Raw denim is the fabric in its purest form, directly from the loom and the dyeing process, it has not been washed or treated.
It retains its original indigo color, its touch is more rigid, and with use it acquires a less uniform appearance than we are used to. This is what makes raw denim so special, the way the color will wear based on your use, habits and style over time.
Sanforized and shrinkage.
Some consider that only denim directly from the loom can be called raw denim. Others include sanforizing or pre-shrinking, a process that exposes denim to water and steam to reduce the amount of shrinkage that can occur after the first wash of the jeans.
Unsanforized denim is often referred to as “dry”, since it has not been exposed to water or steam at all. But the sanforized denim, which has not yet been treated or washed, still falls under the umbrella of the raw denim since it maintains the process of molding or “domestication” as well as its wear results. Even so, sanforized jeans simply won’t mould to your body in a way as unsanforized jeans does.
In its first wash, a sanforized denim will shrink approximately 1-2%, while unsanforized up to 10%. In this case, Xiro uses sanforized denim in all of his designs, so choosing your standard size is a safe option, since shrinkage is minimal and over time all jeans stretch around the waist.
Why is it more sustainable?
Nowadays there is already sustainable technology that allows to wash and wear jeans without a great environmental impact or having a negative impact on the health of workers, however we believe that the raw denim has an eco plus, since post-processes are avoided assuming a saving of water, energy and chemical substances.
There are many types of treatments for jeans, but they definitely do nothing but wear them out for us. After prolonged use we will achieve similar results (softened, discolored, broken, tears, …) without decreasing useful lifetime
How to break your jeans in.
Would you rather go the fast way? This is not so cool but no problem! A pass through the washing machine (give it some use before!) Will soften the initial stiffness of the fabric but we will be disrupting the possibility of getting the classic wear of raw denim. These will be more uniform.
We can also do it in a completely natural way and that is to soften and break it in only your own adventures are needed. It will take a while to soften, raw denim may tend to feel somewhat uncomfortable when its weight is heavy, simply because it has not been washed or softened. Our jeans in general have a medium weight so it will not be so much. The advantages are that the fabric adapts to your body and, as we have mentioned, the color is worn more by the more “active” areas of your body.
Ah! A quick initial soak (cold) before putting on your jeans can really help, it will eliminate part of the starch. It is possible that thanks to this, they last longer 🙂
The first months of raw denim are important, but it depends on your preferences. The best thing would be to simply use them as much as possible, everywhere, to break in. Times are flexible and the use of washing machine is valid if you want. Even so, let’s see what would be the ideal treatment in these beginnings:
First wash at 3-6 months. Just according to the use that is given to jeans and what each one considers necessary. It is important to delay this first wash a little because:
-We do not interrupt the process of adapting the jeans to the body.
-The original color remains, causing a greater contrast between it and the wear that is produced due to friction, postures and movements that we perform in our day to day.
- Cover the bottom of the bathtub with lukewarm water.
- Add a teaspoon of detergent (preferably eco)
- Turn the ecojeans inside out and put them in the bathtub.
- Let them soak for an hour. You can put weights on top so that they are completely submerged. We shake from time to time (optional).
- Empty the tub and rinse the jeans off with cold water to remove the soap.
- Dry outdoors or near a window avoiding direct and prolonged exposure to the sun. It is important that the pants are as extended as possible, avoiding folds and wrinkles that we are not interested in being marked.
I don’t have time for this, will I mess everything up if I use the washing machine? We have done it many times and the results are correct. Just remember to put it at 30º with dark clothes and a delicate cycle.
Contrasts or durability? How often to wash your raw denim
After the first wash, how long you will leave between the next ones is your choice, it can be 1 month, 2, 3, … Maybe what matters to you is not the contrasts, but the jeans remain dark.
What you should keep in mind is that the more you wash your jeans, the greater the amount of indigo will disappear, the greater the wear of the fabric and the less the contrast of the fades. On the contrary, the less washed, the greater the contrast but also the denim will be more fragile.
During periods of time between washes we can eliminate odors simply by laying it outdoors or near a window at night.
The wear and tear that is produced is personal depending on the body and movements of each one, and the fabric yields in those parts where you need it, which makes it a unique and comfortable garment that says a lot about us and our daily routines .
* It should be remembered that spacing washes a lot can lead to a greater risk of breakage, that’s why we will dedicate a post to patching jeans. Following our philosophy of looking for the most sustainable options, we recommend: patch, fix, customize … in short … extend the life of our clothes as much as possible 🙂