Denim Care
Jul 4, 2011


Dry/raw denim is dark and crisp in its natural state and will only get better with age and wear. Each crease and scuffing makes it more beautiful, more unique. A personalized garment that tells your story. So live in them. Wear them as often as possible, ideally everyday.

The key is to delay the first wash as long as possible. At least 6 months. This gives your jeans time to mature those desired creases and fades. With daily use, you should see the indigo start to wear off at the natural stress points of the garment; the knees, crotch, and cuffs are usually the first to appear. The body’s natural oils and everyday greases will help accelerate the breaking in processes.

Denim’s unique properties means that washing your jeans too early, before the indigo has had time to shift and settle, will cause the dye to bleed over the fabric ruining the sought-after contrasts. The denim is most susceptible to and will display best the wear and tear achieved during the pre-wash period, making this stage the most crucial to determining the lasting look of the jeans. “Premature washing” is a cardinal sin for denimheads. In fact, some hardcore denim aficionados may choose never to wash their jeans in favor of preserving the integrity of the fabric.

When you take off your jeans, no need to hang them up. Simply leave them as they lie and step into them the next morning. This will ensure that natural-looking creases develop instead of neat “fold lines”.

Get rid of any odor that may develop by airing out your jeans in the sun or sticking it in the freezer for a night. You can also place dryer sheet in the pockets. Don’t worry about minor stains or dirt that appear on your jeans, the dark color will naturally minimize them. If you absolutely need to, use a damp cloth to dab at the stain, but keep in mind that you will be removing the indigo along with it.

The moment of truth. Take a couple of deep breaths to calm your nerves. Don’t forget to turn your jeans inside out prior to sticking them in the wash to prevent odd markings caused by the machine’s internal parts. Use detergent with little or no bleach, or if available, non-biological washing powder since enzyme in biological powders are not favorable to denim. Wash at 40-60° C. Note that the higher the temperature, the stronger the contrast. Do not tumble dry.

The water will remove the remaining loose indigo, so make use you wash your jeans separate from other items that may stain. Alternatively, if you want to maintain that dark dry denim look, have your jeans dry-cleaned instead. Since no water is added, this will not affect the fading process.


Washing your jeans will cause shrinkage. Up to the first 3 washes. Do not panic. Several months of continuous use, combined with a fabric’s natural tendency to shrink when washed (even with cold water), will definitely result in a snug fit.

Depending on whether the raw denim has been sanforized (treated to reduce shrinkage) or not, shrinkage levels will vary. Unsanforized denim can shrink anywhere from 10-30% while shrinkage for sanforized denim is negligible, 1-5%. Take this into consideration when buying your raw denim jeans.

After the wash, we recommend you stretch out the inseam or, better yet, put on your jeans while still damp and do a couple of squats and lunges around the house. The material will soon loosen up to its previous state.

Raw denim jeans should be dried flat as marbling can occur when wet denim is left to dry unevenly. Note that it can take up to 2 days to fully air-dry your jeans. Never place it directly on a heat source as this can damage the fabric.

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