How to Finally Wash Raw Denim?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Agent J, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Agent J

    Agent J Active Member

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    I have a pair of APC New Standards that I've worn for 1.5 yrs. I think it's about time to wash them--not because they stink--but because I finally want them to fade. There are tons of posts regarding how to wash raw denim to preserve the color, get rid of the stink, etc.--usually these methods include everything from soaking them in the tub to steam cleaning, etc.

    However, there seems to be a dearth of posts regarding how to actually wash the jeans after 1 or 2 years of wear to achieve the fade effect. Do you just put them in the washing machine or what?
     


  2. lemmywinks

    lemmywinks Senior member

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    Put them in the washing machine and hang dry. I guess don't bother flipping them inside out so they fade a tad more and don't use some special color preserving detergent. Hang dry... But it really doesn't matter that much from my experience.
     


  3. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    I guess you are not down with the Edwin-approved Shoai Hank-dyed LHT sandpaper method yet?

    1. cook jeans in boiling water + 1 cup of apple vinegar for 45 minutes
    2. lay flat on concrete pavement - the colder the better (freezing is best)
    3. put #4 grit sandpaper disk on a rotary sander
    4. turn speed to "MAX" and gently rub up and down the shaft of each leg for 15 minutes each shaft
    5. after about 15 minutes of this, rest for 2 minutes (need to let the shafts refract)
    6. repeat 3x more on each shaft, and then flip and repeat on the underside of each shaft.

    don't worry, it will look like you shredded your jeans at first, but the next day you will have epic fucking fades
     


  4. lckychrmsbboy

    lckychrmsbboy Senior member

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    I agree with pebblegrain!! 3 times might not do it though, you may want to do it about 5 times for best results
     


  5. superego

    superego Senior member

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    There seem to be two camps and differing approaches on this:

    (1) Denim Preservation Camp - Warm/hot soak and hang dry.
    • Fill the tub (make sure it's clean first) with enough warm water to fully submerge the denim, dropping a 'small load' portion of Woolite Dark into the water as it's filling.
    • Lay the jeans flat into the tub and press down to make sure the jeans are fully submerged. You can jostle slightly to loosen and caked in dirt.
    • Let set the detergent bottle or some other item onto the jeans to keep them submerged and let them sit for 30-45 minutes.
    • Drain the tub and refill with clean water, no soap this time. Set the jeans in the water and jostle to rinse. You can roll them up and rinse under the faucet to get out any extra soap, wringing as needed.
    • Hang on a hanger (either one with clips or by sliding the hook through a rear belt loop) and let sit on your shower curtain rod overnight, or until dry.

    It's not science, and any number of the variables can be tweaked to taste. The Woolite Dark is to prevent indigo loss, but any non-harsh detergent (powders seem to be preferred) can be substituted if you're not super concerned about it. Hotter water will likely result in marginally more shrink, so you can use hot water rather than warm or cold if you're looking to get your jeans back to a bit snugger fit.

    (2) "They're Just Jeans" Camp - Warm/hot machine wash and hang dry.
    • Drop the jeans into your washer inside out on the gentlest and shortest cycle with a 'small load' quantity of Woolite Dark. They'll likely bleed, so best to do them separately.
    • Nix the extra rinse cycle if your washer has the option. If not, it's not a huge deal. It can be helpful to use a garment bag to avoid getting excessive creasing/contorting as a result of the wash.
    • Once the cycle is complete, hang dry as above--hang on a hanger (either one with clips or by sliding the hook through a rear belt loop) and let sit on your shower curtain rod overnight, or until dry. You can do a partial or full machine dry (with heat) to get some extra shrink--you'll see much more shrink based on dryer heat than water heat, so be advised.

    You'll see a bit more indigo wash with the 2nd method. Some will argue this is undesirable as loss of indigo due to wear will result in pronounced and more interesting fades, but at I'm of the mind that indigo loss is indigo loss. Best bet with any of this stuff is to try one method, see how it works for you and tweak some things if it doesn't work. It's much more art (and personal preference) than science, and truthfully you really can't fuck it up unless you use bleach instead of detergent or something equally retarded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012


  6. nicelynice

    nicelynice Senior member

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    this is disgusting wash your pants

    they're pants!!!
     


