How to Wash Selvedge Denim

Care & Wear

 Here at Joe & Co we are very passionate about what we produce and care about our products when they leave our premises and throughout their journey.

This page will give you an insight on how, based on our years of experience, we recommend you look after your denim to get maximum longevity. Ensuring you’ll wear your Joe & Co garments for years to come.


Most raw selvedge denim nowadays is sanforized...... SANFORIZING is a process for treating cotton that reduces the amount of shrinkage that denim may undergo if left unsanforized, usually amounts between 5% - 10% so sanforizing means that you don’t have to sit in the bath for hours on end to get the perfect fit. Not only that,  it ensures that the denim retains the colour and structure of the jean, while still getting  the fades you want and making your jeans last longer.

For now, all our denim is sanforized and here I will give you tips on how to wash them properly for longevity.

Once you are happy with your purchase, wear the denim for as long as you like until you feel that it’s time for the first wash. Ideally wear them in until you feel the fabric getting softer. Depending on how often you wear them, this can take anything from 2-4 weeks of daily wear or up to 6 weeks if you’re breaking in more than one pair.

In our opinion, breaking in the denim is fun. Your jeans will mould round your frame. giving you the unique creasing and fades that no machine or any other process can achieve. This is a fact....Only you can you can achieve this.

Here is a pair I am breaking in at the moment. These are our COLLIER 370 13.5oz Japanese Denim from the Nihon Menpu Mill in Japan.


This is the first day of wearing, and you can see the creasing already starting on the pockets, beginning to define the perfect mould.
Here is the same selvedge denim fabric after 5 years of wear. Please note that these were worn on a daily basis for a number of weeks until the first wash



As you can see the fades on this garment are really something.

These jeans were first washed after about 6 weeks of daily use. I turned them inside out, threw them in the machine with a little detergent (powder) and put them on 30d wash cycle for about 30 mins. I then put them in to spin for 5 minutes to clear excess water. Once finished, they were pulled out and stretched flat to clear the creasing from the spin, then hung up to drip dry for about 48 hours, depending on room temp

DO NOT hang them over the radiator! Even though they will dry quicker, this will tend to leave crease marks and ruin the look you’re aiming to achieve. Once they are dry, they will have shrunk by about 1-1.5 inches all over. On your second wear, they will feel quite snug, however, after wearing for a an hour or so, they will stretch back and mould around your frame to give you the perfect fit.

There are many forums and websites claiming that, to stop your jeans from smelling after long periods of wear, you should put them in the freezer, hang them in the airing room, wash them in the sea, wash them after 6 months and so on....... THIS IS RUBBISH!

 Get your first wash out of the way and then take it from here.......... WASH THEM WHEN THEY’RE DIRTY. It really is that simple. You will still get the amazing fades you require and a much longer lasting pair of jeans.

Not washing them for months and months after your first wash is not good for the denim. Dirt & bacteria will form in the fabric and cause the fibre to break down. Meaning that holes will start to appear, especially when the jeans are too tight on the thigh or the jean is made from inferior fabric.

There are some well-known brands out there having these issues on a regular basis.

STRETCH IN YOUR DENIM.......... Don’t even go there!

We make jeans for men.  So when purchasing your next pair of denim jeans, bear all of this in mind.

We know denim better than most, so trust in Joe & Co.