Originally Posted by Pablo-T
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.