Saturday, February 28, 2009
It's like my friend I wrote about before, who always folded up the bottom hems of his jeans, because they were too long. The denim then got very damaged on the fold instead of on the original hem. He then after a couple of months washed his jeans for the first time. They shrunk so much that he does not have to fold the hems up any more. The problem now is that they're so damaged on the fold, that he doesn't want to fold them down. The other problem is that he can't keep them folded up, because then they're too short.
It was my little sister's 24th birthday today. We ended up at her place the whole day, because she spoiled the whole family to a really fantastic meal. She did get the motherload of all presents though, the lucky bum. Unlike last night with the wine tasting that ended after 12pm, today will be an early night.
Friday, February 27, 2009
That's the reason this blogpost is out a little late. I probably should have written it before the wine tasting. If you're interested, you can have a look at the blog here... Some more wine please...
There's just five days left, then I wash these jeans. Actually a little excited about that, which reminds me to not forget to take a series of photographs before, so I can compare them with a series of photographs from after.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Fabric is measured in yards, so the weight refers to how much a yard of fabric weighs. So in simple terms, a yard of 10 ounce denim weighs 10 ounces, as does a yard of 14 ounce denim weight 14 ounces. One yard is equal to 914,4 centimetres and one ounce is 28,34 grams.
The heavier the denim, the less likely it is to bend, as with 20 oz denim for instance. Skirts, shirts and dresses are usually made out of 5 oz denim, because of the weight, it is lighter, softer and it drapes well. Denim jeans have traditionally been made from 12 to 14 oz denim, because it is a little heavier and more hard wearing.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Baggy/Loose - "Baggy was a British dance-oriented music genre popular in the early 1990s. The scene was named after the loose-fitting clothing worn by the bands and fans."
Bell-bottoms/Bootcut/Flair/Hip-huggers - "Bell-bottoms are trousers that become wider from the knees downwards. Related styles include flare, loon pants and boot-cut/leg trousers. Hip-huggers are bell-bottomed, flare, or boot-cut pants that are fitted tightly around the hips and thighs worn by men and women."
Boyfriend - "In fashion design, primarily in ready-to-wear lines, boyfriend is any style for women's clothing that was modified from a corresponding men's garment. Examples include boyfriend jackets and boyfriend jeans, which are more unisex in appearance than most women's jackets or trousers while they are still designed for the female form."
Carpenter - "Carpenter jeans are jeans with many pockets and loops which can be used to carry objects such as tools and are often loose around the leg to be able to accommodated the affixed items."
Skinny/Slim-fit/Drainpipes - "Slim-fit pants or skinny jeans have a snug fit through the legs and end in a small leg opening. Other names for this style include carrot leg pants, cigarette pants, drainpipes, peg leg pants, pencil pants, skinny pants, slimjims, tapered pants, or ice-cream cone pants. Skinny jeans taper completely at the bottom of the leg, whereas drainpipe jeans are skinny but then the lower leg is straight instead of tapering and so they are often slightly baggier at the bottom of the leg than skinny jeans. In some styles, zippers are needed at the bottom of the leg to facilitate pulling them over the feet. Skinny jeans are worn by men and women."
Wide leg - "Wide leg jeans are a style of clothing popularized in the mid-to-late 1990s, especially by men trying to achieve an "alternative" style. For men, the style is also called hip-hop clothing and remains popular with this subculture in 2008. The quintessential brand of 'hip-hop' style wide leg jeans was JNCO, though other youth and ethnic oriented clothing companies manufacture them as well."
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
They're going into the wash at just after 7am and then I'm leaving them the whole day to dry. I've been thinking that perhaps I'll wear my other favourite pair of jeans, a pair of Evisu/Puma jeans that's raw denim, and only been washed a couple of times in the three years I've had them. Perhaps something else. But like I said before, I need to go check in my clothing cupboard what I have, and perhaps air them a bit.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The blog world has been abuzz lately with the news that he will be launching a $1000 pair of jeans. Think about it. Nearly 8000kr for a pair of jeans. Now for me it's not so much about the price. OK, maybe a little bit, but it's mostly about how his jeans are made. From Japanese selvedge denim that looks and feels like raw denim, however, they have been pre-washed and pre-shrunken. This means the indigo doesn’t rub off. The seat is distinguished only by a straight stitched line across the pockets. Then there's a small black tab reading TF001 or TF002. Obviously Tom Ford No.1, a boot cut that Ford wears himself and Tom Ford No.2 is a straight-leg cut. The front button is plated with 18-karat gold, and the pockets are lined with silk, the same as Tom wears in his suits. Don't know about the button in gold. I love the button on my jeans that read: "A good pair of jeans is like a member of the family." Feels a bit more personal.
