- on May 29, 2009
To begin, there is a difference between the type of jeans out there. Â There is “raw” or “dry” denim and there is “washed” denim. Denim is typically washed to make them feel softer, to stop indigo dye loss, and to eliminate any shrinking once the owner washes them. This washed denim is often purchased “pre-distressed” in order to have that worn-in look. This means it already comes with fades, creasing, and designs.
Raw denim has not been washed after the dying process. The point isÂ to wear them and fade them yourself over time. If done correctly, your jeans will have fades, whiskers, and honeycombs based on your own body. It will look more original, natural, and unique in comparison to a pair of jeans that are already distressed. I personally ONLY buy and wear raw denim because I want to have my jeans be unique and different from everyone else.
So, back to the 501 STF. STF stands for Shrink-To-Fit, or in other words, Soak To Shrink. STF jeans are a type of raw jeans. There are a million ways and opinions of what is best when dealing with raw denim. There really is no right or wrong way, so experiment yourself and do what works best for you. After the jump are a few ways to handle your new STFs…
FIRST, you need to soak them for awhile. You can soak them in a tub or sink or bucket. Length of time, temperature of the water, and type/company of jeans will all have a different effect.
- Warm/hot water will let more of the indigo dye loose from your jeans.
- Soaking in cold water is better to keep the dye on the jeans. RECOMMENDED
- Another option is to wear your jeans while in the tub, regardless of temperature. This is to prevent the jeans from shrinking too much when soaked and getting too small.
NOTE: DO NOT PUT IN WASHER FOR INITIAL SOAK.
NEXT, you need to let them dry.
- You can wear them until dry. This is unnecessary.
- Let them dry until damp and then wear them. You can do this if you are worried about them shrinking too much and want to guarantee a good fit made to the body, as the denim can stretch quickly when wet. Some people also like this method because they can get their “creases” set behind the knees to encourage the honeycomb contrast.
- Or, let them dry completely. This allows for nothing to be set, so that once fully dry and worn, you get the most natural fading possible and nothing forced. RECOMMENDED
LASTLY, wear them … A LOT. RECOMMENDED
- That’s it … Wear the jeans as much as possible before washing. These instructions apply to all raw denim, whether they are Nudies or 501′s. Wear your jeans! People go on for AT LEAST 6 months before their first wash and others can go as long as 2 years before washing or choose to never wash at all.
I will post some tips on how to care for your raw denim next, as well as some BEFORE and AFTER pics of the 501 STF soon, so look out …