How To Get Good Denim Fades (with Pictures)

How To Get Good Denim Fades (with Pictures)

All of the denim we sell are considered "raw" as the denim has not been subject to any pre-wash processes (i.e. distressing). As such, it's up to the wearer to break them in and achieve the distressing themselves. Granted this process is challenging and time consuming but they look substantially better if done correctly. Success or failure comes down to what you do before you wash your jeans, how you wash them, and what you do after the first wash.

CT-100x - Classic Tapered 14.5oz Indigo Selvedge

note, cut is not the Classic Tapered, but fabric is the same


Raw denim is usually pretty stiff and rigid. We recommend giving your jeans a quick soak in the bathtub before you start wearing them. This will help remove most of the starch and soften the fabric. Even though some argue that rinsed jeans won’t wear in as well as dry ones, the rinse will make your jeans last longer.

  1. Turn your jeans inside out.
  2. Fill your sink/tub with lukewarm water.
  3. Use something to keep the jeans submerged.
  4. Let the jeans soak for an hour or two. You might see a slight colour change of the water. This is completely normal and a result of starch (and a tiny bit of indigo) being washed out.
  5. After the soak, hang your jeans to dry in the shower or outside if the weather allows it.

JB0404 12.5oz African Selvedge Denim - Tapered

After the pre-soak, wear your jeans as much as possible – preferably for several months – before you wash them for the first time in the washing machine. The more you wear your jeans, the more distinct wear patterns you will achieve.

Several months of intense wear will cause the denim to wear in some areas more than others. Especially in areas with a lot of friction, for example, cuffs, crotch, knees and pockets.

JB0601 14.8oz US Selvedge Denim - High Tapered same fabric as (JB0401 - Tapered)


Certain "denim heads" would argue that you shouldn't wash denim at all, but given the (un)sanitary issues that could impact the strength of the denim, we recommend moderate washing to ensure your jeans last for a long time. To ensure the best results, here are three simple steps to ensure your denim is washed correctly:

  1. Close the zipper and fasten all buttons. Turn the jeans inside out. This helps to protect against losing shape as well as minimizes any scratches on the washing machine.
  2. Put in the detergent and turn on the washing machine. Please don't use fluorescent whitening agents and do not wash with whites.
  3. Hang the jeans inside out and let them dry naturally. It's recommended to dry the jeans in the shade (avoid sunlight while drying). Avoid direct heat (drying/tumble dry) as this causes shrinkage of both the jeans and leather patch.

JBCD0463 13.5oz Côte d'Ivoire Selvedge Denim - Tapered


After the first wash, your jeans will be less dirt repellent. To go for months between each washes might be unrealistic. But, you should wear your jeans as much as possible between washes.

JB0706 14oz Zimbabwe x Memphis Selvedge Denim - Tight Straight


note, cut is not the Straight Tight, but fabric is the same

 all pictures courtesy of &

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