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How long should raw denim last?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My last pair of raw denim has only lasted eight months before the crotch has begun to blow out. I wear them pretty much every evening (I wear suits during the day) and have only washed them once (after purchasing and before wearing, to set the dye). I pay a premium to get raw denim, and I love the fit, but it seems unacceptable for them to wear out so early. Is eight months reasonable? Are my expectations too high?
post #2 of 15
If you don't regularly wash your pants, they aren't going to hold up.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick R View Post

If you don't regularly wash your pants, they aren't going to hold up.

But if I wash them, they will fade. Is raw denim a lose-lose situation? It's either they pre-maturely wear out or they pre-maturely fade?
post #4 of 15

Not washing your jeans for 8 months will increase the probability of a crotch blowout.  All of that grime, dirt, body oils, etc, weakens the denim fabric.  Washing your jeans occasionally will help with this - your jeans will last longer.  And the more regularly you wash, the more evenly distributed (and thus less obvious) any fading will be -- which seems to be what you're looking for.  This is true for all jeans (really, for all clothing) - raw, selvedge, or otherwise.

post #5 of 15
You can always get jean repaired. I use Denim Therapy in NYC (they take mail-ins). A standard crotch repair will run you about $25, but you'll have to factor ~$10 for shipping each way if you're not local

FWIW, they're running a 15% off promotion right now until August 1st. Just call them to ask about it.

With repairs, I have raw denim jeans that are still in rotation after six or seven years.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skriefal View Post

Not washing your jeans for 8 months will increase the probability of a crotch blowout.  All of that grime, dirt, body oils, etc, weakens the denim fabric.  Washing your jeans occasionally will help with this - your jeans will last longer.  And the more regularly you wash, the more evenly distributed (and thus less obvious) any fading will be -- which seems to be what you're looking for.  This is true for all jeans (really, for all clothing) - raw, selvedge, or otherwise.

the starch in the jeans also leads to wear and tear, but yes, dirt/grime/debris or whatever definitely causes denim to wear out. when you look at cuffed jeans you'll always see how frayed they become at the crease...we all know a ton of dirt/filth accumulates in the cuff and leads to the fraying.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skriefal View Post

And the more regularly you wash, the more evenly distributed (and thus less obvious) any fading will be -- which seems to be what you're looking for. 

Thanks for this. Actually, I'm not necessarily looking for even fades either. I'm looking for denim that stays dark for as long as possible. But I'm learning that there is a trade-off: not washing leads to disintegration of the fabric, and washing leads to fading.

I'm beginning to realise that raw denim is not a durable product, and if I want to keep wearing indigo denim, I'll just have to budget for purchasing a couple pairs a year. Or, I'll have to see if there is a brand of dark washed denim that I like (I'd like to consider Levi's, but their product information is so poor, it's hard to know what they're selling).

Thanks again for the info.
post #8 of 15
Switching to non-raw denim jeans won't really help here. Durability or lack thereof is an attribute of denim in general - not specific to raw denim.

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post #9 of 15
Quote:

Originally Posted by noremac View Post

 

Actually, I'm not necessarily looking for even fades either. I'm looking for denim that stays dark for as long as possible.


I agree that it sounds like you don't want raw denim. 

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by noremac View Post

I'm beginning to realise that raw denim is not a durable product

You can't really blame raw denim if you're been wearing your jeans every day for eight months without washing. Any pair of pants will disintegrate if you do that.

If you want dark jeans that will stay dark as long as possible, and hold up, then just get a pair of regular dark colored jeans and dry clean them regularly. Just note that they're still going to fade and fall apart at some point.
post #11 of 15
It depends on how well you take care of them. Having a steady rotation of other pairs of denim will certainly add the the longevity of the denim.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

You can't really blame raw denim if you're been wearing your jeans every day for eight months without washing. Any pair of pants will disintegrate if you do that.

You know, it's funny - when I was researching raw denim, every article I read said, "Never wash your denim!" And now that I've avoided washing my denim, people are saying, "Are you crazy? Wash your denim!"
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by noremac View Post

You know, it's funny - when I was researching raw denim, every article I read said, "Never wash your denim!" And now that I've avoided washing my denim, people are saying, "Are you crazy? Wash your denim!"

Those articles are about how to get higher contrast fades. Or more interesting fading patterns. If you don't wash your jeans, sometimes you'll get higher contrast fades across the lap and the back of the knees, but you'll also increase the likelihood of crotch blowouts. Dirt and grime will wear down the fibers.

If you just want dark jeans without any kind of fading, get a pair of regular dark wash jeans and dry clean them regularly. The point of raw, selvedge denim (sometimes unsanforized) is to get the kind of natural fading you see on vintage jeans. If you're not interested in that natural look of worn denim, there's no real reason to buy raw, unsanforized, or even selvedge.

Just know that all denim (and all clothes) wear out and fade. So you're going to have to buy new pairs somewhat regularly if you want that super dark look.
post #14 of 15

One more thing to consider is how tight they are, and how much thigh rubbing there is.  

 

Denim is much more abrasive than say, worsted wool pants, so if your jeans are tight and/or you don't have super skinny thighs, they are going to abrade more quickly than smoother materials.

 

That said, if you wear any single pair of pants every day for 8 months in a row, they are likely to wear down.  I

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by noremac View Post

But if I wash them, they will fade. Is raw denim a lose-lose situation? It's either they pre-maturely wear out or they pre-maturely fade?
Jeans fade. They're dyed with indigo, which is inherently unstable. So yes, either your jeans wear out faster because you don't wash them or they fade faster because you do.

You should probably look for some other type of casual pants.
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