Raw denim is the term given to denim that has not undergone any finishing treatments, washes or tampering before, during or after being turned into a pair of jeans. To the touch it will feel strange if you’re used to off-the-peg high street models; starchy, perhaps like cardboard and very stiff. The denim will have been woven on old-style shuttle looms, originating from Japan, and will normally have a visible selfedge (to avoid the threads unravelling on these narrow looms) on the outside seam. As a process it takes a longer period of time to create a pair of jeans like this so they will normally cost a little more.

A pair of raw jeans will either be pre-soaked (sanforised), which takes care of any shrinkage you may experience during washing or soaking, or will need a soak to get a pair of jeans to the desired fitting. Many raw denim enthusiasts are incredible precious about the soaking/washing process.Most carry out an initial soak before ‘breaking in’ a pair over many months – where they will not let the pair touch water – to create the unique fades and creasing.

Raw denim’s history is rich and stems back many years should you wish to dig around on the web a little. However, seeing as we’re going to be looking raw denim in a contemporary context we thought it would be good to illustrate a bit of terminology used by aficionados to describe its attributes. Ultimately, to break in a pair of raw jeans is a strangely addictive process but the feeling of wearing a pair that is unique to you, with beautiful fading and wear lines is hugely rewarding.



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