Question (first posted by @buttonman ): I've read in some other forum saying that washing your raw jeans before you start wearing them in helps lock in the indigo color. they say that since you get rid of the sharp creases, it becomes harder to break in

Answer (first posted by @Asch ): If you wash your jeans right away, they will, along with losing a little indigo uniformly, lose a lot of their "sizing," some starch-like crap used during the manufacturing process to make the denim easier to work with. This will, in turn, make it take longer for high-contrast fades to appear, since there will be fewer high-stress areas of stiff creasing. (Guys who want to accelerate the fading process like to frequently add more starch to their jeans, especially in the honeycomb and whisker areas.)

So, yeah, if your goal is to avoid high-contrast fades, it might make sense to soak or wash the sizing out of your new jeans. You might also want to wash them relatively frequently thereafter so that indigo loss is more uniform throughout the jeans, rather than being extremely concentrated in those areas that receive the most stress and abrasion.
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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