Answer (first posted by @Bullitt ):
The starch is not helping with the fading of your jeans. You soak denim to get rid of the starch and all the other stuff you don't want to be in contact with your skin. Soaking or washing a pair of jeans before you wear them is about hygiene and will not affect the fading of your jeans negatively.
I also recommend hot-soaking them because even though they are sanforised, they will still shrink a bit. Some of the experienced members here soak new jeans three times before they start breaking them in.
This Q&A was first posted in our I have a Jean thread (clever, right?) Want to ask a question or contribute your knowledge to the community? Join the discussion here.
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