How to wash denim

Selvedge denim requires some special care to preserve its unique characteristics and minimise any potential shrinkage or color loss. Our specialist denim care guide will help you properly wash for your selvedge denim and maximise the life of your jeans.


1. Actually, don't wash your jeans

We advise allowing your raw denim to go unwashed for a minimum of six months. This timeframe allows the patina to naturally develop and helps preserve the integrity of the denim fibers.


2. Spot clean when possible

If you encounter small stains or spills, try spot cleaning them instead of washing the entire piece. Use a mild detergent or soap and gently dab the stained area with a clean cloth or sponge. Avoid scrubbing vigorously to prevent unnecessary fading.


3. Let your denim air

If you choose not to wash your denim, it may acquire a distinct 'worn' smell. To freshen them up, consider hanging your jeans outside on a sunny and breezy day to help eliminate unwanted odours.


4. Turn your denim inside out 

Before washing your selvedge denim, turn it inside out, to reduce the impact on the colour and patina, prevent bleeding and ensure a more even fade. Additionally, turning the denim inside out will expose the water and detergent to the dirtiest areas of the jeans (inside the leg) for a more effective clean.


5. Cold wash your denim by hand

When the time comes to wash your denim, a hand wash in cold water will help preserve the colour and minimise shrinkage. We recommend using a small amount of soap, a mild detergent, or a specialist product like Attirecare's natural denim care and leaving the denim to soak for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring the denim in the water. 


6. Machine wash with caution and care

If you decide to machine wash your denim (which we would not recommend) then wash them alone and always select a gentle or delicate cycle to reduce the risk of fraying or damage to the fabric. 

Do not choose higher than a 30c wash and, if you can, remove your denim from the machine before the spin cycle starts as this can cause vertical crease lines.


7. Let your denim dry naturally

After washing, avoid using a dryer as it can lead to excessive shrinkage and damage the fabric. Instead, hang your selvedge denim to air dry naturally but avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading. To retain the shape, you can lay them flat on a clean surface, or a towel to absorb the water, or hang them upside down by the waist.

Avoid wringing your wet jeans, which can lead to twisting and damaging the fabric fibers. Also avoid the tumble dryer which will damage and twist the cotton fibers.


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