Welcome to the first of our Warp&Weft Wednesdays! This series will be about everything denim and will be posted occasionally on, of course, Wednesdays. Today’s post is an introduction, of sorts, to raw denim and also a visual showcase of my experience of washing my first real pair of raws.
So unless you guys actually know me relatively well and/or you know a bit about the crazy world of denim, you are probably wondering what raw denim is. Luckily for me, my favorite denim blog has a guide on it, but I’m going to sum it up for you here.
Also known as “dry denim” for its hard texture, according to Wikipedia, raw denim is “a denim fabric that is not washed after being dyed during its production”. According to the site, raw denim is denim that has been unwashed, untreated, and virtually untouched to the extent that it remains in its pure form. Despite raw denim jeans varying between manufacturers, aesthetically speaking there are some features shared – including the rigid, crisp look and feel; industrial, clean design; and sturdy construction.
My favorite aspect of raw denim jeans is that each pair ends up telling a story. When you buy raw denim, you are making a commitment to wear down and break in these jeans for at least a year without washing them. The end product is something absolutely personal; every fade, wrinkle, crease, and even stain tells a story. And the feeling that you get when you finally wash those jeans after that long period is amazingly satisfying. So you ask why not just buy jeans that are pre-washed and distressed? I ask you, why not buy a used lamborghini instead of a brand new one? The satisfaction is not the same. Its just not personal.
I just recently washed my first real pair of raw denim. They were a pair of Ironhearts 301S 21oz. I have been wearing them for a little over a year and finally decided that it was time to wash them. I even contemplated washing them at the 6 month-ish mark because the thought of not washing them for that long was gross to me, but I pulled through and it was worth it. Now they look beautiful, but I am still hoping for a bit more of a fade now that they’ve been washed. I also just bought a new pair of raws! A pair of dark grey Levi’s Selvedge Goods Calder Jeans, we’ll see how these are. I was originally going to buy a pair of indigo A.P.C.‘s, but the idea of a premium Levi’s selvedge line was intriguing and since they had a huge sale, I decided to grab a pair. And now I’m broke. Sigh.
I even made a little video documenting the process of washing it and also the before, during, and after shots. I know, you guys probably think I’m crazy for this, but trust me, once you go raw you can’t go back. Pause. I did a simple wash on my jeans. Got some Woolite Dark, warm water, soak and massage, and then soak for about 45 minutes. Then hang dry. You can also see more photos from the project on my Flickr HERE.
Be sure to stay tuned for more from our Warp&Weft Wednesday series, where we’ll be posting on everything denim!
For more information on raw denim, check out Rawr Denim.