On The Inside - Denim Care
CARING FOR YOUR DENIM
With a long-standing position as one of the UK’s leading streetwear brands, we get asked a lot of questions as to the best way to care for your favourite KING garms; however, the one item that continually pops up is denim. How will it age, how will it wear, how should it be washed?
Luckily, our team here are unashamed denim enthusiasts and we believe that a well-worn pair of denim should truly reflect the lifestyle of its owner. It’s all about your jeans aging and evolving over time, resulting in a look that is totally unique. Follow our guide below that breaks down the different types or denim jeans and how to care for them, whether they are new or classic KING pairs or jeans from another brand that you just can’t give up!
Before we go on, let’s take a look at the difference between our standard denim and our selvedge denim:
· Standard raw denim is woven using projectile looms: that means the looms go through one way, the yarn is cut, then the loom goes back the other way. Our standard raw denim is usually 12.5oz and we use the highest quality fabrics to produce these jeans.
· Selvedge denim is woven on shuttle looms, meaning it's one continuous yarn going back and forth. This means the edges of the fabric are finished (the self edge = selvedge) and makes for a stronger, more durable fabric. This is the highest grade of raw dry denim, but it's also more time-consuming and requires the best raw materials, hence the higher cost.
· Standard pre-washed denim is woven the same way as standard raw but are washed and treated in different ways to give them a worn and used look from day one. To achieve this look the denim is bleached and goes through several permanent mechanical treatments like stonewashes and sandblasting, all of which are time consuming and expensive, resulting in a higher price.
To illustrate the aging process we have picked out a pair of our original Select Selvedge Raw Denim from one of our previous collections. This was the first ever pair of selvedge jeans that we produced back in 2008 and is a piece we still consider a benchmark in the development of our King range of denim. Shown is a brand-new pair in their raw state, never worn and straight from the packaging, and a pair that has been worn regularly since they came out two and half years ago.
You will notice several major changes:
Fading. Denim is dyed with indigo, and it's only the outer layer of the yarn that is dyed, with the core remaining white. This is why you never have an even blue colour, and there's always white coming through. This also explains why jeans get lighter with aging, as the indigo dye eventually washes away from the fabric to show more of the core.
The second thing is how uneven the fading is. This is due to the stress points on jeans: the crotch, the pockets, thighs, etc… And fabric will conform to your body, how you use your pockets, where you bend your legs, resulting in such things as whiskers on the thighs.
Shrinkage. In general, expect to see 1-2” in the waist and 2-3” in length on a pair of raw selvedge denim compared to a worn, washed denim.
Caring and washing your denim requires different techniques for each type.
For our Raw Selvedge and Raw standard denim we recommend soaking them in lukewarm water when first purchased. The water temperature should be adjusted depending of the amount of shrinkage you want (the hotter the water, the more shrinkage you should expect). This will also bleed any loose dye. Wear your jeans as much as possible to soften them up and before their first wash which we recommend is after six months. The longer you can keep them unwashed the more natural and personal the wearing. Soak them every now and then to get rid of surface dirt and to bring out the fading. When you do wash them, use a cold wash inside out. If you want to retain the raw look just send them to get dry-cleaned.
Well-worn raw denim should be washed inside out to avoid unwanted crinkles from the machine. Wash in 60 degrees to get a better fade and bring out the natural worn in effects. Wash in 40 degrees for a darker look.
Prewashed denims don't have to be treated in the same way as raw denim. These can be washed as normal as the prewash effect has already been applied.
All of our denims should be shaken flat after soaking or washing to avoid any unwanted stay press effect. When they are still damp you can stretch the inseam as much as needed. All jeans should be dried naturally by hanging, not folded.