Now to get back to the whole pre-shrunk, pre-washed business. I'm struggling to understand why anyone would go this route with raw denim? Why not buy raw denim, instead of denim that appears to be raw denim. Maybe they do not want to get any indigo on their expensive leather lounge suite at home or the office? Maybe they wash their jeans after every wear in any case and don't care for wearing them in? Perhaps wearing denim for 6 months without washing them is seam to be a little gross? I just don't know. I prefer the idea of wearing my jeans in first, so they have my marks on them, then washing them after six months and letting them shrink for a perfect fit on my body.
What happens with his jeans after they've been worn in and everything is stretched. What then? The owner can't even shrink them in the first wash for a better fit. Perhaps when you're willing to spend $1000 on a pair of jeans you just throw them away when they've stretched too much and get another pair.
Having said all of that, I wouldn't mind a free pair, if anyone is feeling in the mood, you know, just to see what they're all about.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
With that I found some more helpful tips on caring for your denim from a website called DressCodesAlt.com. The photograph of the four pairs of jeans is from their website. It's helpful to see the difference between the same pair of jeans over a period of time, as I do with my comparisons.
There's some really good tips from them, but the two I like the most is: "If you spill something on your Raw denim you can wipe it off, or wait for the spot to dry and it will usually fade on its own. Do not clean local spots with water or cleaning solution because it can remove the indigo and you may get a bleach spot."
And: "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. In addition a small shrinkage in length may occur after the first wash."
This goes hand in hand with what I got from Alexander at Dr.Denim about the legs shortening during the wash because of the stitching. He recommended to grab the crotch area and one hem at a time, and then stretch the seams out very slowly as much as you can. This will help to get the seams back to their original length, because it's the denim that shrinks and not the stitching.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I wonder what happens to the denim, and how much it shrinks with all this water? I guess I'll find out when I wash them in a couple of days.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I'm also really keen get back into some of my older jeans again. Those that have just been "gathering dust" in my clothing cupboard. That also reminds me, perhaps it's time to take them out and air them all a bit. It's been 6 months sine they last saw the sun, never mind fresh air.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
One thing I forgot to mention about my visit to Dr.Denim on Tuesday is that I have been invited to attend their sample sale. It's usually an event when friends and family are invited to buy up all the samples that didn't make it into production. I am really looking forward to that. Never been lucky enough to know someone on the inside.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
As far as I understand, the idea is to wear the raw denim jeans for as long as you can, before you wash them. Usually six months to a year. The reason for this is that the wear stretches them in all the right places. On your knees, the crotch area, the waist and wherever else. When you wash them then later, they shrink back to the normal size, but the fit is better now, because they've been worn in. They're also much softer now.
I could see the person's concern though, because their new raw denim might still feel too tight, and they're scared that after a wash they'll end up with jeans that are too small around the waste. This should not be the case if you've worn them for a while, because everything stretches from the wear, as does everything shrink with the wash.
I only started wearing a belt with my jeans every day after the third month, when the waste was so stretched, that the jeans had trouble staying up. After the wash, I think the fit should be really good.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
According to Alexander they've been doing quite well as a business, most probably because of their competitive pricing structure. I mean 500-600kr a pair of raw denim jeans vs. 1000-2000kr for any pair of Nudie jeans.
We discussed this pair that I had on, and he wanted to know when it'll all end. The final date when I will wash these has been set at Wednesday the 4th of March. One tip I got from Alexander was that after the wash, you need to stretch the seams out a bit. Grab the bottom of the hems and the crotch area and slowly stretch the seams bit. Each on in turn. Apparently they tend to pull together a bit because of all the shrinkage in the raw denim. Looking forward to that day actually. Been thinking of maybe putting a video together. But we'll see.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I spoke to a friend of mine a while ago, who also only washed his one pair of jeans after 6 months. During that whole time he wore them with a big fold up on the hems, because they were too long, and they creases got damaged quite a bit. When he finally washed them, they shrunk about 3-4 cm. The fold-up now sits much higher than what they used to, so he does not need to fold them up any more because the length is now perfect. The problem is that folded down they look silly because the crease is damaged and folded up they're too short.
