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Raw Selvedge Denim – To Wash or Not To Wash?

Today, one of our readers, Amman, wanted some guidance on Raw Selvedge Denim. Owning a new pair of Spurr Raw Selvedge Denim Jeans (lucky guy and btw, you’ve got great taste my friend) the two fold question was: 1) to wash or not to wash 2) since it’s a pair of Raw Selvedge Denim jeans that need hemming, should he wait until after he washes them to get them hemmed?

Most people who are raw denim enthusiasts want the maximum “bespoking” to happen naturally, so it’s kind of a zen mentality of not washing their raw denim for over 6 months to get the maximum effect.  I happen to believe that it’s not a number that you can follow because each person has their own lifestyle and amount of activity that they do in jeans. If you wear them every day and you’re moving around a lot then I think you can wash them sooner than the 6 month mark, if you sit a lot then I would wait the 6 months and hold out if you want the best effect.  The whole philosophy and aim of owning raw denim is to get them to conform, fade, acquire marks and creases specifically to your body, forming the perfect fitting and comfortable jeans.

If you are a little anxious to wash your jeans, but they aren’t dirty, but smell a little I would pull them inside out and put them in the freezer overnight and then either let them air out the next day or you can put them in a plastic bag along with a box of Arm & Hammer refrigerator baking soda to soak up the smell or a strip of Arm & Hammer Essentials fabric softener.

Arm & Hammer Fridge N' Freezer Odor AbsorberArm & Hammer Essentials Fabric Softener SheetsWoolite Dark Laundry Fabric Wash

If you got them dirty and want them clean, use a splash of Dark Woolite in some warm water, with your jeans inside out, dunk them in the water moving them around to release any dirt without making too much movement that will add creases or marks from fading and then hang dry.  This process will minimize the amount of fading and creases.  Just keep in mind that there will be some shrinkage.

In Amman’s case, the jeans are grey so depending on the kind of grey, light – use regular Woolite, dark – use Dark Woolite. Hemming should definitely wait for after his first wash and as I told him, he’s in luck, cuffing is the trend with the whole heritage work-wear theme that is so hot for men right now.

Speaking of jeans, check out Spurr Denim by Simon Spurr.  A very hot young designer with a great men’s collection.

Spurr Raw Indigo Pipe Jeans2Spurr Raw Indigo Pipe Jeans

Spurr Raw Indigo Pipe Jeans, $340.00

New for Spring 2010, this Indigo 5 pocket denim has plain back pockets and contrast trim and are the perfect addition to your wardrobe.


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Apr 30 2010 in Denim Therapy

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