Raw Denim Care - How to hand soak your raw denim

Hello denim enthusiasts, and welcome to our guide on how to soak your new raw denim. Now, making the decision of how to treat your new jeans can be a daunting prospect, lined with pro’s and con’s which are important to consider thoroughly. And so we have put together a series of ‘how to’ content, to help you through the process!

What will be talking about today is probably the most common of the soaking methods, and is actually the one which I go for myself, and recommend to people if this is their first venture into raw denim. The benefits are plain to see with this approach, and while it won’t be everyone’s first choice, it really is a great way to make the fabric much more supple, and remove a lot of the excess shrinkage. So, follow us as we talk you through each step of the this exciting process. 


For most of us, the stand out benefit of soaking your jeans is to break down the rigidity of the fabric, making them much more comfortable to wear, and much more easy to break in. But did you know that this process can help to lengthen the lifespan of your jeans? It’s true! By soaking your jeans, all the points of tension across the garment are softened, meaning that there is altogether less friction in the jean, and therefore less ripping and abrasion. Some denim fans opt to keep their denim raw, with the hope of creating more unique, and localised fades, but that comes at the expense of the fabric. Soaking your jeans will allow for great natural fades all over, and continued soaking when they are dirty will ensure that your precious selvedge investment remain fighting fit! So, that’s that; now time to get your hands wet!


Make sure your tub, or receptacle is clean and free from dirt, and start to fill it up. You’re going to want to think long and hard about the temperature of the water, as though this isn’t an exact science, the hotter the water, the more your jeans will shrink. Therefore if your goal is to simply soften the fabric, you might want to add little, to no heat at all! No detergent is necessary for this process, and you’re going to need to fill your bath with enough water to ensure the jeans are fully submerged. So a little over half way. 


For the soak, you’ll want to fasten all of the buttons on the jeans, and turn them inside out. This will reduce the stress of any nasty lines popping up in the fabric, and will ensure that, if your jeans shrink, they will do so nice and evenly. Gently place them into the bath and watch them do their thing! You’ll see all of the oxygen escaping from the fabric as the jeans are submerged, and depending on the weight of the fabric, you might want to pick up some old (clean) coffee cups to weigh down the denim in the water. You can then leave them in there for anywhere up to an hour. 


Getting your jeans out of the tub can be a messy process, so be careful to put down some towels so they don’t turn your floors blue with indigo water. You might also want to consult with anyone you live with before embarking on the process, just because it’s nice to be considerate. One golden rule here; DO NOT TUMBLE DRY YOUR JEANS! This will really damage the fabric, and while some might want to give them a light spin in the washing machine, this too can create those ugly white lines which break through the surface of the indigo. So, for best results, you should let them dry naturally! Outside is ideal, but if weather or space don’t permit that, then just pop them on the head of your shower to let all of that blue water drain out. 


After leaving your jeans to dry completely, you can turn them the right way round, and see how they fit! You’ll find that the fabric will initially have a stiff, starchy feel, but don’t worry, that will go after even a couple of wears. 

That first initial soak will have taken a little of the indigo away, but don’t worry, you still have plenty left in there, so be careful for the first month or so about sitting on white couches! By treating your jeans to this process, they are much more prepared for any adventure that you want to throw at them. Now wear them hard, and enjoy!

Check out the video below, for a detailed look on how this process works!