Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 59 | The front pockets (1st comparison)

Here we go with the front pockets, or actually the whole front of the jeans, 59 days later. The photos on the left hand side are from about 2 weeks in, and the photos of the right hand side are from today. A lot more creases just below the pockets, and a lot more permanent looking.

The raw denim has also become a lot more shiny, or smooth from the daily wear. The jeans also have a more fitted look about them now. In the beginning they were more straight all over, where you can now see that someone has worn them often. You still can't clearly see the marks my front pocket wallet has made that I wrote about on day 33. Maybe in a couple of months or so.

Tomorrow I'll compare the hems.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 58 | The inner seams (1st comparison)

I don't have the same comparison photos for the inner seams taken on day one, besides the top one taken on day 5, but here's what they look like now, after 58 days of everyday wear (photos 2 and 3). I'll take some at the end of next month to compare to these, and so on till the end of six months.

You can already see the difference between the raw denim in the photo from day 5 to the denim in the photos taken today. A lot more worn. There should be a much bigger difference next month. The

You can see the blueish "wear" or "chaff" area on the right hand leg of the second photo. I wear the hems folded up as much, as I have them down, but the material still chaffs against each other no matter what. You can even see that the creases made by folding the hems up are much more visible now.

The wear on the inner seams should be a lot more noticeable after 6 months of everyday wear. Tomorrow I'll compare the front pockets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 57 | The back pockets (1st comparison)

Here's the first set of comparisons I promised. The photos on the left-side are from 2 weeks of wear, and taken on day 14, whilst the photos on the right-side, were taken today, on day 57. So about a month and a half difference, and the jeans were worn every day.

Not a lot you can pick up from the photos, except for the creases which appear more permanent over the pockets and on the inner thigh. The raw denim itself, appears more smooth, or shiny if you will. Probably from sitting on it every day. Not sure if it's my eyes, or the photo, but the denim appears a bit less blue. I know that the original colour was Blue Black, but even now with the naked eye, the denim appears a bit "less" blue. It may be just that the denim appears more shiny from the wear. A comparison at the end of next month should reveal a lot more.

I've also noticed today that the seams on the inner, lower leg, have started to show wear from chafing against each other. Will take some photos of that for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 56 | The unknown label

Having changed back to normal time, away from daylight savings time last Saturday, sunset is now at 5pm. And it's not even winter yet. Sometimes I really do miss the sun back home in South Africa, but then again I would miss all the snow and snowboarding in Sweden this time of the year. The walks through the forests when it so quiet. Cross country skiing with a backpack filled with hot chocolate and something to eat. I actually can't wait.

But back to the jeans. I've spoken about the label to the left before, on day 24. It just says "Lot No R-18". Recently though, I sent an email to Alexander at Dr.Denim, to ask him to clarify what it means. Here's his response, "The lot number is simply an internal reference number which the factory uses to trace every production run. That way, if there's a problem with a garment, we can trace it back to production date, production line etc, so we can find the root of the problem and hopefully eliminate it."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 55 | Comparing the creases

Been having a look at the changes in the creases behind the knees. The first photo was taken after 2 weeks of wear, where the second and third one was taken after 6 weeks of wear.

For me the creases in the white photo don't look so permanent yet. The creases are a bit rounded and looks like it'll be easy to iron them out. Not that I'm going to bring an iron close to my jeans. The creases on the jeans on the wooden floor, however, look a bit more permanent, with sharper edges, and they don't seem so easy to remove.

It's interesting to see the changes in the jeans when you compare photos one month apart. I think I'll do that at the beginning of each month, by comparing the knees, front and back, the hems, the button holes, the pockets, front and back, the creases below the front pockets, as well as any other permanent marks that may have started to appear. Just to see if there will perhaps be a really big change in the denim after six months of daily wear.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 54 | The band plays on

As I said yesterday, we went to a place in Gothenburg, called Kontiki, to go and watch a friend of ours perform with his band "The Flamingo Stingers". They have five tracks on MySpace, if you're interested to listen to them play. They consist of a trombonist, saxophonist, electric guitarist, bass guitarist and drummer. It was just the right kind of music to get everyone on the floor dancing.

