Denim FAQ – All About Denim


What Is Denim?

Denim is a cotton fabric that has crosswise threads that go over and under other threads. This is a diagonal type of weaving that makes the denim fabric durable and distinguishes it from other types of fabric. Before weaving, the warp threads are dyed with the indigo color, but the weft threads stay natural.

What is Denim Made of?

Denim is made of 100% heavy twill cotton.

What is Selvedge Denim?

Selvedge denim has evenly finished edges that won’t fray or become unraveled. Many jeans have a self-finished edge on the outside leg seam, usually stitched with a contrasting thread.

How to Wash Raw Denim.

Wearing raw denim jeans as long as possible before washing them is best, but there are a couple of ways to wash them:

  1. Put jeans in a bathtub of cold water, without detergent then hang dry.
    Spot clean any obvious stains.
  2. Turn jeans inside out, put them in the washing machine, alone, in cold
    water with a fade resistant detergent. When finished washing, hang to dry.

What is Raw Denim?

This is a denim fabric that is not washed or pre-treated. Jeans made with raw denim can be worn a long time before washing but will fade in a natural manner after washing them. As time goes on, they will fade more and get that worn look.

How to Distress Denim.

Buying stressed jeans can be expensive, so doing it yourself is an option. To get started, you’ll need scissors, markers, razor blade, sandpaper and a pencil. Next, figure out where to cut holes and where fading should be, making sure they’re not in the same areas.

  1. With your pencil or marker, make marks where you want the holes to be. Use a
    razor blade and rub the blade with the grain to remove the blue, then cut the
  2. Using sandpaper, begin fading by sanding at the knees first, then in various
    areas on the upper area of your jeans. This will give the same look as
    wearing jeans for a long time.
  3. To give your jeans the total distressed look, polish your denim by rubbing
    the razor blade on the pockets, edges and seams.
  4. Washing your denim will show the finished look. If you’re pleased with
    the result, your job is done.

How to Shrink Denim

There are several ways to shrink denim. One way is by washing jeans in hot water and drying them in the dryer on the highest heat setting. This may need to be done more than once to get the right fit. A faster way to get shrinkage is to boil water in a large pan, then put your jeans in the water for twenty to thirty minutes. Squeeze the water out then put in the dryer on high setting. A third way, which is more unconventional, is to wear your jeans in the bathtub in the hottest water you can endure, until the water cools down. After getting out of the tub, don’t take your jeans off until they are totally dry, and you will have a perfect fit!

When Was Denim Invented?

Denim was invented in Genoa, Italy in the 1500’s so sailors could wear blue. It is named after a French phrase “de NIMES” that means “from NIMES”, which is the city where denim was made.

How to Dye Denim.

To get started, you need: half box black dye; one box navy or denim blue dye; three gallon bucket; gloves and hot water.

  1. Put gloves on.
  2. Put hot water in the bucket, add both dyes and mix well.
  3. Wet jeans with hot water then put in the bucket, making sure there is
    plenty of water for jeans to float.
  4. Move jeans around so dye is evenly distributed; soak for thirty minutes.
  5. Take jeans out and either let them dry or rinse first, then dry. It may be
    better to rinse first so the dye won’t rub off on other items.
  6. Put jeans in the washer on spin cycle to remove excess water.
  7. Put jeans in dryer on lowest setting.

How to Soften Denim.

  1. Fill the washing machine with water on the smallest load setting.
  2. Add liquid fabric softener (no detergent) and let agitate to mix, then put
    jeans in the water.
  3. Before the wash cycle ends, reset to run through another cycle. Do this a few
  4. After the final wash, add more fabric softener in the rinse cycle water.
  5. Put jeans in the dryer. If you want shrinkage, dry on the high setting;
    otherwise, dry on low. Use dryer balls or tennis balls to help with softening,
    if the setting is on low.

How to Bleach Denim.

Fill a laundry tub with one part water and one part bleach. Put on rubber gloves. Put jeans in the bleach solution, making sure they are spread out evenly to avoid folds and unwanted patterns. Check jeans in twenty minutes, then again in thirty minutes to check the lightening process. If the jeans are lightened enough, remove them from the solution and squeeze out the excess water. Put jeans in the washer, only with water, and run through the wash cycle two times. Hang to dry.

How is Denim Made?

Cotton is gathered and harvested either by hand or machine. The cotton fiber is put into 550 pound bales from which 400 pairs of jeans can be made. It is spun into yarn and dyed. Next, a shuttle loom is used to weave the yarn into denim, then it is sent to the manufacturer to make their products.

How to Wash Denim Jacket.

Turn jacket inside out, put in the washer in cold water with a mild detergent on a gentle, short cycle. Lay flat to dry, then use a steam iron to restructure your jacket and put it back into shape.

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