Here are some easy tips on caring for your raw/dry denim. Just remember that your everyday activities and lifestyle gives the denim its own unique, individual character … basically the more you wear your jeans the more amazing they will become.
Some info regarding denim is that the warmer the water is, the more the indigo will bleed. The whole point is to keep the indigo on the denim for as long as possible. Indigo is different from synthetic dyes, since it is not fully absorbed into the cotton fibers/thread. The indigo actually sits on-top of the fibers and that’s why denim fades to a white color over time. See more instructions after the jump…
Basic Washing Instructions:
- If you spill something on your Raw denim, try and first wipe it off. You can also choose to lightly dab it with a napkin or you can wait for it to dry and it will usually fade on its own. Do not try and clean the spot with water or cleaning solution because it can end up removing the indigo dye and can leave a bleach spot.
- If you must wash your jeans, do so in COLD water using detergent with NO bleach.
- Washing denim actually is good for the fabric. It returns the tightness to the weave of the fabric hence making the jean stronger. Wash them on their own on a gentle cycle. Use about 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent (better off with denim specific detergent) and add 3 tablespoons of diluted salt. Yes that’s right, salt. Salt has a wondefrul property of keeping the colour within the fabric, making the indigo stay indigo and the faded bits faded. NEVER let the washing machine spin your jeans as this can cause unwanted lines through your denim.
- If you need to hem your jeans or planned to do so, make sure you DO NOT hem your jeans before the first wash because your denim will naturally shorten with wear since the fabric around the knees and groin will bunch up on its own. Plus, there will likely be some small shrinkage in length after the first wash.
- When washing, turn your jeans inside out or else some unwanted crinkles might result. Wash your Raw denim separately or with other similar colored jeans/clothing.
Basic Drying Instructions:
- Pull my jeans out dripping wet and then hang dry in the sun. Another NEVER is put your jeans in the dryer. In fact NEVER put any natural fabrics in your dryer.
- DO NOT DRY YOUR JEANS IN THE DRYER! Drying Raw denim in a dryer can cause the cotton fibers to twist and can ruin the fit. It can also shrink the jeans, as well as cause them unwanted wear and tear, so they may not last as long. The indigo off of the jeans can leave a nasty residue in your drawer that can ruin other clothes later when you try to dry.
- You should hang dry and DO NOT FOLD your jeans because this can also cause unwanted creases. Another tip is to hang dry in the sun as the sunlight has natural bleaching properties.
- You can also Dry Clean your denim although “Denim Heads” will tell you not to.
- Try and keep away from a lot of water including going out in heavy rainstorms.
- Again, do not wash your denim for at least 6 months to 1 year. If you wash Raw denim too soon all the indigo will bleed out and you will not achieve all the beautiful fading, contrast, or honeycombing around the knees.