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Levis lvc 501 1947 shrink-to-fit advice - Page 3

post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by undarted View Post
Also, after soaking to shrink the jeans, I do want to wash them in order to remove factory oils and starch (don't want premature holes forming). I picked up some Woolite Dark, which has gotten approval here. However, I've read that washing them in a conventional washer can damage the jeans. Question #2: Should I just handwash them? On the other hand, I've heard that putting them through the washing machine/spin helps even out the indigo.
I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here? Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanGarb View Post
Here's what I did with some plain 501 STF, not LVC, but the method should be similar.

1. Run hot water in bathtub
2. Wear jeans in tub for ~30 minutes
3. Put in dryer for 30 minutes. Since it was winter and kinda cold I couldn't wear them till dryness
4. Out of dryer now lightly damp, put them on and break in the form again. Note much shrinkage
5. Took off and let air dry
6. "OMG I've created cardboard!" Find stiffest jeans ever waiting for me, much more so than NWT
7. Profit!...err wear till they break in

The normal STF only shrink ~1" in the waist now, but 3" in length. I feel like they may shrink a teeny bit more once I do a real wash and dry.

This is almost exactly what I did with my new 501 STFs, with the same results (especially the "cardboard"! they are amazingly stiff after the full dry.) The overall fit is very nice.

For what it's worth, I think putting them in the dryer (the last words of the charming young lady from the Levi's store to me: "whatever you do, don't put them in the dryer" ) shrinks them by quite a bit. The key is to pull them out before they're fully dry; over-drying them can both damage the fabric and ruin the shape. They were still a bit damp out of the dryer, so I finished up by line-drying them, and over the drying process they shrunk substantially.

Also for what it's worth, I did use a half cup of white vinegar in the bathtub, but even then had some color leech into the water, but they're still very dark. I think the vinegar helps if you have heavily treated water; our D.C. water is so heavily treated that you can almost smell the chlorine in it after filling up the tub, so depending on the water, adding some vinegar might be appropriate.
post #33 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash View Post
I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here?

Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?

No, not really. You're just not invited.
post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by starcrash View Post
I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here? Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?
I agree. Adding salt and/or vinegar is a myth and does little to minimse indigo loss. There is also little point soaking and then washing the jeans. MIners in the 1920s, loggers in the 1930s and bikers in the 1940s all seemed to get pretty good fades without agonising about such matters. Perhaps these rituals do have some value, though; it's a little like throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill any, crossing yourself if you see a black cat or not stepping on the cracks in the pavement. Most people who do these things don't get eaten by monsters. (but they waste a lot of time)
post #35 of 89
Is drying a pair of STF's after the soak going to change the color of the denim? I soaked my regular STF's twice but would like them to shrink a bit more, and don't want them to fade. Obvi I need to take them out before they're completely dry.
post #36 of 89
So by dry I meant in a dryer...in case it wasnt clear
post #37 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo-T View Post
I agree.

Adding salt and/or vinegar is a myth and does little to minimse indigo loss. There is also little point soaking and then washing the jeans. MIners in the 1920s, loggers in the 1930s and bikers in the 1940s all seemed to get pretty good fades without agonising about such matters.

Perhaps these rituals do have some value, though; it's a little like throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill any, crossing yourself if you see a black cat or not stepping on the cracks in the pavement. Most people who do these things don't get eaten by monsters.

(but they waste a lot of time)

Do you have any scientific evidence to back that up? Otherwise, I think the uninitiated could do worse than trusting some Japanese denim master.

The first wash juggles different factors, which people may prioritize differently.

Soaking in water shrinks them. Some people don't give a fuck, they'll wear two sizes too big, two sizes too small, what's the big deal, right?

Washing them removes starch, which can cause excessive abrasions, most infamously the crotch blowout. Some people don't give a fuck. Cool, easy access, whatever.

However, washing does bleed indigo. That's where all the vinegar, salt, woolite, comes in: mild cleansers remove the least amount of dye. Some people don't give a fuck, they'll blast their jeans with oxyclean and rock on like Bon Jovi. Cool, whatever.

Lastly, the spin cycle supposedly allows for even dye distribution. Since indigo is inevitably being removed when the jeans are submerged in water and/or detergent, spinning makes a little more sense, whereas if jeans just sat in a basin, the indigo would be caught in the folds, released at creases, etc. Some people don't give a fuck and don't mind hypercolor jeans. Cool, whateva.

There's a billion ways to treat jeans, from rolling-your-eyes-omg-these-are-just-jeans to people who would never even wear the jeans, just stroke the selvage when they get the urge.

But for many people, $200 bucks is a lot to spend on a pair of jeans, and I don't know, maybe it's not unreasonable for them to try to get it right.
post #38 of 89
WHo said soaking didn't make a difference? Not me. Rather, it is pointless soaking AND washing, you might as well simply wash them.

Likewise, the vinegar story is an urban myth. There is no evidence it prevents indigo loss. Vinegar is used in acid dye processes, such as for wool and silk. Indigo is an alkali dye.

Simply soak your jeans, if they're not sanforized, and then wear them, as hard as you can, go out and do some biking, scrub the floors, just live in them rather than obsessing and all the other variables will make little difference.

post #39 of 89
Thread Starter 
Didn't you read my original post? I washed after the handsoak because I didn't see enough shrinkage. I got the extra shrinkage I was looking for. It worked for me. It's not a science for me, I didn't do a double-blind experiment.

