A pair of blue denim jeans lying on a zebra-stripe sofa
kair 101

A guide to more durable denim

From jeans to jackets, shirts to skirts, denim is a wardrobe staple. It’s one of the most durable fabrics, requiring relatively low maintenance. But how much do you really know about caring for your denim? We’ve debunked common myths and truths to help you fix up your denim knowledge, so that your favourite denim pieces can live life to the full.

#1: wash after every wash

MYTH. When it comes to washing your denim pieces, less really is more: limiting the number of unnecessary washes you put your denim through will help prolong its life. How often you wash it depends on how many times you wear it and what your activity level is like. A good rule of thumb is after every 5-10 wears, which translates as once or twice a month. We also recommend spot-cleaning and freshening up with regular spritzes of our Finishing Spray, to keep your denim going between spins and avoid a full wash.

#2: wash in cool water

TRUTH. To maintain denim’s colour, shape and longevity you should always wash in cold or cool water (20-30°C max) with minimal, gentle detergent. This will help protect your denim against both shrinkage and fading. Be sure to avoid powdered detergent in particular: it can sometimes create unwanted white markings on heavy fabrics. Remember to also check all pockets before loading your machine: soggy half-dissolved tissues are never welcome, and metal items like keys and coins can damage the machine itself.

#3: pull up your jeans using the belt hooks

MYTH. Though it seems natural and convenient, pulling up your jeans by the belt hooks can cause damage to the fabric: even very expensive belt loops are not designed to withstand that kind of force. Always put on and adjust your jeans by the waistband - it’s the stronger part of the garment, and so much less likely to tear when tugged. 

#4: never tumble dry denim

TRUTH. Tumble drying can wreak havoc on your denim at any stage in its life: the high temperatures alter the composition of the cotton in the denim. This accelerates wear and eventual breakdown, both changing the way the denim feels and causing creasing and wrinkles, as well as leading to unwanted colour loss. Line drying is best for denim: it preserves shape, fit and colour. After washing, turn your denim the right way round and re-shape while still damp, making sure the pockets aren’t bunched up inside.

Myth #5: never use fabric softener on denim

FALSE. Many fabric softeners can be hard on raw denim and stretch denim, degrading both the fibres and colour. But that’s not to say you should never use fabric softener on denim - simply investigate the ingredients. Avoid anything containing chemical dyes and optical brighteners, and instead opt for something which will gently soften and protect the natural fibres. We recommend our Signature Fabric Conditioner, which is plant-based and guaranteed to keep your denim soft, supple, silky-smooth and damage-free. 

 

Cover Image by Alex Bramall

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