What Is Real Denim Called?

I've always been fascinated by the world of denim, particularly the kind that's considered the real deal. You might've heard the term "raw denim" thrown around in fashion circles. It's essentially denim in its purest form – untouched, unwashed, and full of potential. The beauty of raw denim lies in its journey; it starts stiff but gradually molds to your body, creating a piece that's uniquely yours. But here's the kicker: there's a whole culture and craftsmanship behind raw denim that many don't know about. Stick around, and I'll take you through the ins and outs of what makes raw denim not just a piece of clothing, but a statement.

Key Takeaways

  • Real denim is often called raw denim due to its untreated and pure form.
  • Raw denim is characterized by its stiff feel and dark indigo color.
  • Selvedge denim represents the highest quality of raw denim craftsmanship.
  • Raw denim uniquely molds to the wearer's body, creating personalized wear patterns.
  • The term "raw denim" emphasizes the denim's natural, unaltered state before washing.

Defining Raw Denim

What's raw denim, you ask? It's denim in its purest, untreated form, known for its stiff feel and unique wear patterns that emerge over time. This stuff is the real deal, the kind that denim purists rave about. When we talk raw denim, we're diving deep into the world where every pair becomes a personal story, molded by how you move, sit, and live.

Raw denim, or dry denim as some folks call it, starts off with that iconic dark indigo shade, crisp and clean. It's all about keeping it as untouched as possible, preserving the fabric's original state until it hits water. This means no premature washing, no treatments, just denim in its most authentic form.

And then there's selvedge denim, the crème de la crème of raw denim woven on old-school shuttle looms. This type isn't just about looks; it's about craftsmanship, durability, and a nod to the past. Selvedge and raw denim together? That's denim mastery, where every wear adds character, every crease tells a story, and the journey's woven right into the fabric.

Raw Vs. Washed Denim

So, we've talked about what raw denim is, but let's get into how it stacks up against washed denim.

Raw denim keeps it real, staying untouched and pure, which means you get to break it in yourself, creating a fit that's all your own.

On the flip side, washed denim gives you that lived-in vibe right off the bat, saving you the time and effort.

Raw Denim Characteristics

Raw denim, also known as dry denim, is the unprocessed, pure form of denim that hasn't gone through any washing or shrinking treatments. This fabric starts off stiff as a board, but here's the kicker: it's all about the break-in process. You see, raw denim molds to your body, creating unique wear patterns that are yours and yours alone. It's like a denim diary, documenting your every move.

Now, don't get it twisted; this denim's gonna shrink when you finally wash it, so snug is the word when you're trying them on. And when it comes to care, think less is more. Washing my raw denim? It's a tri-annual event, tops. Air dry, inside out, and we're golden. This way, I'm keeping the fabric in primo condition, ensuring those personalized fades come through just right.

Washed Denim Process

Diving into the world of washed denim, we find a fabric that's been through the wringer, literally, to achieve that softer, lived-in vibe we all crave. This process isn't just about making the material feel cozier; it's a deliberate pre-washing process to soften the fabric and reduce shrinkage, ensuring that what you buy fits just right from day one.

On the flip side, washing raw denim, before it hits your wardrobe, strips away some of the charm. Raw denim jeans, untouched and pure, offer a canvas that molds to your life, creating unique wear patterns over time. The contrast is stark – washed denim gives instant gratification with its comfort, while raw denim enthusiasts chase a personalized patina that tells a story with every crease and fade.

The Break-In Period

Embarking on the break-in period turns your raw denim into a custom fit masterpiece, tailored by your own daily adventures. At first, raw denim feels like a pair of cardboard jeans, but trust me, the journey to soften the fabric is worth every step. This isn't a sprint; it's a marathon, taking several months of regular wear to truly BREAK IN RAW denim and mold it to your body's contours.

Throughout this time, your movements etch in natural creases and fades unique to your body, transforming the denim. It's like watching a piece of art come to life, where every squat, bend, and stride leaves a mark. The beauty here is in the transformation – from stiff and unyielding to perfectly fitted and comfortable. The raw denim evolves with you, creating a personalized look that's impossible to replicate.

Durability and Benefits

One of the standout perks of real denim is its incredible toughness and lasting power. We're talking about raw denim here, folks. This stuff is legendary for its durability. Unlike the pre-washed jeans you might pick up at a store, raw denim is stiff and rugged. It's made to withstand a lot more wear and tear, which means you're getting more bang for your buck in the long run.

But here's where it gets really cool – raw denim changes with you. Over time, it develops unique wear patterns that are totally yours. It's like your pair of jeans is telling the story of your adventures together. This personalized fading process isn't just about looking good; it adds a layer of individuality and authenticity to your wardrobe that you just can't get with other types of denim.

Plus, choosing raw denim is a win for the planet too. It's got a lower carbon footprint compared to its washed counterparts, making it a sustainable choice for those of us who care about our environmental impact. So, you're not just getting a pair of jeans that lasts longer and looks cooler; you're also doing your bit for sustainability.

Care and Precautions

Taking care of your raw denim the right way can really make a difference in how it ages and keeps its unique charm. Now, I've learned a thing or two about keeping my denim in top shape without compromising its integrity. It's not just about tossing them in the wash; it's a whole ritual that ensures they last longer and look better with time.

Here's the rundown on the essential care tips:

  • Wash Sparingly: Limit washing to just a few times a year. This helps preserve the indigo color and prevents excessive fading. Plus, it keeps the fabric strong.
  • Inside Out and Cold: Always turn them inside out and opt for cold water. This trick minimizes shrinkage and helps maintain that rich color we all love.
  • Air Dry Always: Forget the dryer. Laying your jeans flat to air dry is the way to go. It prevents stretching and keeps the fit just right.

