Why, when and how to wash your jeans
Sanforized or Unsanforized?
Sanforized denim is that which has been processed to remove shrinkage from the fabric after it is woven. Sanforization is performed by a machine that uses steam and pressure to shrink and stretch the new fabric. Sanforized denim will have minimal shrinkage because of this process. Most pairs will lose only about 0.5”-1” in length with a wash.
Because sanforized denim has little shrinkage it does not need to be soaked before wear. Feel free to start wearing it right away. Some prefer to soak even their sanforized jeans, though, to remove some of the starch and even get the minimal shrinkage in length out of the way.
Unsanforized denim, otherwise known as shrink-to fit or loomstate, has not undergone the sanforization process, and tends to have a rougher texture and hairier feel in comparison to sanforized fabrics. They require an initial soak and will shrink by about 10%.
To soak always turn them inside out then you have two options. You can either put them in the bath tub in lukewarm water for around 30 minutes. Agitate the jeans so the cotton fibers absorb the water and the shrinkage takes place.
Alternatively, an initial machine wash with warm water and no soap is also effective in removing most or all of the shrinkage. We suggest avoiding soap, to keep some of the starch that helps form defined creases in a new pair. Also avoid the spin cycle and tumble drying – these can leave vertical creases in a new pair. For best results we recommend doing at least two soaks.
Wash your jeans more often for a lower contrast, vintage fade. Wash less often for higher contrast at creases and points of abrasion.
If you desire high-contrast fades, we suggest waiting up to five or six months of daily wear before the first wash, and then washing fairly frequently (once every 1-2 months) after that. After the first wash, the creases on your jeans will be well-defined, and it's safe to wash them more often so you can continue to see the denim's color evolve. This will also help to preserve the denim and the stitching, which is more prone to breakage with multiple long periods without washing. Always wash your jeans inside out.
How to avoid crotch blowouts
Soaking or washing your jeans will strengthen the cotton especially in areas of stress like the crotch. If you want your jeans to last for years and years make sure they get washed from time to time. There is little point in having killer contrast fades if they fall apart.