrase "bleu de Gênes", literally the blue of Genoa. during the Renaissance, denim was sold through the harbour of Genoa, made near Turin Italy.