Being first and foremost a denim brand, we can’t help but get a little geeky about how great dry denim is and want to pass on that same enthusiasm to get everyone in a pair of dry's! The beauty of a dry denim is the process of watching it change and it becoming almost a second skin over time. We especially love it for its high ranking on the sustainability chart – zero washing means
*(compared with conventional denim)
Raw & Dry
Raw denim, commonly interchanged with Dry denim, is the starting point for all denim fabrics. It is what denim looks like before treatment and after it’s come off the loom. It is a rigid fabric that does not undergo any washing or distressing process that would artificially age the denim. Raw/dry denim is the most sustainable choice as it does not require any water and chemicals in the production process.
We love selvage for its history and craftmanship. The selvage is referring to the machine that weaves the material called a shuttle loom. A shuttle loom is a small wooden device that travels back and forth horizontally across the loom, setting the interior weft yarns in a continuous strand while interlacing with the vertical warp yarns. Every time the shuttle passes the yarn, it seals the edge of the fabric which creates a ‘self-edge’ and there we come to Selvage Denim.
Until the boom of denim in the 1950s, shuttle looms were the industry standard for denim weaving. However, the overwhelming popularity for denim meant it had to be produced much faster, and projectile looms overtook the shuttle looms. The 80s saw a reappearance of the shuttle loom technique in Japan, the home of authentic denim, and now they are considered a hip and unique method of creating better quality denims because of the artisan skill needed to operate a shuttle loom.
Selvage denim can be both dry or washed.
The most sustainable choice
Dry denims and untreated selvage denims are sustainable choices since there is no water or chemicals used in the production process. The lack of chemicals used to artificially age the denim means the fabric is stronger as the fibers have not been broken with chemicals. Shuttle loom work is widely regarded an artisan skill, so the garment produced is of the highest quality and thus will last you a lifetime.
Aside from the sustainability points, raw denim is brilliant because its fabric allows the personality of the wearer to come through. Over time and wear, the habits of the wearer become apparent – if you keep you phone in your pocket, if you ride a bike, the honeycombs at the back of the leg. This is something that a conventional jean won’t be able to show.
Make Them Last Forever
Some schools of thought don’t believe in washing denim as it is sacrilege to the fabric and indigo. But then life happens, and there are times where needs must.
To preserve the quality of color and fabric, here are some tips:
- If you wash with warm water or use too much detergent, indigo will fade quicker.
- Wash inside out in cold water and line dry.
- Soak method: soak the jeans in a tub using cold water, no detergent. Scrub the jeans and let them soak for an hour. Remove from the bath and rinse with cold water. Ring out and hang to dry.