I was a little concerned though this morning when I finally got up from the long night out and the buckets of rain that poured down, when I looked at my once white shoes. My jeans were so wet from walking in the rain, that the blue ink was all over my shoes. I posted a comment about it on day 14 when the same thing happened, from the rain. They needed a good cleaning afterwards. I just wonder how much the denim is shrinking already from getting so wet?

Day 53 | The first winter storm

If this is the sign of things to come, it's going to be a nightmare trying trying to keep these jeans dry, during the next 128 days, in anticipation for its first wash. We're having the mother of all storms here at the moment.

The day started off with Canadian pancakes, at 10h30, then at 11h30 the turkey went into the oven, to start our day of cooking a Thanksgiving dinner together with friends, at their place. I know it's not Thanksgiving day, but it was the only weekend we all had open to have the feast. Everything was done and prepared at 17h00, when the rest of the guests arrived. By 21h00, we were on our way again, to go and watch a friend and his band play at a club close by, called Kontiki. The band is called "The Flamingo Stingers". They have some music available on MySpace to listen to. They were really good. However, by this time, the mother of all storms have started pouring buckets of rain into the streets.

After the band was done, I went out with my "little sister" and her friends to another place down town, in the pouring rain, and only came home at around 04h00, hence the late posting today, and the wet jeans. The fortunate thing is that we're setting our clocks back one hour tonight, so we all get one hour extra sleep, and the jeans have an extra hour to get dry. What a fantastic day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 52 | Hanging out

Here it is, what they look like now when I hang them up after a long day, to "rest" at night. I always had the hook on the front of my clothing cupboard, but never thought to use it in this way. Or not until I read about the millions of ways people hang up their jeans at night, or for long periods of time.

The way I used to do it, was not ideal, if I think about it now. For one, it puts permanent folds on the side of the legs where the seams are, and a crease halfway across the jeans, where it went over the door. This way seems to be more natural, if you will. Just hope the back belt loop doesn't let me down.

I got a response from Alexander at Dr.Denim about a label I found inside my jeans, that I know nothing about. I published a photo on day 24. But more on that another day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 51 | It's cold already

One thing I'm trying to get used to here in Sweden, is the cold. I'm originally from South Africa, where we have a lot of sun. I find it strange, that you can have a perfectly sunny day here, no clouds in the sky, and no wind, yet it'll be 4°C or even colder, as it was three days ago. It's not even winter yet. I love autumn though, with its beautiful colours in the trees and on the ground.

I have decided to follow some of the advice I posted yesterday. From now on, I'm hanging my jeans up by the back belt loop. I've noticed that the seams on the sides are starting to get worn, from hanging them over my door, and pulling them down in the mornings. None of that any more. I have a clothes hook on the front of my clothing cupboard, so I'm just hooking them up on there. I still open them up to "breathe" and "dry out" though. I'll post a photograph tomorrow. I think it's better this way, then they're never folded flat, as they were over the door before.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 50 | Storing your jeans

I've made it to day 50 so far, just another 131 to go.

Here's a couple of statements about how different people store their jeans. Personally I like the final one, but for now I just fold mine over my door, and open them up a bit, so they can "breathe" and "dry out" overnight, because I am only wearing this one pair at the moment, where I usually alternate between four or five pairs.

"How do you store your jeans? Just fold them up? Leave it just lying on your floor? Hang them?"

"All of the above. If I am tired I just take them off and throw them on the floor. If I am not going to wear them for a few days I hang them, or usually I just fold them after I take them off for the day."

"I never hang them. I just throw them on a chair."

"I fold, but am thinking of a system where I can hang them by their belt loops so the creases stay in."

