Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 181 | How to wash your jeans

I have 2 days left, then I've worn these jeans everyday for 6 months. I was contemplating taking a shower with them first, to sort out the shrinking, but I think think I'll settle for 30 degrees Celcius machine wash, with no spin cycle, then stretch them out along the seams and hang them up to dry. Here's how to wash your jeans according to the website Allevol.com.

Washing instruction for raw/dry denim & jeans (wash and care)

"It is often a myth how denim products needs to be washed/treated. There is certainly no "right way" but many different ways, depending on how you prefer your denims to look. Here are some examples."

Denim enthusiast's way - Wear as long as possible, wash as less as possible
"This is the most commonly used technique for denim enthusiasts. Wear rigid-raw dry jeans a minimum of 6months (recommended) everyday, machine wash at 60c inside out without washing powder/liquid, then wear it again for the next 3months, then wash by machine at 30c (less colour fade at 30c than high temperature), dry it by hanging up in the shade where air is flowing."

Japanese magazine way - Wear your jeans and take a bath with it
"This was once introduced in a Japanese fashion magazine. Wear your denim for a few months, the first wash is taking a bath with your jeans in lukewarm water and use a scrubbing brush to create a colour fading effect (mostly the front thigh bit). Dry it by hanging up in the shade where air is flowing."

Japanese denim mania way - Wear your jeans after "the first wash"
"This technique is frequently used by many Japanese denim enthusiasts. Firstly, prepare lukewarm water (between 35c and 45c) in a bucket and put the dry/raw jeans in it for 1hour-2hours (Note 1: please bear in mind that jeans need to be submerged completely in the water. The raw denim jeans contains air which make it float in the bucket. Note 2: Some people add a table spoon of salt, or vinegar in this lukewarm water). Secondly, take the jeans out of the bucket, wash it inside out at 40c without washing powder (please do not long-wash as this damages the fibers of the denim). Dry it by hanging up in the shade where air is flowing. Second wash is preferably after 3-9months of wear."

Natural looking way - Wear and wash as you like
"Wash the jeans at 60c, dry it by hanging up in the direct sunlight (or tumble dry). This will make it completely shrink up to 1-2.5inchs and the jeans will not be as heavily starched. Wear and wash as you like, however, the jeans will not have the strong dense coloured effect achieved in methods 1, 2 and 3."

The above four ways are often used to treat or how to wash dry/raw denims. Allevol's favourite way is method 1. We wear jeans 4-6months. As soon as we see a break-in effect, machine wash at 30c. After that, we wash our jeans at least every month

32 comments:

  1. Please people, wash your clothes.

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  2. After about a week won't jeans like any other pants start to stink? How about lose their shape and maybe stain a bit? All people shouldnt be slobs only those who think this is some sort of fashion statement endorsed by Levis who don't mind being laughed at by normal cleaner people. All this to prove some dumb point set up by marketers. Such a shame that people are so like sheep.

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  3. I hardly ever wash my jeans and no they don't stink. Denim is very resistant. Maybe you should just shower more

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  4. This sound's so nasty. Sometime's I wear my jeans for 5 day's straight and I thought that was nasty I do not feel so bad about it now. I live in Texas and it gets pretty HOT here so no one could get a way with 6 months. YUCK

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  5. I always was my jeans in the bathtub, inside out, in cold water with very little soap. Just swish around a little and rinse twice with cold water. Then I pull on the legs to keep them long and hang to dry on a rack in my bathtub. They stay looking new forever. They don't really get dirty. It's not like I'm a carpenter or plumber. However, if you wear them in a smoking environment, you have got to wash them before wearing again or you will smell like stale cigarettes. If your butt sweats alot (Lol), I recommend washing often.

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  6. I do want to know how to wear jeans for 6 months without SOMETHING dripping on them? And if so, what to do about it......

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  7. I agree with the first and second postings.... YUCK! and please wash your clothes!! I do the laundry at my house and my and my spouse's pants get washed at LEAST once a week or they DO stink!! and we take a shower every day!! Try SMELLING your jeans before you put them on.

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  8. Just to set the record straight, there's no marketers involved in this blog, and I'm not sure how Levi's got involved, but I've been writing this blog because of an interest in RAW denim. Now RAW denim, as opposed to already washed denim acts differently to dirt, sweat and so on. Normal washed denim you buy should be washed, I would say, once every three weeks on average. RAW denim should first be worn in, then washed, because they will shrink with the first wash. The wearing in process takes longer for some and shorter for others, depending on how often you wear them and what you do with them on. The average is 6 months. After the first wash, I would wash them once a month.

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  9. Hi Kyle and Sarah. It all depends on what drips on them. Most things can be safely removed once they have dried. Stains however are inevitable, but that for me is what makes raw denim so special. Every mark, every stain, and so on, tells a story, and makes your pair different from everyone else's.

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  10. Why do you want to keep jeans looking new? As a teenager in the 70's I had several new pairs of 501's each year, as well as some of the various flare/bell bottom styles they had. I washed them regularly and they would fade and wear out nicely after less than a year. I sometimes went swimming in them because people weren't nearly as hung up about having "proper swimwear", and boys rarely wore shorts. Prewashed jeans weren't available then, but the idea was to do it yourself. Sometimes I used bleach to speed the process.
    If you're going 6 mos. w/o washing, you must not actually do any real work or play that actually gets them dirty. Do you wear them to do yard work, go camping, work on your car or home, or do you just sit in an office all day in them?

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  11. At the moment I have a couple of jeans that have different functions. All this still to test the denim and see what happens. Some I use to work in, which yes, is in an office all day. The others I use when travelling. They get worn a lot faster, as I travel a lot. Then the one pair I use for doing work around my own, or a friend's house. They don't last long, and don't look pretty.

