What is the significance of the orange tab on Levi's jeans?A back pocket trimmed with the Levi's orange Tab was a detail introduced in the 1960s to differentiate the newer styles of Levi's Jeans from the classic red Tab range at the time. Orange tab was used only on Levi's jeans not produced in its historic San Francisco plant. Many thought the quality of red tab jeans was highest, and 501's with red tabs commanded a premium. When Levi's ceased US manufacturing, it made all its jeans red tab. Ironically, orange tabs are now more collectible than red tabs in certain models, especially flare styles.
The Levi's Orange Tab line of jeans introduced a differentiated product group, generally within a more popular priced marketing segment than that of the so-called Red Tab 501, 505 and 517 lines. Orange Tab jeans typically featured either bar tacked reinforcements at strain points or fewer rivets corresponding to a different style of coin pocket. Another difference included the absence of top stitching along the outseams near the front pockets. Finally, the back pockets on Orange Tab Levi's featured parallel double stitching and bar tacking rather than whip stitching. Of course, a number of features first introduced on Orange Tab Levi's were later incorporated into the Red Tab line. These included bar tacking on the back pockets instead of whip stitching and double inseam stitching.