CARE, WASH & REPAIR

Before we deep dive into the ins and outs of how to care for your dry denim, let's just remember one thing: caring is wearing.

The most sustainable clothing in the world is the clothing you already have in your wardrobe. Maintaining what you have can mean only good things. You add to your individual style story, your garment becomes even more authentic, and you continue to wear what you love.

There's a whole load of myths surrounding how to care for dry denim. And, there are no right or wrong answers. In this how to care for your dry denim guide we’ve compiled comprehensive yet digestible information on what to be aware of when it's time to look after your dry denim garments. Depending on your personal preference, style, and what look you're going for, we've highlighted the cause-and-effects of how you’re dry denim will end up once its been maintained.

Let's kick things off with some of the basics. But, don't be fooled by the simplicity of the information. When it comes down to the overall maintenance of your dry denim all tips and tricks are important. Especially if it's your first time caring for your dry denim.


WHAT IS DRY DENIM?

Dry denim, also called 'raw denim' or 'unwashed denim' is a garment (usually jeans, a jacket or a shirt) crafted from an untreated denim fabric. This means that the fabric is not washed, bleached or artificially distressed after the garment is finished. In more simple terms, the garment goes directly from construction and finishing to you.

Instead of creating a worn and washed look at a laundry facility, your dry denim will naturally mature over time reflecting how you wear and care for it. Whether your garment is a pair of denim jeans, jacket or shirt, the key stress points are susceptible to natural fading, wear and tear. These are some of the key characteristics that contribute to how your denim will evolve. Your lifestyle and frequency of wearing your denim will essentially dictate the speed in which your garment changes. Eventually, it's up to you how your denim evolves.

Over time your dry denim will crease and mold to fit your body. This doesn't mean your garment will be super fitted and become the exact same shape of your body. It just means that the piece of clothing will become softer and more comfortable over time. You'll look and feel as if you were made to be wearing the garment. Dry denim is a long term commitment and there is no end result. It's one big journey, and things only get better and better. First and foremost, at BENZAK we design all of our garments to withstand hard wear and show incredible character along the way. The garment becomes more personal to you wear after wear.


DO YOU NEED TO SOAK JEANS BEFORE WEARING THEM?

One of the first questions we get asked before someone buys a pair of BENZAK jeans is: "Do I need to soak my jeans before I wear them?"

The answer is a simple 'no'.

BENZAK jeans are sanforized. Sanforization is a steaming process the fabric goes through before the fabric has been cut into the garment pattern. This process is designed to eliminate the amount a fabric shrink after a fully constructed denim garment has been washed.

There is no faffing about pre-purchase with wondering if you need to size up in preparation for a pre-wear soak. When you purchase a BENZAK denim product you can have full confidence in wearing it from the moment you unbox it.


WHAT IS DENIM BLEEDING?

One key aspect of the denim dyeing process is that not all of the dye settles into the fibre. Due to the denim not being washed or treated after dyeing, there is always some indigo dyestuff left on the surface of the yarns. The outcome of this chemical reaction is that the denim will 'bleed'. Meaning the indigo colour will smudge onto any surface it rubs against. This is nothing unusual, but you need to be aware when wearing unwashed dry denim close to light-coloured clothing or objects. Well, pretty much don't sit on your grandmothers cream coloured couch while wearing your box-fresh pair of BENZAK jeans.

  • To minimize the effect of your dry denim staining light-coloured shoes, the best way is to cuff the bottom hem and wear your jeans rolled or folded up. By doing this, the reversed side of the jeans fabric is closest to the shoe and won’t rub off as much. And, you can style out the selvedge edge, which is a subtle nod to your love for high-quality denim. This doesn't prevent bleeding at all, but it helps a fair amount at least.
  • Wear dark shaded tops and underwear for the first few weeks of wear to avoid blue discolouration on your lighter garments. If you do get some blue colour on a lighter garment, it’s easily removed by spot treating the stain. Or, a normal machine wash at (30°C) should do the trick.
  • If you're not too fussed and surrender to the power of indigo and let the bleeding win, you can give the jeans a quick soak in cold water. This will pull out some of the excess indigo and set the rest of the dye into the fabric. The only implications of this are that the jeans are no longer dry and they’ll fade with slightly less contrast.

HOW TO AVOID CROTCH BLOWOUTS

Crotch holes are the result of friction on the fabric between your thighs. The better the fit, the lower the friction. Make sure your denim doesn't slide down and sit too low on the hip. Sometimes that bulks up fabric between your thighs that will be exposed to friction when you walk or move.

Your jeans are made for all-day and everyday wearing, and we understand that you're a cyclist, motorcyclist or skateboarder. Or, you're wearing your jeans for labour-intensive tasks daily. In those cases, crotch blowouts are far more common if you're constantly manoeuvring in more abrasive ways.

Immediately repairing a crotch blow out is a necessity when it comes to looking after your dry denim. A trick to strengthening your denim is to soak your garment every now and then. This tightens up the fibres and keeps them from breaking.


WHY WE ADVISE YOU TO PROLONG THE FIRST WASH

Prolonging the washing of your denim garments has more benefits than one would primarily think. As denim specialists and style enthusiasts we're all about individuality and feeling comfortable in yourself. The evolution of your BENZAK denim garments is totally up to you. The higher the frequency of wear, and the longer you wait till you wash your denim will then result in super characterised fabric fades and features once you do eventually decide to wash your denim for the first time.

Generally speaking, end consumers washing clothes is a large contributor to environmental damage. The overusing of soaps and detergents plays a huge role in water pollution. Clothing fibres and chemicals are being constantly mixed, flushed away into water systems and sent into the ocean. By not washing at all, or very minimally washing your denim garments, you are taking steps in the right direction to minimize your carbon footprint. BENZAK dry denim is made to last. Caring is wearing, and when the time comes, if you look after your denim you'll be able to wear it for a lifetime.


HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DRY DENIM

Jeans are not indestructible, nor immortal. Denim is essentially the most common and hard-used garment in our wardrobes. The longer you wear your jeans between washes, sweat, oil and dirt are breaking down the cotton fibres and can create holes and breakage, especially in the crotch area. Therefore, a wash from time to time can prolong the lifetime of the garment.

WASH

There comes a time when you can’t postpone the first wash. If you search the web you will find a lot of different opinions regarding this subject. 
The fact of the matter is, there is no definitive right or wrong way, it all comes down to personal preference.

In Denim Talk No.2 we explain our take on this matter.

REPAIR

There comes a time when you need to repair your jeans, whether it's crotch blowout or a knee hole, it's inevitable. We've always been big supporters of DIY, but when in need of professional help, we highly recommend Dutch Denim Repair. Our Netherlands-based denim whizz is an affordable click away from fixing up your most desired denim.

Edwin (DDR's founder) is a good friend of ours and we're always one to support local small businesses. All you have to do is wash your jeans and send them to Dutch Denim Repair. Click here to visit Dutch Denim Repair.


HEMMING SERVICE

Our custom hemming service is back! Functionality and comfort are two aspects of our garments that sit at the forefront of our design process. Our partner Dutch Denim Repair takes great care in hemming your jeans so that you receive them at the perfect length.

Just add the hemming service to your order and we'll make sure that your jeans will be hemmed using our original BENZAK threads, and of course done on a Union Special chainstitch machine.