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Preventing fades in selvedge denim

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by noremac, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. noremac

    noremac Active Member

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    I love selvedge denim, but I don't like the way it fades. Does anyone know if there is a way to set the dye in a new pair of your jeans so that it doesn't develop the so-called whiskers, honeycombs, and stacking fades?

    Currently, I only get about six months of wear out of denim (without washing) before it looks too worn to wear to the office, and I'd like to increase that time to as long as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    There is no way of doing this. However, some jeans tend to fade less than others. I would recommend that you call a specialist, like the guys at Self Edge (www.selfedge.com) or Blueowl.us to get a good suggestion.

    Good luck.
     
  3. skriefal

    skriefal Senior member

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    The softer fabrics and stretch fabrics will fade slower.
     
  4. Best4Best

    Best4Best Well-Known Member

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    Get a pair of Deep Indigo from N&F and these would last at least a year without the high contrast fades. The other option is to get a black weft jean from 3sixteen .... Ask Jay from BlueOwl for other specific brands


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. gaseousclay

    gaseousclay Senior member

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    Apparently Italian selvedge denim are tough faders, so if you can find brands that sell Candiani selvedge you're good to go

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Pure Blue Japan's NC-005 are designed to not fade very easily (the NC stands for No Change).
     
    2 people like this.
  7. noremac

    noremac Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I'm not really interested in tracking down specific brands of denim - I live in a small city, and it's too much hassle to source rare products and have them shipped internationally.

    I was just hoping that there was some sort of treatment available that would help ensure the dye didn't wash away so easily. For example, I've heard that soaking denim in vinegar or salt water helps. Has anyone tried this?
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    For the most part, some reproduction brands aside, the indigo is already set this way. However, indigo is a surface dye, and will eventually fade. It's just the nature of the thing.
     
  9. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    That may help a little, but at the heart of it, you're essentially asking if there's a way to stop clothes from wearing down. Indigo denim fades when the white core is exposed. Since indigo doesn't completely penetrate the yarn, the material's white core is revealed when the top surface wears down.

    There's no treatment you can apply to sink the indigo in further. Or prevent the yarn from wearing down.

    You may be able to minimize how much indigo is lost through the cleaning process (I imagine that's what people are trying to do with the vinegar stuff). If that's your goal, maybe look into dry cleaning? But there's nothing you can do to stop yarns from wearing down.

    That said, some jeans fade faster than others. The PBJ NCs mentioned above, for example, are dyed with indanthrene, not indigo, which supposedly penetrates the yarn more.

    If you're up for non-blue jeans, I also find that certain black jeans keep their color for a long time. 3sixteen's black warp/ black weft denim (what they call their double black denim) is really, really hard to fade.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  10. noremac

    noremac Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. Good to know.
     
  11. Lancaster

    Lancaster Senior member

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    Reviving this thread. I too wear dark denim to the office. I like dark indigo but I'm concerned about the fading. I am trying Gustin blackXblack which has a black warp and woof and will hopefully not fade too badly. I spoke with the team at Gustin and they were not too optimistic though. I am also going to try the blueXblack and greyXblack and see how those go without fading. One factor in my favor is that I bike to and from work so my office wardrobe stays in my office and sees minimal movement and relatively no perspiration.
    @noremac have you had any success with the vinegar or salt wash to lock in the dye further?
     
  12. Lancaster

    Lancaster Senior member

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  13. noremac

    noremac Active Member

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    Hi @lancaster,

    Yes, I've had limited success with a vinegar wash. I have a pair of Unbranded Brand #UB101s that I've worn for about 13 months and are just beginning to show some light fading (honeycombs and whiskers). Although they are still ok for work, I've ordered a new pair to replace them. The cost has been that the crotch blew out of them about 6 month in, as I have only washed them once (since the original vinegar soak), and I had to have them repaired.

