The title of this article is deliberate, as for many the discussion of this subject is like an ice berg under the surface waiting to sink them in endless debate from the internets foremost experts to a dude with his first pair of Nudies. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and I am no different….except perhaps that I’m an asshole with an opinion.
There was recent controversy when the CEO of Levis made a public statement about not washing his jeans for 6 months, in my opinion this guy should have kept his mouth shut as he clearly doesn’t get it, or even worse he wants to propagate the myth of not washing raw denim to get that most hollowed of things “sick fadez”. My guess is that this business suit in denim wanted to get in on the cool bandwagon and show how much he was “down with the kids” when it comes to not washing his jeans, it didn’t work. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, jeans are made from cotton, cotton is a natural fabric and natural fabrics need to be washed or the build up of dirt will cause the fibres to wear and break. Call me weird, but if I’m spending over $300 on jeans I do like them to last a little longer than 6 months. On a very simple level jeans are clothes, and clean clothes are nicer to wear than dirty clothes.
This is my method, it was not taught to me by wizards living on the top of mountains in Kojima, it was not written in virgins blood on the tooth of a dragon, it was taught to me by my grandmother when I was a teenager and it goes like this…
– Initial soak in water as hot as your skin can take it, the soak should be for approximately 20 minutes and you should agitate them whilst soaking. This removes the majority of the shrink from raw material.
– Future washes should be done in the machine on a regular setting and should be done when you feel that your jeans need washing which will depend entirely on how much you wear them, what you are doing when you wear them and should in no way be linked to time.
– Dark cotton clothing tends to lose some of its colour on the first couple of machine washes which can lead to unsightly blemishes where colour is lost. Therefore it is best to wash the garment inside out to avoid the motion of the machine and rubbing against the drum causing uneven colour distribution.
– If you have had a night out on the town and your jeans smell of booze and cigarettes but are not actually dirty then simply hang them outside for a few hours to disperse the odour, no need to wash at all.
“But not washing for longer periods gives you sick combs” I hear people screaming, well if that’s what you believe and that is your thing and you don’t mind smelling a little then carry on doing what you’re doing. What I am trying to present is a little information about looking after your jeans in a none damaging manner whilst giving you lovely, natural, vintage style fades, exactly as the gods of denim intended them.