One thing I realised when sharing the maritime shorts is I like to know a garment & give it a few wears before blogging. Well, in the last 8 days these jeans have only reluctantly been peeled off for showering, sleeping, and - as the boy's fam was staying with us and I wanted to at least give the illusion of cleanliness (ha!) - that one day when I thought "I should probably wear something else."
So these are my dry gingers! No, not a delicious cider based cocktail, but another pair of Ginger jeans (first pair here) in dry denim, and I'm going to try and not wash them.
What is dry denim?
Most RTW jeans are made from washed denim (Wet denim? Cooked denim? Lightly tempered denim?), which is washed after being dyed to reduce shrinkage, soften the denim, and remove excess dye so the indigo doesn't rub on everything.
In comparison, dry or raw denim is dark, waxy or stiff, and can leave a blue mark wherever you repeatedly sit or lean against. It can be sanforized (a chemical treatment that prohibits shrinkage) or unsanforized (meaning they'll shrink like normal denim when washed).
What's the point?
Breaking in dry jeans appears to be the biggest appeal, but I'm wondering if those enchanted by the lazy element were just too lazy to tell the internet about it.
Breaking in is the process of wearing your jeans and not washing them for at least 6 months (although some denim heads suggest never). As they are worn, a pattern develops that is totally unique to the wearer. The fit of the leg, the stretch, and the way the wearer walks and moves affects how the honeycomb develops behind the knee, the whiskers on the upper thigh, and the stacks around the ankles. What you do in your jeans and how you live your life is represented in the variation of colours and fade.
If your jeans make you retch and you choose to wash them after 6 months, the washing will remove some of the excess dye and contrast the faded areas even more.
I first thought it sounded a bit wanky, but I've been converted to thinking it's a beautiful experiment. I love how Taylor talks about the fraying from his wedding ring and perusing the Nudie Jeans user stories. I can't wait to see how mine turn out, although I am a little terrified that my daily bike rides will create a large, faded circle on my butt.
^ Check out ma' honeycombs!
... And the cons?
It's suggested you don't wash your jeans for at least 6 months, so I might have to take around a little air freshener with me because I have an uncanny ability to lose food somewhere between my plate and my face and find it later on my clothes.
Hopefully this won't get me uninvited from too many dinner parties.
Some people also complain that freshly made, dry denim jeans are uncomfortable, like trying to wrap cardboard around your crotch, but I love the way they conform to my body. Perhaps it's just because they're created for me, and tailored to wrap every curve, but sliding them on felt like (at the risk of sounding like Buffalo Bill) another skin.
Also, I get the irony of spending so much energy removing crotch whiskers with proper fitting just to encourage them with fading.
As this is a pretty big post and I've already reviewed the Ginger Jean pattern and my changes, here's a quick run down of this pair:
The only changes I made from the previous pair were to:
- Lengthen the legs by 1"
- Use normal thread instead of topstitching thread because my machine doesn't cope very well with it. This might take away from the traditional aesthetic, but that bothers me less than messy stitching.
- Use bias tape instead of zig-zagging seams that couldn't be flat-felled (I don't have an overlocker / serger). I love the way it looks when I fold up the cuffs.
- Added my little label to the pocket instead of the inside waistband just in case I forget my name. It also helps people believe me that yes, I did indeed make these, without having to take my pants off.
The denim, button, and YKK lock-down zip are all from M Recht and cost me around $40 in materials which is outrageous because I've paid at least four times more for a pair of jeans I loved a billion times less.