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Levis lvc 501 1947 shrink-to-fit advice

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by undarted, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    i put my 47501's in a small container probably the size of a small/medium trashcan. i folded it leg over leg, then three times so it looked like it was on folded display at a store. I think i had them inside out also, which makes it difficult to flip around when soaking wet.

    I used the hottest water my tap could provide for 4 hours. it was a 30x34. the waist was 28 and i don't remember the length, but it seems like a 32 now. it turned out fine for me; i let them dry for a bit with a hanger in to stretch the waist a tad since i'm a true 29. with a few months they usually stretch to a 30, but always shrink back with wash.


    exactly, they stretch out so easily
     
  2. dougie

    dougie Senior member

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    So were these discontinued or what? Seems like they're on deep discount everywhere and sold out of most places--I just special ordered a pair from a Levi's store in Alabama for $60 shipped. Seems like an odd choice for Levi's to discontinue them, though. Anybody know what's up?
     
  3. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    So were these discontinued or what? Seems like they're on deep discount everywhere and sold out of most places--I just special ordered a pair from a Levi's store in Alabama for $60 shipped. Seems like an odd choice for Levi's to discontinue them, though. Anybody know what's up?

    i heard they are discontinued...
     
  4. dougie

    dougie Senior member

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    i heard they are discontinued...

    Pretty lame. I might have to pick up an insurance pair and stash it away somewhere.
     
  5. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    Pretty lame. I might have to pick up an insurance pair and stash it away somewhere.

    i was trying to do the same thing, don't know a physical place i could get it though
     
  6. Curious_George

    Curious_George Senior member

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    So were these discontinued or what? Seems like they're on deep discount everywhere and sold out of most places--I just special ordered a pair from a Levi's store in Alabama for $60 shipped. Seems like an odd choice for Levi's to discontinue them, though. Anybody know what's up?
    Did you get Levi's customer service to track down a pair or did you just call up stores until you found some in stock? I'd love to grab some 47s before they're all gone but my closest Levi's store only carries the crappy non-lvc 1947 models.
     
  7. dougie

    dougie Senior member

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    I went into a store here in New York and actually found a pair, but they were the last ones in the store and not my size. They didn't have a price so I took them to the register and asked how much they were, then asked if they had any more. The associate did a quick lookup and found that there weren't any more in any of the NYC stores but that they had some in Birmingham, so she just gave me the number of that store. Once I confirm I got the right size I'll probably order another pair. I mean for $14 above regular STF retail you can't really argue.
     
  8. Cid

    Cid Senior member

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    Are you referring to the LVC 1947 501s in deadstock? I would get a few pairs for $60 if I could find them. Cultizm still has plenty for ~$180/pair.
     
  9. kit99bar

    kit99bar Senior member

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    It's tempting but I can't justify getting another pair of 47s to store away for later when I'm already working on a pair. I'll spend the cash towards a different brand/fit since there are so many great jeans out there. It's very tempting though. [​IMG]
     
  10. wmb

    wmb Senior member

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    I have never seen the 1947 501XX LVC in a Levis store discounted or not... I have 2 pairs of these and they are the perfect blank jean -- great fit and quality. The denim blows away the APC's that I have had in the past in my opinion... also better than Premium Levis.

    Love em.
     
  11. starcrash

    starcrash Senior member

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    Also, after soaking to shrink the jeans, I do want to wash them in order to remove factory oils and starch (don't want premature holes forming). I picked up some Woolite Dark, which has gotten approval here. However, I've read that washing them in a conventional washer can damage the jeans. Question #2: Should I just handwash them? On the other hand, I've heard that putting them through the washing machine/spin helps even out the indigo.
    I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here? Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?
     
  12. Tiberias

    Tiberias Active Member

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    Here's what I did with some plain 501 STF, not LVC, but the method should be similar.

    1. Run hot water in bathtub
    2. Wear jeans in tub for ~30 minutes
    3. Put in dryer for 30 minutes. Since it was winter and kinda cold I couldn't wear them till dryness
    4. Out of dryer now lightly damp, put them on and break in the form again. Note much shrinkage
    5. Took off and let air dry
    6. "OMG I've created cardboard!" Find stiffest jeans ever waiting for me, much more so than NWT
    7. Profit!...err wear till they break in

    The normal STF only shrink ~1" in the waist now, but 3" in length. I feel like they may shrink a teeny bit more once I do a real wash and dry.