"I hang mine with clip hangers at the waist so they stay pretty much in the same shape as when they're on my body. The "denim" section of my closet has this crazy "funk" to it with all these unwashed jeans hanging next to each other."

"Hang over a valet, or fold if storing for longer than overnight. As long as you don't smooth them out, folding doesn't diminish creasing."

"I wedge a hanger at the waist and hang them up on my door."

"I fold them then hang them on the doorknobs, I never leave them on the floor because mine's not carpeted."

"If they're "project jeans", the only way to not get weird creases is to use waist clip hangers and clip them up by the waist band, otherwise if they're not raw fold them once and throw them somewhere."

"I would also warn against folding them. I had pairs that I thought 'lightly' folding them would not ruin the creases or start new ones, but it did. At most I am rotating between 3 at a time, (usually alternating 2) so I just sling them over the back of my chair and arm rests."

"I only hang them with those clip hangers and just clip the waistband."

"I definitely wouldn't do the same people do with say dress pants for example, like the fold in half through the middle. That cuts right through your honeycombs. Personally I lie mine out on my bedroom floor."

"I've sewn in a little ribbon into the back of my jeans and hang them on hooks on my wall. Some jeans already have one; my 5eps not, so I added one."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 49 | Superfuture Supertalk

While I was looking around the internet for interesting websites on jeans, denim and how to clean them, I stumbled upon a website called Superfuture Supertalk, which according to them, contain "discussions for superbored global shopping experts". Having trudged through their site, I stumbled upon a page about all things denim, or as they called it the "Super Denim Encyclopedia".

It's a discussion board where members post threads (Questions or topics), and it gets answered by other members or "experts". They cover subjects like how to get rid of wine stains, chewing gum and blood. There's also subjects like how to store your jeans, and then all the others like different kinds of stitching, types of raw denim, shrinking as well as making your own jeans. I haven't gone through everything, but will be looking a little deeper over the next couple of days. Looks like a lot I still have to learn.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 48 | Monday is just another day

I looked back at some of the posts I've written over the past 48 days, about the same pair of jeans, and wondered by myself, why I am doing this? I really don't know, is the right answer, but I try not do anything ever, if it's not going to be fun and I if I'm not going to learn something along the way. Take day 35 and day 36 for instance when I learnt a lot about dry-cleaning denim. Then there was day 4, 5 and 6, when I tried to keep the denim dry in the rain, but couldn't, and saw what rain does to raw denim. I still have 133 days to go, so there's lots still to learn. Who knows what waits around the next corner?

I've included front and back photos of the jeans, and what they look like now, after 48 days. I need to actually spend tomorrow doing some "dry-cleaning" myself, just to get some small stains and marks out. More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 47 | Today didn't happen

I know weekends are supposed to be for relaxing, but getting out of bed after 1pm and feeling terrible should not be part of them. Sick and not feeling so well days are for the week, so you can stay home from work and rest and relax. Fortunately it's beautiful outside at the moment with autumn in full swing. Didn't get to wear the jeans a whole lot today, just a trip down to the train station this afternoon, to pick up my fiancé.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 46 | My knees

When I was a kid, I had these permanent white marks on the knees of my jeans. Either from sitting on the floor with my legs folded when I was drawing or from wearing them out on the carpet, from playing cars and trucks in the passageway. Those days are no long gone, but the knees on jeans still get a terrible beating from bending your knees when you walk, up stairs down stairs, when you fold your legs when you're sitting, or when you're doing all sorts of things.

However, it's all better again, after a wash. The material relaxes in the water, and the stretching returns, pretty much to normal. Not the case with my jeans though. They're not seeing water for another 135 days, so the knees are starting to show some real stretch. But I have been wearing them every day for the past 46 days. And the idea with the raw denim, is to wear it "in", and then wash it, so that when the denim shrinks, the fit should be perfect. That, in a nutshell, is what I am trying to achieve here. But I'll have to wait and see.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 45 | A thousand words

As a design student my lecturer always drummed into my head, the age old saying of "A picture is worth a thousand words". "Stop thinking about the text, and think about a striking image instead."

