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This Is What 4 Years in Raw Denim Have Taught Me

4 years in raw denim learned denimhunters

At the end of this month, it will have been four years since I bought my first piece of raw denim. In that time. I have learned a lot about denim, about the industry, and about garment construction – no to mention consumption as a whole. It’s been a great journey, here’s what I learned along the way.

My Raw Denim “Projects”

Unlike for most denimheads, my first raw denim garment was not a pair of jeans, it was a jacket; specifically an Evisu Jacket modeled after the Type I. And I’ll be honest, it hasn’t seen much wear. But, it still hangs on my rail as a marker. After that jacket, my pattern of consumption changed.

Over the years, I have collected a fair few jeans; I kept some and let others go.

The list of “project” pairs reads like this:

  • Levi’s 501 STF selvedge: 6 months (I got too skinny for them).
  • Nudie Average Joe’s: 20 months of continuous wear with no washes. They are retired now.
  • Edwin Nashville’s: Made in Japan editions. Saw about 4 months before being passed on to a friend.
  • Railcar Fine Goods Spikes X001: Passed along to a friend.
  • Big John Rare 008: 8 months. Still in rotation.
  • 3sixteen 31BSP: 4 months. Still in rotation.
  • Pure Blue Japan. These were a pre-release from PBJ during the Inzuma Market at the summer 2014 Bread and Butter. The denim was unsanforized, super slubby and so new it didn’t have a name but the fit is the slim/straight.

Hanging on my clothes rail, there are a few extra pairs, mostly Levi’s Vintage Clothing 501’s that I collect for historical interest. The above list is the jeans I have spent a significant amount of time in.

I will admit that the list is missing some of the icons in raw denim, but I still have time.

The jeans I’ve worn over the years have taught me some valuable lessons. Find out what they are on the next page

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Romain BARBE January 26, 2015 at 18:00

Thanks for sharing your experience!
Guess we’re all pretty much on the same page here. Except for the washing part. I’m a “No Washing” advocate, because of the rotation you were so rightly talking about. Got 5-6 different pairs I’ll rotate with so none of them end up smelling like garbage. Always been reluctant and wanted to break in the jeans naturally, and also not mess with the fading. But once again that’s only my experience and point of view! 🙂

Arie van den Berg January 27, 2015 at 18:09

Great to read and very known for me as a raw-denim-head. I would advice to add a Lee 101z to your collection. Wonderful jeans with great wear-patterns after several years.
And always repair your jeans if needed. I have on old Lee (around 25 years old) with more than 60 repairs done by me.


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