raw denim drawing

Congratulations! You’ve acquired some raw denim! In order to ensure your selvedge denim lasts as long and looks as good as possible, we’ve created this instructional guide to help you navigate through your pivotal first wash.

Your first wash should take place on a timeline relative to your lifestyle. Depending on your job or activity level, you may have to wash your jeans more frequently. Fortunately, washing your denim is a good thing, and can actually go a long way towards extending the life of your jeans.

When it finally comes time to take the plunge, take a sigh of relief and entrust your jeans to the handy steps we’ve laid out below.

The absolute best thing you can do for your jeans? Wear them. Take them on your next hike. Wear them on your commute to work. Play sports in them. Roll in the mud. Wear your jeans the way they were meant to be worn. It’s the only way to ensure your denim will look its best after the first wash. 

We are strong advocates for wearing your denim hard. Wear and tear on your denim allows for the fibers to break down releasing the indigo attached to the outside of the yarn, resulting in the unique fading properties we all love from raw denim. Washing your denim releases the indigo top layer from the yarns as well as strengthens the inner core of the fibers from any wear and tear ensuring that your denim will last longer.

how to wear your raw denim care guide

When it finally comes time to wash your jeans, remember these simple rules:

- Wash your jeans inside out
- Wash with cold water
- If using a washing machine, wash on gentle cycle

Whether you’re using a bathtub or a washing machine, it’s extremely important that you wash your jeans on their own - free from all other clothing. Turn your jeans inside out and fully submerge or place them into your wash of choice, accompanied by a small amount of your preferred bleach-free liquid detergent. We prefer a dark detergent such as Woolite Dark to preserve the indigo as best as possible. Wait 30 minutes, then proceed to Step 3.

how to wash your raw denim care guide

Once your wash is complete, you’ll need to let your jeans dry. Avoid the dryer at all costs. Heat shrinks cotton, and there’s a good chance that your size 31s could turn into 29s after 30 minutes of tumble dry on high. Instead, find yourself some clips or a hanger and hang your denim in the shower. Or — if the weather allows — hang your denim outside for a faster turnaround time. Air drying is the only method you should use to dry your denim.  

drying raw denim jeans 

Once your denim is dry, it’s time to put on your now clean and crispy pair of jeans for even more wear! You’ll probably notice that your fades and creases are now more defined - particularly so if you waited an extended period of time before washing your jeans. Remember, if your denim gets dirty, or starts to smell, repeat steps 1-3 until your jeans are clean and ready to wear again. Enjoy! 

Please note: the steps listed above are meant to serve as recommendations, and are not law.

As always, we’re available via email for all of your fabric, sizing, or washing questions.