    This is almost exactly what I did with my new 501 STFs, with the same results (especially the "cardboard"! they are amazingly stiff after the full dry.) The overall fit is very nice.

    For what it's worth, I think putting them in the dryer (the last words of the charming young lady from the Levi's store to me: "whatever you do, don't put them in the dryer" [​IMG] ) shrinks them by quite a bit. The key is to pull them out before they're fully dry; over-drying them can both damage the fabric and ruin the shape. They were still a bit damp out of the dryer, so I finished up by line-drying them, and over the drying process they shrunk substantially.

    Also for what it's worth, I did use a half cup of white vinegar in the bathtub, but even then had some color leech into the water, but they're still very dark. I think the vinegar helps if you have heavily treated water; our D.C. water is so heavily treated that you can almost smell the chlorine in it after filling up the tub, so depending on the water, adding some vinegar might be appropriate.
     
  13. undarted

    undarted Senior member

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    I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here?

    Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?


    No, not really. You're just not invited.
     
  14. Pablo-T

    Pablo-T Senior member

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    I don't get it. Why did you go through the trouble of hand-soaking your jeans if you're just going to turn around and wash them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought the idea with STF denim was to soak so you don't have to wash them. What am I missing here? Are you really that concerned about "factory oils and starch?" Sounds like maybe you're over-researched this thing, perhaps?
    I agree. 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)
     
  15. acarlton

    acarlton Well-Known Member

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    Is drying a pair of STF's after the soak going to change the color of the denim? I soaked my regular STF's twice but would like them to shrink a bit more, and don't want them to fade. Obvi I need to take them out before they're completely dry.
     
  16. acarlton

    acarlton Well-Known Member

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    So by dry I meant in a dryer...in case it wasnt clear
     
  17. undarted

    undarted Senior member

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    I agree.

    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.
     
  18. Pablo-T

    Pablo-T Senior member

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    WHo said soaking didn't make a difference? Not me. Rather, it is pointless soaking AND washing, you might as well simply wash them.

    Likewise, the vinegar story is an urban myth. There is no evidence it prevents indigo loss. Vinegar is used in acid dye processes, such as for wool and silk. Indigo is an alkali dye.

    Simply soak your jeans, if they're not sanforized, and then wear them, as hard as you can, go out and do some biking, scrub the floors, just live in them rather than obsessing and all the other variables will make little difference.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. undarted

    undarted Senior member

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    Didn't you read my original post? I washed after the handsoak because I didn't see enough shrinkage. I got the extra shrinkage I was looking for. It worked for me. It's not a science for me, I didn't do a double-blind experiment.

    You can poo-poo vinegar and salt all you want. Urban myth? Most people don't even know about dry denim, let alone using vinegar and salt to treat 'em. Personally, I did it because a lot of denim heads recommend it. You're questioning vinegar's ability to retain the dye, but I've always considered salt and vinegar cleansing agents, such as removing some starch and factory oils in the denim, in order to prevent premature and excessive wear and tear to the denim. In fact, I saw such little dye loss in the handwash that I went ahead and used woolite dark, because at that point, I was more worried by the aforementioned crotch blowouts than indigo loss.

    I still like the logic of warm soaking to get most of the shrinkage out of the way, vinegar and salt removing factory oils and starch, and the spin cycle evening out the indigo. Makes sense to me, and that's why I did it.

    Anyways, I just posted what I was doing, including questions I had. Never meant to be a manifesto. I do what I do, you can do what you do.

    I mean, hey I think the jeans you posted look like abercrombie washes. You like em like that, that's cool. Personally I hate the american eagle looking generic mall jeans.

    I like mine much darker with more contrast, they're more unique that way. Which is why I (and I suppose others) try to figure shit out to make that happen.
     
  20. Pablo-T

    Pablo-T Senior member

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    I mean, hey I think the jeans you posted look like abercrombie washes. You like em like that, that's cool. Personally I hate the american eagle looking generic mall jeans.
    LOL. Your science is dodgy but you we all have a right to our own taste! And are you going to show us photos that show how the salt-n'vinegar approach has worked for you so far? The proof will be in the pudding, or fish'n'chips. I only ask because this myth is starting to become prevalent, a bit like an erroneous wikipedia entry, it's unlikely to any harm but it is a waste of items that would be more useful on your French Fries. More abercrombie... [​IMG]
     

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