You can poo-poo vinegar and salt all you want. Urban myth? Most people don't even know about dry denim, let alone using vinegar and salt to treat 'em. Personally, I did it because a lot of denim heads recommend it. You're questioning vinegar's ability to retain the dye, but I've always considered salt and vinegar cleansing agents, such as removing some starch and factory oils in the denim, in order to prevent premature and excessive wear and tear to the denim. In fact, I saw such little dye loss in the handwash that I went ahead and used woolite dark, because at that point, I was more worried by the aforementioned crotch blowouts than indigo loss.

I still like the logic of warm soaking to get most of the shrinkage out of the way, vinegar and salt removing factory oils and starch, and the spin cycle evening out the indigo. Makes sense to me, and that's why I did it.

Anyways, I just posted what I was doing, including questions I had. Never meant to be a manifesto. I do what I do, you can do what you do.

I mean, hey I think the jeans you posted look like abercrombie washes. You like em like that, that's cool. Personally I hate the american eagle looking generic mall jeans.

I like mine much darker with more contrast, they're more unique that way. Which is why I (and I suppose others) try to figure shit out to make that happen.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by undarted View Post
I mean, hey I think the jeans you posted look like abercrombie washes. You like em like that, that's cool. Personally I hate the american eagle looking generic mall jeans.
LOL. Your science is dodgy but you we all have a right to our own taste! And are you going to show us photos that show how the salt-n'vinegar approach has worked for you so far? The proof will be in the pudding, or fish'n'chips. I only ask because this myth is starting to become prevalent, a bit like an erroneous wikipedia entry, it's unlikely to any harm but it is a waste of items that would be more useful on your French Fries. More abercrombie...
post #41 of 89
Thread Starter 
yeah, nice way of trying to play it off...you're too cool for school, laughing at us for wasting our time, while spending plenty of time talking about this. Oh what, you're a professional myth debunker? Public crusade to ration salt and vinegar? Who are you kidding? And you haven't addressed any of my points. But you did post a picture - apparently passing the "wasting a lot of time" phase? Like I said, your initial pictures look like mall jeans. Your above picture is supposed to be a response to that, by presenting darker jeans with more contrast. Yeah, you got em - along with the tears forming where you cuff the jeans - and the beginnings of crotch blowout. You know, I heard salt and vinegar could help with that. Oh well, too late. But hey, I'm not one to bitch w/o putting up. This would be good for the thread. Obviously unless somebody does an experiment using two of the exact same jeans, it wouldn't say much. But whatever, like I said, I'm happy with my results and I don't really bother to fuck with what I did, and risk something like the holes in your crotch. My 47's are at my girl's place, but here are a pair of NS, around 18 months old: The contrast is shit compared to my 47's, which have a much deeper dye. But whateva, it's what I got right now. Have fun deciding between your mall jeans or crotch blowouts. I'm sure your condescending attitude will keep you warm as your crotch holes form.
post #42 of 89
Not impressive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by undarted View Post

My 47's are at my girl's place, but here are a pair of NS, around 18 months old:





The contrast is shit compared to my 47's, which have a much deeper dye. But whateva, it's what I got right now.

Have fun deciding between your mall jeans or crotch blowouts. I'm sure your condescending attitude will keep you warm as your crotch holes form.
post #43 of 89
Sorry if I come across as condescending. i am simply trying to save you time. I can understand that you're annoyed because I'm pointing out you're subscribing to an urban myth, but you'll have to deal with it, because that's what it is.

If you want to wash out starch use soap - although that's not strictly necessary as starch is water-soluble. Salt and/or vinegar won't help. Nor will it prevent crotch blowouts!

If you don't believe me, do some googling. Look at posts by people like ringring at superfuture. Anyone who works in the denim industry will tell you that the vinegar story comes from folklore, and is mainly a misunderstanding coming from its use in animal-derived fabrics like wool and silk. Not cotton.

I've seen some of the justification here for use of vinegar and none of it makes sense. Indigo is not any more/less soluble in vinegar than it is in water (in fact it's insoluble in both). There is a terrific book on Indigo by Jenny Balfour-Paul which goes into wonderful detail about indigo dyeing, and although some dyers have used buffalo blood to get a better blue, none of them uses salt or vinegar.

This is simply a fact, which you can deny as you wish, or combine with insults to me Lee jeans (about which I'm very upset, obvously!).
post #44 of 89
Pablo-T, what was your final shrinkage on your 55's and 47's after machine washing? I have them both in a 34 inseam and and want them to not be less than 32. I'm thinking I"ll only hand wash them cold and hang dry.
post #45 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabeagiant View Post
Pablo-T, what was your final shrinkage on your 55's and 47's after machine washing?
My 1947, first pair, shrank from 34 to 32 1/4 in the inseam. The second pair only lost an inch, down to 33, after one wash at 30 or 40 degrees. I got my 55s in 32/32 as opposed to my usual 34/34, and they seem to have shrunk a full two inches in the leg (so now I can only wear them with mocs or deck shoes!) by the time they popped out of the washer. This was despite making a rudimentary jig to reduce shrinking but only succeeded in getting me some very odd looks from a friend when she popped round. The COne denim does seem to vary quite a lot, though, i had a lot of leg twist on the first 47s, none on the second, colour was different too. Of the current produciton, denim looks nicer on the 55.
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