I’ve been looking into buying some “Raw Denim”. I have looked at many companies but two that stuck out were “EDWIN” and “Nudie”. One thing I didn’t realize was how expensive it was. Raw denim can go as cheap as $80 to upwards of $300. Pretty damn expensive for some denim right? Well, after some research I realized why some of these companies have these prices. For a good example, go to nudiejeans.com (They have a video tab that has some interesting videos on their denim).
So, after my few weeks of long research, I was about to purchase some Edwin denim, as they were a bit cheaper to find in the price range compared to Nudie. But still, I decided to wait a bit before I pulled the trigger on an online order. I’m glad I did because yesterday (5.28.09), I went into Manhattan NYC to return some shirts I bought at Macys and Topman. On my way back from Topman, I took a swing by UNIQLO. One of my favorite shops for graphic t-shirts. I was looking at their new summer line of tee’s, when I came across a sign above some denim on display that said “Japan Raw Selvidge Denim”. Holy gold mines! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Even better was the price, $79.50! They had 2 different models; “Slim Regular Fit” and “Straight Regular Fit” in either dark indigo or black. I picked up both colors in the straight cut and headed home.
I can’t really compare them to anything because these are my first pair of raw denim. I will eventually make a Edwin and Nudie purchase in the future. Than I will have a comparison of all three. One thing for sure is the fact that this denim has no labeling on the outside making these very much ‘YOUR OWN’. Which to me, is a plus.
Take note that this denim is very tight and very stiff. I made the mistake of washing them first, thinking they would get softer, but boy was I wrong. I should have looked up care instructions for them before I washed them. Not all is lost, as they are fine. Here are some instructions and links on how to care for dry/raw denim. Wish I would have known this before I put them in the wash. You live and learn, you live and learn…
(Below was written by DressCodes Atl. I am not ,in anyway, associated with them. I just thought they had some nice instructions and links to share. All credit belong to them for the writing below. Except the 1st link, 4th link and pics)
BASIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS:
- If you spill something on your Raw denim you can wipe it off, or wait for the spot to dry and it will usually fade on its own. Do not clean local spots with water or cleaning solution because it can remove the indigo and you may get a bleach spot.
- Wash your jeans in COLD water (using detergent with NO bleach). The warmer the water is, the more the indigo will bleed. The object is to keep the indigo in the denim for as long as possible. Indigo is different from synthetic dyes, as it is not fully absorbed into the cotton fibers/ thread – instead it sits on-top of the fibers; that’s why denim fades to a white color over time.
- Do NOT hem your jeans before the first wash because your denim will naturally shorten with wear since the fabric around the knees and groin will bunch up on its own. In addition a small shrinkage in length may occur after the first wash.
- Turn your jeans inside out, or unwanted crinkles may occur.
- Wash your Raw denim separately or with other similar color jeans.
DO NOT DRY YOUR DENIM IN THE DRYER!!!!!!!! Drying denim (all denim really, but Raw denim especially) in a dryer can cause the cotton fibers to twist and can ruin the fit. In addition, it can shrink the jeans as well as cause them unwanted wear and tear, so they may not last as long.
- Hang dry and DO NOT FOLD! as this can also cause unwanted creases.
- You can also Dry Clean your denim although “Denim Heads” will tell you not to.
* You may want to add a 1/4 cup of salt and a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the detergent as this will help maintain a deeper color for a longer period of time.
Please please please DON’T WASH YOUR NEW RAW DENIM FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS yes I said it (this is if you wear them everyday)!!! My personal rule is 6 months w/ everyday wear. Some people don’t even wash them.
If I don’t wash my denim won’t it start to smell? Yes and NO. If you go out to a club or a smoky bar or you notice a bit of an odor, you can let them air out for a day in the sun, or rub dryer sheets on the outside and inside.
Why can’t I wash them? If you wash Raw denim too soon all the indigo will bleed out and you will not achieve all the beautiful fading, contrast, or honeycombing around the knees.