Raw Selvedge Denim Care Guide
Handling Raw Denim can be tricky at times. If you are new to raw denim, you must be wondering “When and How should I wash my jeans?”. Some people would tell you not to wash them for at least 6 months but in fact it is up to your own personal preference and there is no fixed method. We will split this guide into 2 parts, one for those who prefer convenience and the other for the denim enthusiast. There are many guides out there but we would provide you with some of our tried and tested methods of washing.
When to wash?
1) Fades – To obtain those desirable fading patterns unique to raw denim, it is advisable to make your first wash when you start to see obvious fades on your jeans. The fades will appear from everyday use of your jeans and also depends on your daily activity and the fabric used. High intensive activity and heavy-weight jeans can start fading as soon as the first 2 months of wear. While some take as long as 6-8 months.
2) Smell – You might consider washing your jeans when it starts to smell bad. You can prevent this by rotating your different pair of jeans and hanging them up to air in between rotations.
How to wash? (Convenient Version)
The simplest way to wash your jeans is a cold machine wash. Do take note of the following points:
- Separate your denim from white/bright-colored clothes as the indigo dye can stain.
- Any soap is fine, ensure that it is mild and not extreme.
- Adjust the settings for cold water with minimum spin. This reduces shrinkage and dye-loss.
- Hang dry – Do not use the dryer as it will shrink your jeans
How to wash? (Enthusiast Version)
Denim heads would put in maximum effort to preserve their fades by reducing indigo dye loss. A popular method is a cold hand soak:
- Fill a tub with cold water.
- Use a mild soap or specialty washes such as Mr. Black Denim Wash.
- Turn your jeans inside out and submerge it into the tub for 30-45 minutes.
- Give it a little scrub to dislodge any dirt especially at the crotch, pockets and leg opening.
- Rinse off the soapy water with fresh water and hang dry.
There are many various methods to washing your jeans and you will discover more along your denim journey (e.g. sea wash, rain soak). Many people wash their jeans every few weeks and yet produce nice fades due to their lifestyle. However, do note that if you wash too early, the denim will have a consistent colour throughout (i.e. no faded wear pattern) but if you like no fades on your jeans, it is fine as well!
Build your very own custom-made raw selvedge denim jean by choosing your fabrics here.
This blogpost was written by Wayne Lee. Check out his instagram account here.