It's with that thought, that I was browsing through the photos I have taken over the past 45 days, of the same pair of jeans. Same jeans, different angle. Same jeans, a little bit older. What more can be said? What more can be shown?

So I've chosen the photo above. What do you see? What do you think? It's the hem of a pair of pants, that much is certain. I can see it's pair of jeans. The denim seems very dark, very raw. The stitching is a darkish yellow. The hem seems a bit dirty. A bit scuffed. They're lying on the floor. There's a fold about an inch up from the hem. They must be too long for the wearer. What else? You could literally go on forever on what you can see, but also about what you can't see. Why are they on the floor? Why are they dirty? Why are the hem's scuffed?

It's all part of the test, seeing a pair of jeans, over a period of six months getting older, and older, before your eyes. Things you would never have seen, if it hadn't been recorded.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 44 | Awfully wet

Just heard we will be spending a week up north in sweden, again this year for Christmas and new years. Will be my 2nd white Christmas in a row. You don't get to see much snow in a country like South Africa, but I've quickly needed to get used to the cold and the darkness, that winter brings to a country like Sweden.

Not sure though what will happen to the jeans testing. Sure seems like it's going to be awfully wet. Lots of snow, and if it's not snowing it'll be raining. And then there's the fact that there's very little sunshine, so if the jeans got wet, they will have to be dried close to a dryer or something. But that's another bridge to cross when I get there.

For now it's autumn. The leaves are falling to the ground, and everything is beautiful. Plus it hasn't rained much yet, so that's been good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 43 | Spiderman

Today was a very relaxed day. Didn't have a lot to do, other than contact some companies regarding work and setting up my personal blog. Everything went very well, up until about 20 mins ago, when the file I have been working on for the last two hours, just vanished without a trace. I have searched everywhere and in all file structures. Poof! It's just gone.

I was working in a web program called Dreamweaver, and was switching between that and my browser, Firefox, to see what the file will look like in the end. Then all of a sudden I got an error message and when I wanted to save it, it just disappeared. Stuff like that drives me nuts. So now I'm shutting everything off and watching Spiderman 2 and 3 in a row. Just to see someone break something.

Because as for these jeans, they're performing really well. I've been wearing them every day for the past 43 days now and they're just getting more and more comfortable. I thought they would have been stretched so much by now, that I would have had to wear a belt for the last 120 days of the experiment. But alas, they're still good.

The only thing is, when I wear them at home, with my bare feet, that I need to fold them up quite a bit, because already they're starting to show more wear on the hems, than anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 42 | Red Devil

I mentioned on day one that I bought these jeans at a store in Gothenburg, called Red Devil. One of my favourite stores in town, although I haven't bought anything at the store before or after the jeans. Don't really know why, but I do like the clothing they sell and what the store looks like inside.

I was in there about a week ago, just to go and have a look at another pair of Dr.Denim jeans, called Terence. A really nice pair, that has a sort of indigo colour in what I could make out was two different pairs, called "Dark used" and "Blue used". Definitely on my list to buy after I'm done with this experiment in approximately 139 days on the 2nd or 3rd of March. Or let's just make it on the 3rd of March officially, when I'll be photographing the jeans, unwashed, for the last time, and compare them afterwards, when they have just been washed.

As I said, the Terence pair looks like a really nice pair of jeans, but is 100kr more expensive than the Harris jeans I have, because of the wash and the treatment. I think I'll go for the "Blue used".

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 41 | Inside out

I didn't know this at first, but apparently a lot can be learnt from a pair of jeans by looking at them inside out. The weave, the seams, the colour, the wash and all of that. I had a look, and to me they look just the same as any other pair of jeans, with the exception, that it does look a bit raw still. Be that as it may, here's some photos.

