Denim is a cotton fabric which requires special care. This is a little-known fact among the millions of American men and women who purchase jeans each and every year. Denim was originally designed to be rugged and durable; after all, the first jeans were designed for the workplace. However, the denim used in today’s fashion industry is not nearly as durable as the fabric used to make dungarees, which are made from a heavier and thicker form of denim.
The best way to shorten the life of your jeans is by frequent washing. Denim is a cotton twill textile, meaning that is is organic in nature. Anything that is organic will eventually break down. Jeans can be worn several times before they need washing. Infrequent washing allows the oils secreted by the human skin to penetrate into the cotton fibers, essentially “waterproofing” them. The oils also make the fabric more pliable, allowing it to contour to the body of the wearer. This is why everyone has a favorite pair of jeans that fit like a glove. The perfect pair of jeans feels like they are a part of you, a second skin. This is because they are, thanks to the oils secreted by your skin’s sebaceous glands.
When washing jeans, it is a good idea to wash them in cold water. This not only prevents the cotton from shrinking, but will minimize color fading. Some fashion experts even advise washing jeans in salt water for the same reasons. Salt, a natural preservative, will increase the life of your jeans.
There are some people who just can’t bring themselves to avoid washing their jeans. There is nothing unsanitary about infrequent washing as long as you know how to wear your jeans. Knowing how to wear jeans just may be the most important step in caring for them. Jeans should not be worn all day long. Set a limit of four to six hours for each pair of jeans. This is long enough for a night out on the town, going out with friends, or lounging around the house. If you wear the same pair of jeans for 12 hours straight, theoretically they will be three times as dirty as wearing them for only four hours. In other words, by limiting your wear to only four hours, you can wear the same pair of jeans three days in a row and they will be no dirtier than if you were to wear the jeans all day long.
It is sometimes a heartbreaking experience to part with a beloved pair of jeans, but with proper care and infrequent washing your favorite pair of jeans can survive for several years.