I hope these turn out really good after the first wash. I can only hope and see. Tomorrow I meet up with the guys from Dr.Denim again, just to say hello, have a cup of coffee and show them the progress. Really looking forward to it.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Wrangler tag line leads nicely in to another thing that's very close to my heart, and which I haven't covered yet in the last 166 days. That is eco-denim or denim that is environmentally friendly. I know in the bigger scheme of things that there's a million ways to measure if a product is really environmentally friendly or not, but most people would agree, that we need to start somewhere.
This advert for Levis is a bit thin on delivering a strong message, but on some higher plane I get where they're trying to go, by saying they've now starting to think about the environment and how their products and the production of their products impacts the environment. They however don't say if it's all their products or just one range that now is 100% organic cotton.
I read something about denim production and the environment a couple of months ago. I think I need to dig it out and see if there's anything interesting to write about in it, because I believe customers are becoming more and more aware and sensitive to things like the environment.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I've chosen to live my life in Sweden, because the love of my life is Swedish. With that choice though, comes the fact that I can't see both my brothers's children grow up and will always be referred to as the uncle from Sweden. They won't recognise me when I come visit, till they're much older. It's that part of the choice I've made that is difficult to live with. The photo is of Abigail, my youngest brother's first child, who is 7 months old now and whom I've never met.
I read a blog post earlier today and the guy was talking about work and that the most important thing is always your family. Sometimes it's difficult to see what's coming down the road, but it's important to decide what you really want out of life. Life is very short and there's so much you will miss if you don't sit down and think for a while about what is important to you in this life.
Apologies if today's post is a little philosophical.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I'm glad the jeans are a bit stretch now, because if they were new, or had just been washed, it would have been a bit more difficult to move as one needs to, when you're dancing.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
According to Wikipedia, "Selvage denim (also called selvedge denim) is a type of denim which forms a clean natural edge that does not unravel. It is commonly presented in the unwashed or raw state. Typically, the selvage edges will be located along the out-seam of the pants, making it visible when cuffs are worn. Although selvage denim is not completely synonymous with unwashed denim, the presence of selvage typically implies that the denim used is a higher quality."
"The word "selvage" comes from the phrase "self-edge", the natural edge of a roll of fabric. In this case, denim made on old-style shuttle looms. These looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim it creates this “self-edge” or Selvage. Selvage is desirable because the edge can’t fray like lower grade denims that have separate wefts which leave an open edge that must be stitched. Shuttle looming is a more time-consuming weaving process that produces denim of a tighter weave resulting in a heavier weight fabric that lasts."
If you want to read more for yourself, the denim page on Wikipedia has lots.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I wanted to show them the jeans, just before the first wash on the 3rd of March. I'm planning to continue this blog, but perhaps only write once a week for the following 6 months. I think I need to find myself something else to write about every day. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
That's why I love the Quicksilver adverts. They're fresh, they don't show the product, yet the message is still very clear. I have some problems with the Levis advert too the left. Apparently they now use copper in the jeans... yawn, yawn. The message is weak, and as for the location, surely the top of a building should've been the last option?
The Diesel Advert is not much better, but at least it has an element of fun to its advertising message. The woman's wearing denim with pin stripes, which points to the fact that she might be in charge, yet hates shoes and men at the same time.
Perhaps I shouldn't be too critical of the advertisements if I look back at where we came from with the Jordache advert. I'm sure you've always wanted "the Jordache look".
Monday, February 9, 2009
As always I will attempt my maths sum to see how many times I have opened and closed the buttons over the last 160 days. Opening and closing the buttons whilst getting dressed and undressed, at least twice a day, so that is three hundred and twenty times. Let's average going to the toilet during that time to twice a day, which is open and closed four times a day times hundred and sixty days, gives us six hundred and forty times. Add all of that up, and I have opened and closed the buttons on these jeans about nine hundred and sixty times during the last hundred and sixty days. I always thought there would be more wear on the button holes, but just goes to show how well they're made these days.