I had a look around, to finally find out how to get paint off denim. Most advice do agree on one point, wait for the paint to dry, before attempting anything. Advice included using alcohol to thin the paint, then water to get the alcohol off. Perhaps carefully using a cutting blade to cut it off. Maybe scraping it off with a scraper. Why not use paint remover. Others say just live with it. One person said that if it's oil paint, buy a new pair of jeans. All things that I don't want to do to my jeans.
One person said that if it's latex paint, then make a paste out of oxiclean and water and apply to the paint and let it set for 1 to 2 hours then wash as usual. That is of course helpful if you have washed the jeans before, and not a person who prefers to dry-clean their jeans. Then again, dry-cleaning is also an option. Professionals probably know more about these kinds of mishaps than we do.

Personally I will go by the age old saying, prevention, is better than cure. Try not to get paint on your jeans in the first place.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 40 | Haris Blue Black Raw front and back

So I'm forty days into this test and things are going well so far. I'm definitely learning a lot by writing about this. I know more about dry-cleaning than I did before, that's for sure.

We were invited for Sunday lunch by a Chinese friend of ours. She made some genuine Chinese food, along with some really good Green tea. It was real nice. She has a really cute cat, and was inspired by this blog to start one of her own, writing about the life and times of her cat. Not really my cup of tea, but then again who wants to read a blog, like this one, on a pair of jeans getting older and not being washed?

I realise today that I haven't shown a full frame photo of the jeans front and back, so I decided to take the opportunity of an empty room, because of the painting this week, to do just that. I liked what the denim looked like on the bare wooden floor, so I took quite a few photographs, which I'll show over the next couple of days. And like I said yesterday, I am still going to find out, how to get paint out of denim.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 39 | A lot of dust

We had our bedroom and entrance foyer, in our apartment, painted this week. We moved all the furniture into the rest of the house, with our bed in the lounge.

The week of painting started with the ripping off, of all the old wallpaper. Because the building is so old, and the walls are made from wood, with a clay and reed covering, it made a lot of dust. It got in everywhere. Even past all the sheets we hung in the doorways. After ripping off the wallpaper, came the filling up of the old walls, a new covering over that and then the paint. Really a tough environment to keep the jeans clean in, especially because they're not getting washed in six months.

I got a lot of dust on them, which brushing seemed to get out. There's still some light spots on the denim now, but maybe it'll go away during the next week. Not permanent marks. And I am especially glad that I didn't get any paint on them. That would have forced me to get some water on them. Or what is best to get paint off denim? Perhaps letting the paint dry, then sort of scratching and brushing it off? I'll have to look into that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 38 | Autumn has arrived

It's official. Autumn is here. At the moment there's a bit of rain. Not hard driving rain, but a bit of drizzle. The wind has been blowing a lot last night, which means most of the leaves which have been turning red, then orange, then yellow over the past few weeks, are now lying on the ground.

As I said before, the goal is to not wash these jeans for six months. We're now 38 days in, and it seems as if it's going to be impossible to keep them dry with a rainy autumn here at the moment, and a snowy winter on the way. Should be fun though.

As you can see I got the Dr.Martens (boots) out again to keep my feet dry with the rain, along with my long coat. Other than that, it's beautiful outside at the moment with all the leaves on the ground.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 37 | A visit to Dr.Denim

I've been asked before, why I started this blog. The answer is simply, because I thought it would be a good idea to test a product in this way. Plus I like writing, and I especially like learning about things, that I don't know anything about, like denim.

I am not paid by Dr.Denim to write about them, although the thought of doing this as a paid job, has crossed my mind. I paid for these jeans, because I thought it was a really good price, for a really good pair of jeans.

And so it was with writing this blog everyday, that I received an email from Alexander, one of the brothers who run Dr.Denim, inviting me over to their "new" offices here in Gothenburg, to meet them and to see what it is that they do. It was a really good meeting the people who actually designed my jeans. I'll, hopefully, be over there again in a couple of days, to shoot some photos, which I'll publish here for you to see. It was great that I got invited, and really great that they show a real interest in the people who love their products.