    But as I said, I'm having fun with all the various denim sorts, colours, weights and looks. Each one has a specific purpose. Skinny jeans don't work in the garden, and my baggy dirty garden jeans, don't work when I meet my clients.

    Thanks for your comments though.

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  12. I kind of chuckled when I read this. Back in the 'olden days' when I was a teenager, we would have a bath in hot water with our jeans on so that they would shrink - 'skin tight' for a perfect fit!

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  13. It's great to hear real voice from the "olden days" Wendy Sue!!!

    Most of the jeans were "shrink to fit" back then and I remember I imitated long roll up style (but the jeans was already Sanforized though...).

    And lastly, good article as always, and look forward to reading in 2011, Darryl!

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  14. Actually if you have small stains or your jean start to stink, you can use Windex to get rid of the smell.

    It works and let's you wear your jeans longer between washing

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  15. Dangwei Zhao09 May, 2011

    1. Raw denim is not for people that wear the same pair of jeans everyday.

    2. Raw denim is not for people that shower once a week.

    3. If you are clean and wear different pants throughout the week, then washing your denim once every few months is not bad at all. If you disagree, then consider how often you wash your jackets? Get the point?

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  16. Well said Dangwei. Raw denim isn't supposed to be worn every day. This test I'm doing is exactly that. A test. It's trying to get as much wear into the jeans in as short a space as possible.

    If you wear them along with every other pair you own once a week over two years, you would wear them a total of 104 days, but if you wear them every day for 6 months, you would wear them a total of around 180 days.

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  17. To Fangwei and Darryl: You are both right about wearing denim everyday vs alternating. Many enthusiast whisker a single pair at a time; wearing them everyday. Other's have several pairs and alternate. I would suggest the most important part in considering everyday vs alternating is the treatment of the jeans both while you're wearing them (work, lifestyle, etc) and when you are not wearing them (hanging them up every night, occasionally sticking in the freezer, spot cleaning).

    This will give you the option of wearing them faithfully everyday without any question as to the cleanliness including smell. I went 9 months, and then another 6 of everyday wear on my last pair with the above method and had no issue what-so-ever.

    Dangwei, you are absolutely correct that Raw denim is not for everyone.

    To the "Yuckers": This is not an article for you. If you are just learning about raw/indigo dyed denim for the first time you would be smart to read the wiki page first
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denim#Dry_denim

    You feedback of "yuck" is neither helpful or even a consideration of the denim enthusiast reading this article. The "6 month rule" is pretty much a standard. If you don't like it, don't get into dry/raw denim.

    Just because you've been washing your jeans regularly all your life doesn't mean its the only way or the best way to do it.

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  18. For those that wash their jeans after every wear, perhaps this is for you. A video from the United Nations on how to conserve water, by washing your jeans every third time at least... the environment will love you. http://drdenimjeans.blogspot.com/2010/07/united-nations-environment-program.html

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  19. I get frustrated wearing dry/raw jeans. Worn a few pairs of APC and Nudie and I know I wasn't supposed to wash 'em after at least 6 months, but the longest I went without washing was 2 months. It's hot here in Malaysia, and I sweat a lot. As a result, none of the denims I own look like those in the pictures. Minimal fades, man. But at least they've shrunk after wash. And then stretch again after a few weeks.

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  20. It all depends on your fashion statement, which one of these methods you would pick. You should think about your fashion statement first, as these processes can only be done once per denim. If you want to have that plain and simple denim, "wear and wash" method is right for you. On the other hand, if you want to have that fading color, rugged look denim, you should go for the "wear as long as possible" method. Remember, only jeans that have raw/dry materials are advisable for these methods.

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  21. Darryl I have a levis 501 that I bought in 2008. I wear it almost every day. Now it got really greenish and nice very dirty look. No stink or stains. About a month ago I bought another jeans levis 501 but when I thought of washing the earlier work of art I did not have the courage to do so. I really love to wear them as they are

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous

      I know exactly what you mean. I sometimes feel tempted to wash mine too early. I am however doing a test soon with 2 pairs at the same time. One I'll wash on day one and the other after 6 months. Swapping every day. So I'll wear them a total of about 100 days.

      If you can, send me some photos of the two pairs you have and I'll publish them.

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  22. I manage to find great website with advices for jeans maintenance, check here: Best way to wash jeans

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  23. denim is a fashionable fabric that can be worn by anyone and is suitable for people of all ages.

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  24. Please wash your darn pants more than twice a year. For cryin' out loud I ride the bus sometimes. I sit in public venues. I don't want to start bringing slipcovers because of people who don't wash their clothes or bathe.

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    1. Hi Eric

      You use the word darn, so you must live in the US very far from where I live so there's no risk for you of getting dirt on yourself or your clothing. But if you read all the comments, you'll understand the difference between dirt, germs and bacteria and that according to the bible you're made of dust and to dust you will return ;)

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  25. Today, Momotaro Jeans still follow Tsunemi's ideas and priorities when it comes to the highest quality of denim fabrics, finishing skill, sewing techniques and fitting patterns. The brand is one of the most authentic denim labels in the world and prides itself on innovation and craftsmanship, utilising exclusive fabrics and fabrication, hand wash processes and continual progression in both fit and design.

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  26. Hi, just wanted to ask whether or not method 3 will still give you fades on your jeans?

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    1. Yes it will, cause you're still wearing it in. The bath and scrubbing brush is just for added effect.

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    2. Oh no! By 3rd i meant the "wear after first wash" method.
      Will this method still allow me to wear it in and get some fades?
      I'm planning to get a raw denim soon but do not want fades that is too obvious.

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  27. I am now using Red Moon jeans. These seem to me comfortable and good looking.

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