Selvedge Denim Explained

So, let's talk about selvedge denim and what sets it apart from the rest.

I'm about to break down the production techniques that make it so special and how you can spot the quality differences yourself.

It's all about getting that top-notch denim that stands the test of time and looks killer doing it.

Production Techniques Unveiled

Let's dive into how selvedge denim, a real testament to craftsmanship, is made. This type of denim is all about the unique seam finishing that you won't find in your average jeans. It's crafted using traditional shuttle looms, which is a bit old school but totally cool because it creates this self-finished edge on the fabric that's not just durable but also screams quality.

  • Traditional shuttle looms give it that classic, vintage vibe.
  • Unique seam finishing sets it apart from standard denim.
  • Craftsmanship shines through in every yard, making each piece like wearable art.

Selvedge denim isn't just fabric; it's a piece of history, tailored for those who appreciate the finer details and the story behind what they wear.

Identifying Quality Differences

Understanding the unique qualities of selvedge denim is key to appreciating its superior craftsmanship and durability. This high-grade fabric, made on traditional shuttle looms in specialized denim mills, boasts a tightly woven structure that's not only tougher but also gives it a distinct, vintage flair.

Unlike the common denim, selvedge or 'self-edge' denim features a clean, finished edge that screams quality. This edge, typically white and blue, marks its authenticity—a badge of honor for denim aficionados. Raw denim enthusiasts, in particular, prize selvedge for its ability to age beautifully, developing a personalized patina over time.

The dedication to using traditional shuttles ensures each yard of selvedge denim remains unique, embodying a blend of heritage and unrivaled durability.

Understanding Sanforization

Developed in the 1930s by Sanford Lockwood Cluett, sanforization's a game-changer in keeping our denim from shrinking after a wash. Before this method came into play, you'd buy a pair of jeans, wash them, and suddenly they're a size too small. Not cool. Sanforization practically eliminates this headache by pre-shrinking the denim fabric through a controlled shrinking treatment. This means, what you see is what you get, even after multiple washes.

Sanforized denim goes through a process that includes stretching, moistening, and steaming the fabric. This not only stabilizes it but also ensures that your jeans maintain their size and fit over time. Here's why this matters:

  • Consistency in sizing: You can trust that the size you buy is the size after washing.
  • Reduced shrinkage: The fear of your jeans not fitting after a wash is almost gone.
  • Quality assurance: It's a sign that the brand cares about the longevity and wearability of their jeans.

Understanding sanforization is key for anyone serious about their denim. It's not just about avoiding shrinkage; it's about ensuring quality and consistency in every pair you own.

Choosing Your Raw Jeans

Selecting your first pair of raw jeans can feel like a commitment, given their unique break-in process and long-term wear potential. Raw denim, or dry denim as it's also known, comes untouched by pre-washing or shrinking methods, making it a blank canvas for your personal wear story. When I picked my pair, I looked for a snug fit, knowing it would stretch and mold to my body, becoming more comfortable with time.

Caring for raw denim is pretty straightforward but requires discipline. I've learned to wash mine tri-annually, always turning them inside out before tossing them in and then letting them air dry flat. This has helped in maintaining their shape and color for longer.

The breaking-in period is a journey. Regular wear is key to softening the initial stiffness, and honestly, it's what makes raw denim so special. Each crease, fade, and wear pattern becomes a reflection of my lifestyle, creating a pair that's uniquely mine. The beauty of raw denim really shines through its personalized fading process, rewarding patience and care with a pair of jeans that tells its own story.

Popular Raw Denim Brands

After exploring how to pick and care for raw jeans, let's look at some top brands like The Unbranded Brand, Nudie Jeans, and Naked & Famous that stand out in the raw denim world. These labels aren't just about slinging any old pair of jeans; they're about delivering that top-notch selvedge denim that gets better with every wear. So, why do these brands make the cut? Let's dive in.

  • The Unbranded Brand offers affordable raw denim options that focus on high-quality craftsmanship without the flashy branding. It's all about the jeans and their journey with you.
  • Nudie Jeans takes pride in its ethical production and the authentic aging process of its denim. They're for those who care as much about the planet as their personal style.
  • Naked & Famous is known for its innovative and unusual denim fabrics. From glow-in-the-dark to raspberry scratch-n-sniff, they push the boundaries while maintaining the durability and personalized fades that raw denim enthusiasts crave.

These brands stand at the forefront of the raw denim scene, offering a variety of fits and styles. Each pair promises a unique wear pattern that reflects your lifestyle, making the denim truly your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is True Denim?

True denim's that unwashed, untreated fabric we call raw or dry denim. It's all about aging naturally to fit your body perfectly, creating unique fades. I'm into its durable, authentic vibe that evolves with wear.

What Is Genuine Denim?

I've learned that genuine denim, also known as raw or dry denim, starts off stiff and molds to your body over time. It's the real deal, requiring specific care and breaking in to fit perfectly.

What Is High Quality Denim Called?

I've learned that high-quality denim is referred to as premium denim. It's all about top-notch fabric, detailed craftsmanship, and lasting wear. Honestly, it's worth the extra bucks for its comfort, fit, and durability.

What Fabric Is the Only Real Denim?

I've learned that the only real denim is raw denim. It's untreated and stiff, unlike pre-washed versions. Over time, it'll mold to my lifestyle, creating a unique look that's genuinely mine.

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