Raw denim, also known as dry or unwashed denim, is denim that has not undergone any of the usual washing and distressing processes.
It comes straight off the loom and is cut and sewn into jeans and then sold to you. It is stiff with a deep blue colour and has a distinctive sheen. Raw denim allows you to personalise the jeans to your unique shape, with creases and fade marks forming to your body type.
Looking after your raw jeans
The Internet is full of recommendations and “rules” with regard to how one should look after their raw denim jeans. Many opinions are put forth. The fact is that there is no exact prescription to follow and that each person has a different regimen for his or her jeans. The process we follow for our personal jeans is simple: we wash them after four to six months of wear and then every couple of months thereafter.
Watch out for dye transfer
When your jeans are brand new the dye used to colour your jeans are susceptbile to colour transfer on to light coloured fabrics. Watch out for wear onto white t-shirts, sneakers or even white sofas during the first few months wear of your jeans.
Wait about 6 months before the first wash
Wear your jeans as much as possible in the first 6 months and wait as long as you can before you give them their first wash. During this time you can spot clean stains with a wet cloth and a little detergent. Air them outside on a windy day to get rid of any odours and spray with a anti-bacterial spray.
Washing your jeans
Turn the jeans inside out and soak in luke-warm water with a little detergent for about half an hour to forty five minutes. Using a bath tub is ideal as this avoids folding the jeans, but a large sink or bowl will do just fine. Don’t scrub or wring your jeans as that will increase the loss of dye. Rinse in cold water after the time is up.
Drying your jeans
Whatever you do, stay away from the tumble-dryer., this will only shorten the lifespan of your jeans. Turn them the right way out again and reshape the jeans to how they should be if required. Hang them somewhere to dry but not in direct sunlight. Watch out for any drips as they may contain some dye.
The Lifecycle of raw denim
OFF THE PRESS
These are your smart look jeans. You might wear these to go out on a Saturday night or work function.
You’ll likely wear these most days. Your jeans will get to this stage after a couple of washes.
For when you’re kicking about in t-shirt and sneakers. These jeans are on their way out but so comfortable.
These jeans are hanging on by a thread. Only good for doing DIY or checking them out completely.