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Raw denim stretch and shrink

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by ponch10, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    Hi All,

    Surely the topic has been discussed one way or another...but can't find the answer to my question.
    I found Edwin ED-45 is pretty much what I look for, relaxed, tapered, raw denim, good value.

    The question is sizing though: I seem to be in between W31 and W32. My personal taste is for the right fit, so not skinny, and not baggy. Just enough room to move in it.
    W31 fits pretty snug, not uncomfortable that I can't wear it, but not so comfortable that I can do gymnastics in it :). The fit would definitely benefit from loosening up a bit.
    W32 feels comfy, not huge, but it would benefit from a post wash shrink, as on the legs you can see that there is a bit too much fabric, and the waist could be easily smaller.

    Edwin suggests that being their denim sanforized, a shrinkage of 2-5% is to be expected. This is really the difference between W31 and W32, or W32 and W33. However, I know that raw denim is stiff at first and it is meant to be broken in before it gets looser and molds on you.

    My question to you is the following: after all the stretching and shrinking is done, after I wore it for 1 year and perhaps washed it twice, should I expected the denim to be a bit looser, or a bit tighter than what it is brand new? In other words, is the net effect of loosening and stretching a stretch or a shrink?

    I am not so worried about the lenght here, but about the width.

    Thanks guys!
     

  2. capooo

    capooo Member

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    In my experience I would rather get the smaller size. Most Raw denim will stretch a bit over time. If after a few months of wear you soak them they will shrink, but not too much, especially with a cool water soak.. Some guys like soaking sanforized denim before wearing, but it is unnecessary and will reduce your fading potential as you lose indigo.
     

  3. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    Thanks. So you are saying that on the long run, despite careful soaks, raw denim will get looser rather than tighter? I mean the loosening effect will in fact be permanent week after week, regardless of washes?
     

  4. robroy82

    robroy82 Active Member

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    Ehhhhh, what? You don’t gain material over time.
    Assuming we’re talking about the same thing “raw” denim, unwashed cotton, will shrink when it touches water and depending on the brand will stretch back out, some.
    They will NOT magically gain more fabric the more you wear it.
    “One wash, pre-shrunk, sanforized,” all might stretch with some wear, depending on the brand etc. I wouldn’t count on much though.
     

  5. capooo

    capooo Member

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    If you wear them for a year and wash twice during that year you will end up with more stretch than shrink for sure. I soak mine after 6 months or so, doesn't matter APC, naked and famous, unbranded, whatever. They have all stretched in the waist and thighs after a few weeks of wear. After 6 months you soak, they will likely go back to around OG measurements, but will stretch back out again. If you wash weekly they will never really stretch, but that is not done often with raws.
     

  6. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    By the sound of it , it seems like shrink and stretch aren't permanent then. I mean the soak would just make the cotton temporary firmer and ready to loosen up again. But as you say, if washes are infrequent, the garment will spend most of the time in a "loose" state, and hence wear more comfortably.
    Am I reading it right?
    First pair of raw denim, be patient . .
     

  7. capooo

    capooo Member

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    Yeah you got it.

    Sanforized denim is one wash, and is pre-shrunk. There is unsanforized which is not preshrunk, which you would "shrink to fit". but with a pre-shrunk pair I would suggest getting the 31s for you, if the 32s are a bit big now they will never really fit well.
     

  8. Reiver

    Reiver Senior Member

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    In my experience buy raw denim snug in the waist and it will stretch. It will then get snug again after each wash but will always stretch back out to pre wash size.

    This is less so in the thighs and any shrinkage in the inseam length is hard to stretch back out. You can stretch the legs by hand when they’re damp but it won’t make a huge difference.

    This is all for sanforized denim although I have found the same result with levis shrink to fit in terms of the waist.

    I always buy them so that the top button is a bit of effort to fasten up from new and find they stretch out to a nice comfortable fit fairly soon. Don’t go too tight though and make sure there’s plenty of room in the thigh.
     

  9. Reiver

    Reiver Senior Member

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    This has worked with levis white oak selvedge, Edwin red listed selvedge, iron heart 21oz selvedge etc for me
     

  10. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    Great, I have the ed45 in red selvedge in fact, so that is a good data point.

    Thighs are honestly what worry me the most. The relaxed fit practically fits me as the skinny fit does on the models :)

    I wouldn't say there is plenty of room there, but they are far from being glued on the quads. A bit looser though would be perfect, but I am talking about less than an inch, maybe half. From what you and the other guys are saying, it should be achievable!
     

  11. Reiver

    Reiver Senior Member

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    Yes i’m sure they should give a little in the thighs but not as much as the waist.

    I have Edwin Nashville in red selvedge and they fit really well.

    I had some ED55 rainbow selvedge which I couldn’t fasten at first but managed and they did stretch but never enough to be comfortable so I sold them on.

    I also have some ED47 rainbow selvedge which are too loose but I wear them once in a while for a comfort fit.

    I’ve learned via a few mistakes how to get a decent fit!
     

  12. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    Yes, probably the best thing is to try and make mistakes, avoiding spending $300 on that mistake! :)
     

  13. Jonas251

    Jonas251 Senior Member

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    Yo so there is confusion because you are conflating raw denim with something else (selvedge is my guess from reading this). Denim cannot be raw and sanforized. Raw means it has not been sanforized or washed. That’s the only thing that makes denim raw (the appeal being what it does to accelerate and sharpen fades). Here are some guides that will be helpful.

    https://www.heddels.com/2011/09/the-essential-raw-denim-breakdown-our-100th-article/

    http://www.tellason.com/the-journal/sanforized-vs-unsanforized-denim/
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019

  14. ponch10

    ponch10 Member

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    Actually, raw can be sanforized, and most are. At least in the Edwin case, you get sanforized, unwashed jeans, which provide you with the raw experience, just they won't shrink as much. As I understand, majority of jeans (raw and non) out there is sanforized, just because is easier for the final customer to size it properly.

    You are right, selvedge is another feature which is not relevant when it comes to sizing though.
     

  15. Jonas251

    Jonas251 Senior Member

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    Yeah after looking into it more, you’re right.
     

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