Sunday 22 September 2013

DC4's Denim Wear & Care Guide

Among denim lovers, many people have a different point of view when it comes to washing and caring for your pair of jeans. This is how we at DC4 Berlin think you should treat your Japanese denim.

Soaking your new pair
When you're getting a fresh pair of raw denim at DC4, chances are they the jeans are 'unsanforized', or shrink-to-fit. This means you have to soak the jeans before you wear them in order to get them to the right size. Unsanforized denim usually shrinks about 1 or 2 inches in the waist, and 2 inches in length – please keep this in mind when choosing your size. Are the jeans sanforized? Then don't bother: wear them as soon as you can.

When you get home with your jeans, lay them down in your bathtub, sink or a bucket. Pour in the hottest tap water you can get (don't pour boiling hot water on the jeans, this will cause the leather patch to shrink to oblivion) and submerge your jeans for an hour or so. Take them out, and let them hang until they are dry. Never use a tumble dryer to speed things up: this will only cause the denim to become soft and mushy, and the legs might twist.

If you're not sure if the jeans you want are sanforized, never hesitate to contact us (in-store, via e-mail, Facebook or Tumblr) and ask. Also, if you don't want to go through the trouble of soaking, DC4 will happily soak the jeans for you in our Soaking Room – free of charge.

How long should I wait before washing my denim? 
Many folks are sure they need to wait at least six months before letting their jeans touch even a drop of rainwater, but please: don't worry about washing your jeans 'too early'. All jeans sold at DC4 Berlin are of the highest quality you can find, and will hold their indigo just fine. It will not matter if you decide to wash your jeans every two weeks or every three months. Only hold out on washing your pair if you're looking for high-contrast fading. If you want your jeans to last, make sure to wash them every now and then. The cotton will thank you.

Washing in the machine 
Turn your jeans inside out to avoid white lines running down the legs, and use a small amount of detergent. We recommend to use a special denim detergent, like Samurai's Thunder Soap. Wash at 30 or 40 degrees Celsius for a normal wash, and 60 if they are really filthy and/or you're looking for high contrast.

Washing without a machine 
For the least aggressive way of cleaning denim, wash your jeans by hand with a small amount of detergent in lukewarm water. Let them hang-dry. Alternatively, washing your jeans in the ocean is an option too – this was a popular method in the 1960's. Travel to a tropical island, wear your jeans and take them for a swim. You can rub a bit of sand on the greasy parts to clean more thoroughly. Rinse them in fresh water, and again, hang until dry.

Dry-cleaning is something we don't recommend. Cotton that has been suffocated with grease and dirt for months, needs to be washed with water. Remember: your heavy duty pair of denim isn't a fancy wool suit.

This guide is not a way to tell you how to live your life. Enjoy your pair of Japanese denim the way you want to, and show off your worn-in pairs to your friends and us.