I think I'll go back to looking for some good denim adverts tomorrow.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The photos are taken on the beginning of every month, from month one to five, with the close-up taken last month. Lately I've been thinking a lot about which pair of my old jeans I'll wear first, when this test is all done. Not really sure. I don't really remember which ones I have here in Sweden, and which ones are back in South Africa.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The creases also have a light blue edge to them, so that when you flatten the denim out, you can still see the crease very clearly. This part of the denim has also stretched a lot, so much so that I have been forced to wearing a belt every day. Otherwise they hang too low, which forces me to fold up the bottom hems. After the first wash next month, it should be a much better fit.
The photos are from the beginning of each month, one, two, three, four and five. Next month is my last comparisons before they get washed. I'll compare them again directly after the wash, which should be really interesting. Tomorrow I'll compare the bottom hems.
Just as a matter of interest, I was in Red Devil again today with a friend, looking at some Dr.Denim jeans, and I am really interested in two of their pairs of pants to purchase next. The first one is Terence, and the second is Donk. Terence would be a good pair of additional jeans, but Donk is a pair of Chinos, a really good cut, excellent material and perfect for spring going into summer.
Friday, February 6, 2009
There's a huge difference in the folds and creases on these photos. The photos are from Month two, three, four and today, month five. Not so much colouration, but a lot of wear on the actual seams. The bottom photograph is also the inner seam, but a bit higher up at the knee. Lots of creases on the back of the knee and lots of stretching on the front of the knee. Then also some colouration, and it looks like the back creases will never come out. I'll be very interested what this part looks like after the first wash. Tomorrow I'll compare the front pockets.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I had a look at another blog called Evolution, where the guy, Mark, shows his comparisons from the first day, to 5 months, and the change is by far more than mine is, and I wear my jeans every day. Given I'm taking it easy, because they're not being washed, but still. If you compare mine from day 1 to today's photo, then you can see how much more shiny they are. There's a lot more creases, and lines. But when you look at them all together the change is more gradual.
The photographs are in order from the beginning of each month, one, two, three, four, all the way to now, month five. It's when I look at them like this that I'm still contemplating going on for a full year, and not stopping at 6 months.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Swedes have a tradition of breakfast in bed on your birthday, so with that I was woken up this morning. I love the tradition, but would move the breakfast to, whenever the birthday person wakes up, not when you wake the person up. I have a tradition of taking off from work on my birthday, but I'm busy with really exciting work at the moment, that I just couldn't stay away.
I was so spoiled at work today too, with lunch at an Italian restaurant and an afternoon coffee break with cream cake and berries. The night was ended off at a favourite bar/restaurant as a surprise, with friends and family coming and going all the time. A really excellent birthday. With that, I'm going to hang up my jeans and get in bed. Tomorrow I'll start the next instalment of my comparisons.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It was luckily very sticky gum, so I managed to get nearly everything off, by just scraping at it with my nails, and using my fingers to pull it off. So my jeans are none the worse for wear. There was a moment of panic right in the beginning, when I realised what it was.
With that, I trawled around the internet to find out how to remove chewing gum from clothing, and stumbled onto this video. Some useful watching. It might save your jeans next time.
Clothing Stains:How To Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes
Monday, February 2, 2009
We have this little dam just around the corner from where we live, and today it was completely frozen, so we decided to get the ice skates out and go for our first winter ice skate. It's my first time here in Sweden. I inherited some skates from the family, really old "vintage" skates, which fitted perfectly.
It had already turned dark when we got there, but with the street lights on it made it really exciting and a bit romantic, being the only two people ice skating on our "own" little ice rink.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
With that, I stumbled upon these adverts from Quicksilver, advertising their Deep Blue Denim range. It's not often that you have a company advertising a product, and not show it in the actual advertisement. Here you have those fish that swim in the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, and they're made of denim. It brings the point across very well. Deep... blue... denim.
They do get to show the actual product, but in very subtle ways. Advert number one shows what the button looks like, as well as the back pocket detailing, along with the colour and texture of the denim. Advert number two shows the zipper in good detail, as well as another button, but then the best thing of all is that it shows the inside of the denim, with the style of seam. Advert number three shows the denim texture very well and the detailing with the "rip" and the detailing with the Quicksilver logo.
All in all a really well executed advertising campaign, which is a big break from your usual skinny model with too much make-up prancing around in a pair of over-priced jeans. Well done.