  7. g transistor

    g transistor Senior member

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  8. Nereis

    Nereis Senior member

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    First, you must ascertain that the date is auspicious by consulting your feng shui calendar. Then, after careful consultation of the bones, the moon and the cowdung you must first bathe in the blood of one hundred virgins (WoW players are an easy source) before putting on your hazmat suit and rolling the pair of jeans in a tincture of lime, sulfur and mango juice (the mango juice is non negotiable).

    After all the preparations are ready, you may then proceed to put on your jeans, walk into the ocean and masturbate into the foam. Then, and only then, will your raw jeans be ready.
     


  9. cheapmutha

    cheapmutha Senior member

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    i personally, for the first wash, hand wash in hot water in the tub. i use some dr bronners(mint is nice) and work it thru the jeans. then i piss in the tub and let it soak for one hour. the urea in your piss helps prevent indigo loss... its used in the production of natrual indigo, and is good to help reset the dye. then i rinse till the water coming off the jeans is clear, and hang dry outside. ive had amazing results with this method.

    after the first wash, you can put them in the machine and wash warm. turn em inside out so they dont get vertical crease fades on them. always hang dry.
     


  10. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    Eh, I used to harvest my own urea but I was never pumping out quite enough for all my APCs (I have 37 pairs). I had to supplement with synthetic bottled stuff imported from Kanagawa prefecture and that shit was expensive. I couldn't afford it, thats why I switched to the Hank Method.


    STFU Noob
     


  11. Sad Panda

    Sad Panda Active Member

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    Thanks Superego! Good information here. Not sure if this thread is being followed but I have a few questions below (yeah, more than a few I know :) :

    1. I'm in the (1) Denim Preservation Camp so the questions will generally relate to this method. Do you use this method for all ongoing washes or just the 1st wash?
    2. Do you stretch the inseam gently to retain the length? (I wear mine cuffed, not stacked and like the extra length)
    3. Do you unroll the cuffs when you wash?
    4. why not wash in cold water? Is warm water to get shrinkage or higher contrast fades (or both)?
    5. what's you opinion of wearing when still damp for 15 mins in order to stretch out the denim to your exact shape for a perfect fit after the shrinkage due to the wash?
    6. Wash inside out, but do you also hang dry inside out?
    7. Do you always pre-soak unsanforized denim?
    8. do you presoak sanforized denim as well or can you pre-soak it without ruining the fades you get after a 1st wash? The theory is to prevent or decrease the severity of crotch blows out due to the removal of starch during the pre-soak?

    cheers
     


  12. larryr

    larryr Senior member

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    Just put them in a bucket with warm water and some woolite, agitate gently. Turn them inside out.

    It's very simple, you won't loose much color. Anything else any you're way over thinking it. I've done it a million times.

    Hang dry by back belt loop. If you want, try them on while still wet for shape
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014


  13. Hirsh

    Hirsh Senior member

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    I think I'm going to wash my Naked and Famous cashmere stretch, because I got mud on them out in the rsin.

    Shame, because they're going hairy, which I don't like, and soft.

    My Super Slubs have only been washed twice but I need them to shrink a little to fit perfectly...

    My Glow in the Dark are loose on the top block and thighs, but have shrunk, because the calves are tight and I've got no muscle...

    They're great value, great fun jeans, but not the Holy Greail of denim:)
     


  14. tongliparty

    tongliparty New Member

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    you may then proceed to put on your jeans, walk into the ocean and masturbate into the foam. Then, and only then, will your raw jeans be ready.​
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014


  15. Sad Panda

    Sad Panda Active Member

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    Cheers. Yeah, I know I'm overthinking it, but I'm kinda interested in the art/science part of the process and I'm willing to give the "long way" a try. Why warm water, not cold? Do you soak them submerged as well or simply agitate for 5 mins or so?

    I think I'll try wearing them when damp to see if the fits any better. My wife will think I'm a geek, but so be it :)

    cheers
     


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