If you’re a fan of raw denim, you should know about proper care is essential to maintaining a perfect fit and unique look. Raw denim differs from regular denim because it is untreated and washed, lasts longer, and has the potential to develop individualized fading patterns.
However, washing this particular type of denim can be tricky, as harsh detergents, high temperatures, and even incorrect drying methods can cause denim to fade prematurely.
So, in this article, we’ll guide you through the right techniques to protect your pristine denim without losing its unique style statement.
What Is Raw Denim?
Raw denim is a fabric that has not been treated and washed before being sold. This gives the fabric a natural stiffness and dark appearance. With wear, it softens and fades to create a unique look that suits the wearer’s lifestyle.
Raw denim is different from regular jeans that have been pre-wash to remove starches and dyes from the fabric. Raw denim is a more sustainable and durable alternative to regular denim as it is made from 100% cotton and is more durable.
Why Raw Denim Is Different From Regular Denim?
- Raw denim
Raw denim is different from regular denim because it has not undergone any pre-washing or finishing process. This means the fabric has not been chemically treated, washed, or distressed, nor has it been artificially faded or crimped in any way.
Therefore, raw denim has a stiff texture and a uniform dark blue color. Over time, through repeated wear and washing, the fabric will begin to soften and fade naturally, developing unique patterns and a personalized look that reflects the wearer’s lifestyle and movement.
- Regular denim
Regular denim, is pre-wash, distressed, and chemically treated to create the desired look and feel. This makes the fabric softer and more comfortable to wear directly from the store, but also more prone to losing color and shape over time.
And raw denim requires some work from the wearer to break in and create the perfect fit. But in doing so, the resulting garments are normally of high quality for their durability, and truly unique appearance and personal connection to the wearer.
How to Prevent Raw Denim From Fading?
- pre-wash preparation
Soak the raw denim before wearing: Before wearing raw denim for the first time, it’s better to soak them in cold water for more than an hour. This will remove excess starch, dirt, and impurities from the fabric.
First, fill a container with cold water and submerge your jeans. Ensure they are completely covered with water, then keep them in the water for an hour. When the water gets dirty with the color becoming darker, empty it out and rinse your jeans with clean water.
- Partial cleaning of small stains
For small stains or spots, washing the entire pair of jeans is unnecessary as this may cause premature fading. Instead, you can spot-clean the stained area with a damp cloth and mild soap. use a clean cloth to wipe the dirty area gently and rinse with water, then use a dry towel to pat the affected area to absorb the moisture.
Washing Tips to Avoid Fading
- Wash by hands
Hand washing is the safest way to wash raw denim because it keeps the fabric clean while maintaining its integrity. Fill a container with cool water and add a little mild detergent. Then put your jeans in it, meanwhile, you could shake them side to side, and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the dirty water and rinse the jeans thoroughly in cold water to remove any soapy residue. Hang your jeans upside down to dry out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.
- Machine washable
If you choose to use a washing machine, turn your jeans inside out and use the gentle or cold program. Add a little mild detergent, but do not add fabric softener or bleach as they can damage the fabric. After your jeans are washed, take them out of the washing machine immediately to avoid wrinkling, also hang them up to dry. it is important that keep them out of direct sunlight and don’t use the dryer, as it can shrink the fabric and cause uneven fading.
- Vinegar Wash
Vinegar is a great natural ingredient that can help set dyes into raw denim. To fix the dye with vinegar, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the washer during the rinse cycle. This will help lock in the dye and prevent it from bleeding or fading. Vinegar also helps to remove excess soap residue left in the fabric, leaving it soft and bouncy.
- Salt wash
Another way to prevent fading of raw denim is to fix it with salt. Dissolve about a cup of table salt in a large bowl of cold water and add to the raw denim garment. Soak the garment in salt water for about an hour. Salt will help fix the dye and prevent it from fading in subsequent washes.
- Avoid hot water
Hot water, bleach, or harsh detergents must be avoided while washing raw denim. These can strip the fabric’s natural oils and cause the dye to fade faster. Instead, use a mild, phosphate-free detergent and wash raw denim in cold water.
- Wash raw denim less often
Another tip for preventing fading is to wash raw denim less often. Overwashing will cause the dye to fade faster, so try to limit washing your raw denim to once every few weeks or even months, depending on how often you wear them.
Drying Tips to Avoid Fading
- Air-drying Vs. Machine-drying:
Firstly you have to decide whether to air-dry or machine-dry your raw denim. but Air-drying is highly recommended since Air-drying is the preferred method among raw denim enthusiasts .meanwhile you should also be noted that Air-drying can take a long time for the jeans to dry completely. Machine drying is quicker but can result in shrinkage, especially if the setting is too high.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight:
Whether you choose to air-dry or machine-dry your raw denim, it’s important to keep them out of sunlight directly. UV rays can bleach the fabric and speed it to fade faster. Instead, dry your jeans in a cool and dry place where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight.
If you decide to air-dry your raw denim, there are a few things you can do to make it less harsh to the raw denim. First, turn your jeans inside out to prevent the sun from fading the outside. Next, shank your jeans after washing them to make them flatter with the shape. Finally, hang your jeans properly, with the waistband clipped to a hanger, to prevent stretching and distortion while drying.
If you prefer to machine-dry your raw denim, please use it with a low heat setting or even the air-fluff setting to prevent shrinkage. anther more, it’s a good idea to put your jeans in a laundry bag or pillowcase to avoid them from snagging or getting caught in the dryer.
In summary, air-drying your raw denim is the preferred method, but if you choose to machine-dry, use a low heat setting and protect your jeans from damage. And always remember to avoid direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage to the fabric.
In addition to durability, durability, unique fading patterns, and personalized style, raw denim supports sustainability in the fashion industry. By eliminating the pre-wash and finishing processes, raw denim reduces the amount of water, energy, and chemicals used in denim production. This makes it a more environmentally friendly option than regular denim.
Additionally, raw denim clothing is often made by small-scale producers and artisans, which supports local economies and promotes fair labor practices. By investing in raw denim, you are supporting a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
Overall, raw denim is a unique and versatile fabric that offers durability, character, and sustainability in fashion. With proper care, your raw denim clothing can be worn for many years and become a precious part of your wardrobe.