Raw Denim Care
Raw Denim, by definition, is raw, meaning after the yarns are dyed and then woven into a fabric that there are no wet stages where the material comes into contact with water. This untreated/unwashed material is unique in that the warp yarns hold all the rich, excess dye within the fabric surface. With all Raw Denim there is a chance the dye will rub off as you wear it and this should be a consideration before you purchase Raw Denim items.
We recommend you take extra care not to allow raw denim to come into contact with precious white or light coloured items (ie. white suede shoes or a porous light coloured sofa). Typically any dye transferred onto t-shirts or underwear should generally wash out pretty easily, but it's important to know. We recommend following our Raw Denim Care instructions to get the best out of your Raw Denim, to preserve it for years to come so it can form an important part of your forever wardrobe.
A.BCH Raw Denim is totally untreated/unwashed past the yarns being dyed, and therefore holds rich, excess dye in the fabric surface. This means that there is a chance the dye will rub off as you wear it.
It also means that the material has not been pre-shrunk and may shrink if not cared for as per instructions. We don't recommend washing raw denim all that much. If you'd like to remove some of the excess dye, you can pre-wash your raw denim with like-colours or black, on cold (warm water will cause shrinkage). After washing, immediately remove from the machine and stretch/pull the denim back into shape at the side seams before hanging to dry, out of direct sunlight.
Raw denim will begin to patina and fade over time, depending on your movements, pressure points and how often you wash the denim. Embrace the fade which includes the undyed weft yarns peeking through and the dye wearing away from the surface. This fade is unique to you and part of the magic and traditional way of raw denim!
The best way to preserve the rich colour of raw denim is not to wash them, ever. If you think your denim might need a clean, try spot cleaning any stains and then airing them out in a well ventilated space. Alternatively, you can create a cleansing spritz by diluting some cheap vodka with water and putting into a spray bottle. Use this from time to time to freshen up your raw denim to prolong washing.
If you need to spot clean your denim, we recommend using this laundry bar. If you need to wash them in the machine, use a gentle, eco-friendly liquid detergent, checking for added bleach that may lighten your denim prematurely. Remove promptly after washing (letting wet denim sit crumpled and still too long will start the shrinking process).
We don't recommend washing raw denim much, if at all. Check the "preserving colour" section for more on why that is.
If you do need to wash you Raw Denim, you can do so on a cold wash with like colours or black items. Turn your denim inside out to protect the surface of the garment. Use cold water, gentle detergents and remove promptly from the washing machine to pull back into shape. This will help prevent unwanted shrinking, however every time cotton is exposed to water, agitation and drying is may shrink (up to around 8% total over time) in length.
After washing raw denim, remove your raw denim pieces immediately from the washing machine when the cycle is over and, while still wet, stretch/pull the denim back into shape at the side seams and length-ways waistband to hem before hanging to dry, out of direct sunlight.
Ironing + Steaming
Raw Denim can be ironed and steamed at a relatively high (cotton) heat. keep in mind that organic fibres can mark with excessive heat, so turn inside out or use a pressing cloth to avoid this.
While Raw Denim garments can withstand hot ironing and steaming, we do recommend moving promptly over the material and using plenty of steam rather than increased, dry heat. Prevent fibres from burning or marking by avoiding holding the hot iron or steamer in one place for extended periods.
You can hang your raw denim to keep it well ventilated, rather than folding it up where bacteria and odours might become trapped. If your raw denim is smelling a bit off, do as Levi's CEO does and spritz with vodka (see "preserving colour").
Why Raw Denim?
We believe Raw Denim is truly special and a worthwhile investment of money and time. See our Raw Denim Materials post for more.
Raw Denim Tips + Tricks