It was an inspiration meeting people, who really love what they're doing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 36 | A professional view on dry cleaning

Yesterday's blog post surely caused some conversation, comments and emails. In the end though, I had comments from two professionals in the field.

It basically all comes down to this. Dry cleaning your jeans are ok, and as far as I understand, won't shorten their shelf life. However, you need to find a dry cleaner that knows what they're doing. It's the same with everything in life. You don't go to the first car mechanic you find. You look around a bit, and ask people who have used dry cleaners in your area before.

Here's some tips from Tim McCann, President and Founder of Best Cleaners in Capital Region, New York; "Dry-Cleaning in Hydrocarbon, CO2 and Solvair will return the jeans looking like new or better with no shrinkage." So there's something to ask your local dry cleaner. If you're living in the US, have a look at, for the top 50 dry cleaners.

According to Dependable Drycleaners in Denver, they did a test for a local TV station, where they dry cleaned a pair of pants 10 times, and washed an identical pair 10 times. When they compared them side by side, the dry cleaned pair looked as good as they did on day one, only softer, where the pair that was washed looked older and lost color.

As I said in the comments yesterday. My test, however, has nothing to do with washing vs dry cleaning. It has to do with "wearing in" the jeans for 6 months, and then washing them, in water, for the first time, so that the raw denim would shrink the 1-5%. That will, according to the experts, give me a really good fit.

I hope everyone learnt something about the dry cleaning though. As always, comments are welcome, because there's always more to learn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 35 | More about dry cleaning your jeans

I covered a bit of light dry cleaning on day 18, but not nearly enough to cover some of the questions I've been getting. So I decided to go digging around a bit to find out more. I stumbled across a poll on where 1288 people voted on the following question:

Do You Machine Wash or Dry Clean Your Jeans?
Uh machine wash - who dry cleans their jeans? 76% (979)
Uh I do! It's the best way to preserve them! 8% (98)
A bit of both - depending on which jeans. 12% (153)
Other - do tell! 5% (58)

As you can see it's totally in favour of machine washing at 76%, with a bit of both in second on 12%. You could also argue that most people don't know anything about denim, but be that as it may, my Dr.Denim Harris jeans, will not see a washing machine or water for six months, and thereafter I will wash them in a machine for the first time. I obviously will try avoid the odd bit of rain or snow getting on them.

If the jeans are a cheap, run of the mill, everyday, pair, then by all means wash them in a machine, but try 40˚ water, especially in the beginning, and wash them separately at first. I mean they're still denim and you should still look after them.

The more expensive they get, the better you'll want to take care of them, because the longer you would want them to last. But here's an opinion from someone who seems to know: "Dry cleaning actually will ruin your jeans faster than the machine wash will. Dry cleaning is meant for items that will wrinkle, pill, or spot when exposed to water. The downside is that the chemicals at a dry cleaners deteriorate most fabrics quicker than plain water will. If you want to preserve, hand-wash your jeans; dry cleaning them is actually decreasing their shelf life." She, however, did not say by how much it decreases shelf life.

If you really want to look after your jeans, then it seems you have to wash them by hand.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 34 | More front pockets

My day started off really good. By really good, I mean I had coffee from the start. Usually an Americano from Condeco (Double espresso with extra boiling water). Condeco is not my favourite coffee place in Gothenburg, but it helps that they have a free Wi-Fi connection. It's good to get out a little bit in the mornings, especially if you work from home. Read the newspaper, check your emails, see some people and drink your coffee. The newspaper in my case is the Sesam, which is a Swedish newspaper written in really easy to understand Swedish. Every article has all the difficult words at the end of it, in a sort of dictionary, so you can learn as you read. Have a look at their website for more info.

Here's two more photos of the change pocket in the front, that I spoke about yesterday. As you might have noticed how the denim changes colour, dependant on where the photograph was taken. It's usually in our lounge, but sometimes you can't choose the lighting in a coffee shop, restaurant or street, and have to make do with what you have.