    Selvege denim is extremely fragile - it wears out fast and fades quickly. I still feel like I'm getting ripped off by paying more for selvedge, when it should be significantly cheaper. But I cannot beat the feel of new UB101s.
     
  14. max_r

    max_r Senior member

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    If you're going to be tossing them or not wearing them after they fade a certain amount, have you tried dying them? Granted this will also dye the weft threads which are typically white in normal jeans (only warp is indigo, which is why they're white on the inside). They'll look more like overdye jeans with indigo warp and weft.

    Alternatively, I don't think I've ever seen overdye jeans that were faded much at all (where both warp and weft is indigo, or black).

    Indigo just doesn't seem to like to stick to anything, just the nature of it. For what its worth, I've always worn raw indigo APC's and when they're new, the blue will rub off on everything. I've been breaking in a pair of the black raws, and I haven't noticed the black dye rubbing off on anything. Even a wet paper towel doesn't pull off any dye, where it does on new indigos. So black jeans may be harder to fade (if black jeans is something you're interested in).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  15. Lancaster

    Lancaster Senior member

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    Thanks @max_r. It makes send that denim with other colors (non-indigo) and with colored, not white woof, will fade less. I am purchasing in that assumption. I have a new pair of Gustin blackXblack and we'll see how it goes. I also purchased a pair of the redshirt Gustin that I have not started wearing yet but I hope it will not fade too much as I can get away with them, a dress shirt, tie and blazer at work
     
  16. Lancaster

    Lancaster Senior member

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    Thanks. I am new to denim (I got my first pair of jeans a few months ago in over fifteen years of buying my own clothing). Why do people want Selvedge? Is is because of the selvedge ID showing up when the pants are cuffed? I would have thought that the weave was more durable but it seems that your experience has been that the opposite is true. Also, why did you only wash them once? Would subsequent washing encouraged more fading?
     
  17. cadmonkey

    cadmonkey Senior member

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    All things being equal, selvedge fabric is woven on smaller looms which takes more time to weave=intrinsically higher cost. This is before any cmt (cut/make/trim) even takes place. Other things like aesthetics also come into play, but most would agree a self finished edge is more beautiful than an overlocked seam.

    IME washing more frequently won't discourage fading, but fades will be much less contrast so if you don't want the highs and lows of wiskering/combs that could be a way to go. It will definitely help against blowouts which occur from buildup of bacteria.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  18. noremac

    noremac Active Member

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    I think selvedge is a hipster trend. People love rare and expensive things that are finicky and allows them to be connoisseurs. Mainly, people like the status symbol that the "self-edge" provides - it shows that they paid a lot of money.

    I don't wash my jeans so that they stay as dark as possible for as long as possible. However, the advice on Style Forum and among denim-heads varies widely. Some say that one should never ever wash selvedge, and others say that you should wash it often. My feeling is that people take their personal preferences and state them as universal rules. In any case, the downside of not washing denim is that the fabric breaks down quicker. My experience is that selvedge is comfortable, as it molds to my body. However, every wash dramatically reduces the indigo, so after a few washes, they are done. Selvedge has a very short life. Ultimately, you can have dark selvedge that doesn't last, or faded selvedge that lasts slightly longer. In short, it is a luxury and status product, not a practical one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  19. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    It sounds like you just want dressy jeans, which is fine. And jeans that last long, which is also fine. But you've misunderstood why people buy raw, selvedge. Yes, the fabric breaks down. That's kind of the point.

    If you just want dark jeans, there are lots of options out there. No reason to pay $300 for a pair that's purposely built to fade nicely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  20. Lancaster

    Lancaster Senior member

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    Thanks guys. @dieworkwear. I am not particular, at least at this point, about selvedge or even raw denim. I do like denim, and I do like my denim dark. I havenonlynlookes ar Gustin but from what I have seen, I like indigo, black, brown, gray, burgundy and the other unusual colors they offer. Can you suggest other brands hat offer quality denim in these ranges of colors? Thanks!
     

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