Choosing And Taking Care Of Selvedge and Raw Jeans
Denim has been a wardrobe staple for centuries — some styles have died out (thankfully) and others have come in and out of fashion over the years. These days, small batch raw and selvedge jeans are back in a big way. As bespoke fashion trends are taking over, the fashion world is focused on the small, quality details and tradition of hand cut vs. more generic, factory-made looks. If you are thinking of buying a pair, there are some tips you should keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of them.
First of all, raw and selvedge jeans are probably going to cost you a bit more than a generic store-brand pair — but it’s worth it. Choose wisely and the jeans you end up with are likely going to be longer lasting and more durable than a cheap pair made in a factory.
Not all selvedge is raw though. Most denim is pre-washed to hold in colour and prevent shrinking. Raw denim just means it isn’t pre-washed. So is it’s raw, they’re likely going to be super stiff when you first put them on. Give them a few months to form up to your legs and they will ease up over time.
Most jeans will come in slim and regular fit. Slim fits hug your body more tightly, while regular fit are more traditional and roomy.
Also, many of the selvedge jeans producers don’t use the same sizing that brands like factory-made jeans do. They usually use vanity sizing which is one to two sizes smaller than you are used to, so you’ll actually want to measure yourself to figure out what to buy. Measure your waist (the slimmest part of your mid-section) and your inseam (the length from the bottom of your pant leg up to the crotch). Most raw jeans will shrink 5-10 percent, so you’ll want to purchase a few sizes larger than you normally would.
It’s okay to wash your jeans, but you want to do so with care so you don’t upset the natural fades in the fabric that are so appealing about selvedge denim. Wash them about every two months, depending on how often you wear them. The first few times, you’ll probably want to wash them by hand, because the indigo is likely to bleed. Fill up a tub with warm water and a teaspoon of detergent (Woolite is great) and let them soak for about 45 minutes. Then rinse them with cold water and hang them out to dry. Once they have had a few washes, you can opt to turn them inside out and wash them in cold in a washing machine if you like.
Following these tips will help ensure that you find the best pair of selvedge jeans and keep them in great shape for years to come.