This is some great advice from Dae Shin, the owner of Grey Moon Jeans, a Kickstarter project on how to take care of your selvedge jeans.
STEP ONE: THE SOAK. Fill a bathtub with enough water to submerge the denim completely. Temperature isn’t overly important as some say you’ll lose less indigo with a cold soak, but if it’s a quality pair of jeans it shouldn’t matter. We’d recommend just using warm water.
STEP TWO: AIR DRY. Hang dry them indoors. Use binder clips or clothes pins on the waistband and let them hang naturally.
STEP THREE: STRETCH THEM OUT. While the jeans are still somewhat damp, you should put the jeans on. The denim is easier to stretch when it’s damp. It’ll probably feel uncomfortably tight at first, but they should fit perfectly soon.
STEP FOUR: WEAR THEM OUT. Wear them, man. Live your life. Cuff them. Uncuff them. Put stuff in your pockets. Run around. Whatever it is you did before your raw denim, continue doing so.
STEP FIVE: DON’T WASH THEM. Don’t wash them. Some people will tell you to not wash them for six months. Some will tell you a year. Others will tell you to never wash them. Honestly, when I was younger and unaware of what raw denim was, I wore a pair of Raw Levi’s that I picked up at a J.Crew outlet. I just wore them the same way I wear all of my pants. I’d wear them a few days. Put them away. Wear them again, spill on them, wash them and hang them dry. I didn’t think about it, and I have to say the jeans still look pretty damn good. We’d recommend going as long as you can without washing them, but that’s up to you. Here are some guidelines to consider. If you have a stain that you can’t live with that you can’t get out with a sponge and water, then it might be time to wash your jeans. Washing the jeans is simple. Put them in the washing machine. Keep in mind though, you only need about an eighth of the amount of detergent you’d normally use. Pick a rinse cycle with minimal spin and use cold water. Then hang your jeans up to dry as previously instructed. Put them on damp the same way you did with the initial soak. If you’re obsessed with not washing them, then here are two ways you can keep them fresh for months. For stains, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders. But a rag and some water will also work pretty well. For smells, use Febreze or put them in the freezer for a few hours. The cold will kill any foul smelling bacteria.
STEP SIX: GIVE THEM TIME TO FADE. The last and most important thing is to give your denim time. Give them a chance to wear and fade. It will be completely worth it when you look at them a year or two from now and see how far they’ve come. With our guide on how to take care of raw denim, your jeans will look great for the rest of your life.
This is very good information on how to take care of raw denim, otherwise called selvedge jeans. If you will note, instructions are to avoid the dryer. If you do wash your jeans, they will temporarily shrink, that is why there is the suggestion to put them on damp just out of the wash because they are easier to stretch at that time. On a separate note, “stretch” jeans or “knit” jeans have Spandex within them. After wearing stretch jeans, the jeans stay stretched out. These type of jeans will need to be washed and dried in the dryer in order for the Spandex to contract and, therefore, fit once more. Spandex does have a definite shelf life, unlike denim.
Kickstarter is an organization that helps fledgeling businesses by raising money by bringing together other people who may have similar tastes or interests. This is called crowd-sourcing. It is not too late to help fund Grey Moons Jeans. Their deadline for funding is May 21, 2014.