Many people are confused about how to wash raw denim. This is very understandable as there are many people out who give different advice on how to (or not to) wash raw denim. However heavy weight denim is a different beast and may need different treatment than your average raw denim.
Step 1: Turn your heavy denim inside out
This step is the most critical no matter what you do next. If you fail to do this you may end up vertical fadings along where the jeans crease. Due to the heavy weight of the fabric they may crease and keep their shape while washing. Turning the jeans inside out will protect the indigo rich warp preventing premature fading.
Step 2: Use cold water
Using cold water will reduce any potential shrinkage and save you some cash.
Step 3: Choose the right detergent
Choosing the wrong detergent could mean that your beloved jeans receive a whiting treatment that is common in house hold laundry detergents. Instead choose a detergent designed for dark clothes such as Woolite Dark or Cheer Dark. Also remember that you are only washing one garment so you wont need a lot of detergent.
Step 4: Hand wash
If you jeans are only lightly dirty hand washing is a great way to get them clean again. By hand washing you will control the amount of agitation. This usually means that you will end up loosing less indigo.
Step 5: Machine wash
If your jeans are really dirty don’t be afraid to put them in the washing machine. Choose a delicate mode and cold water with no spin.
Step 6: Hang dry
After washing find a good place to hang up your jeans and let them dry. If your worried about shrinkage in the waist you can insert a piece of wood at the waist or wear them until they dry.
Step 7: Enjoy your clean heavy denim
Now that you have cleaned your heavy denim you have no excuse not to wear them every day! Try not to get them dirty again!