Exploring the Differences Between Raw Denims
The differences between raw denim and washed are immediately noticeable to everyone. Raw denim is heavier, stiffer, darker and simply feels of a higher quality. But raw denim isn’t simply just raw denim; there are great differences between the numerous kinds of this amazing fabric.
In the first instalment of our guide to the essentials of raw denim, we explored what raw denim is and the ingredients and the processes that goes into creating a truly great raw denim fabric.
In this second instalment, we are going to dive deeper into the differences in individual fabrics.
Finally, in the third instalment, we explore what selvedge denim is.
The Differences In Raw Denim
The differences between raw denim and washed is immediately noticeable to everyone. Raw denim is heavier, stiffer, darker and simply feels of a higher quality.
To the untrained eye, most raw denim fabrics will be indistinguishable from one another. But you will learn over time that there is a great difference in raw denim also.
A Question of Weight
The first thing to be taken into account when differentiating a denim is the weight. The weight of a fabric is defined by how much a yard of the specific fabric weighs in ounces. The weight of a denim has a great deal to do with its fading potential and so should be taken into account.
A general breakdown looks like this:
- 12 oz. and below is be considered lightweight. Raw denim of this weight class is perfect for the summer months or warmer climates. Be aware that lighter denim tends not to crease and crumple as much as the heavier ones, which results in more subtle, less contrasty fades.
- 13-16 oz. is considered midweight. Most raw denim out there falls into this category. At this weight, the denim will be stiff enough to crease and crumple, setting in what will eventually be your unique fading pattern.
- 17 oz. and above is considered heavyweight. This is for the seasoned denimhead who is willing to put up with some initial discomfort for truly unique results.
Other Important Factors That Distinguish Raw Denim
Other factors in differentiating a raw denim include such terms as slubbiness, how tightly the denim is woven on the loom, loom chatter, and a plethora of other small details which make a unique denim. Each has its merits and the longer you are into denim, the more you will learn about what your specific taste is.
What Raw Denim Gives Back to you and the environment
When it comes to a really good pair of raw denim jeans, you may be paying three or four times as much as you would for a high-street bought jean. For the extra cash, you are getting extra quality. Even the cheapest raw denim jeans will last longer than a pre-washed pair. They have not gone through the industrial wash processes that damages the denim and means it lasts a much shorter time.
Your Raw Denim Jeans Will Be Unique
With raw denim, you are creating your very own “wash.” The way the denim fades is determined by your lifestyle and yours alone, already after 2-3 months your jeans will be unique. There will be no others like that in the world.
Raw Denim Jeans Are Eco-Friendly
By fading your denim down yourself, you are also making a hugely positive impact both ethically and environmentally. Pre-washed and pre-treated denim is hugely hazardous to both the environment and the people working in the industrialized washing facilities. The chemicals, solvents, and sandblasting used to create the fades you will do yourself have a plethora of nasty illnesses associated with them.
Raw Denim Actually Makes You Save Money
Lastly, you actually save money. Imagine wearing a pair of washed high-street jeans day in, day out. From personal experience, they last 3 months at the outside. A pair of raw denim jeans can last for years. If you break it down to euros/dollars/pounds per day, the raw denim jeans will always come out top in value for money.
Remember the Essentials and Choose Raw Denim
For us, raw denim is a passion and we sincerely hope that it will become one for you also. Armed with the essential of raw denim from part 1 and this part 2, you have the tools to go out there and choose a truly great pair of jeans. Created using a truly great denim.