To wash or not to wash
Most denim aficionados hardly ever wash their jeans to create a high contrast in fading and keep the stiff and roughness in their products. After all, not washing the jeans prevents the indigo from losing color, emphasizing the wear and tear meaning high contrast whiskers and honeycombs. But there is also a downside to it. Your jeans will smell. Also consider the fact the cotton fiber will dry out. This means you have greater chance for rips and damage.
Washing by hand
The safest way of cleaning is to soak your jean. Make a tub with +- 30C water and a bit detergent for black/ dark colors. Turn your jean inside out and close buttons. Make sure your jeans stay under water with putting some weight on them. Let them soak for around 30 minutes, get them out, rinse them with cold water to get out the last moisture and detergent, turn the jeans back and let them air dry.
When you do wash
There are numerous washing methods, but this is the one LEBL applies. Unwashed, new denim can be dipped in water after a couple of weeks. This is not a real washing, but it does hydrate the fibers and will also result in the top layer of indigo/ stiffness start to let go. After this we tend to wash the jeans every 3 or 4 months (assuming you wear it around 3/4 days a week): inside-out, buttons closed, on 30°C wool program. Use a laundry detergent for darks. You dry it by hanging it out evenly. This kind of washing results in your jeans becoming softer, lighter and lower in contrast. We like it when they eventually look like authentic vintage jeans.
Fact: the more you wash, the faster the color fades, the less contrast you get. The higher the temperature, the more color you’ll lose.
Wetness is good
Showering with your new jeans is a good option when you want to create a more comfortable fit by shaping it to your body. We wouldn’t recommend leaving it on afterwards, because you might alter the garment’s shape too much. You don’t want knee shapes molded in the fabric.
Most fabrics nowadays are sanforized, meaning pre-shrunk. Keep in mind though the fabrics still have a 3 to 5% washing shrinkage – mostly in length. Obviously your jeans are overall a bit tighter after washing, but this is something a nice stroll around the block will fix.
Give them a break
What we want more than anything is for you to enjoy your jeans. Real die-hards might even wear their favorite pair 7 days a week, which has one big advantage: you only need one pair. We believe in wearing your jeans about 3/4 days a week. First: it’s nice to alternate different models, fits and colors. Second: sometimes you need to give your jeans a break. Compare this to leather gloves, or even certain shoes: super frequent use will leave no time for recovery of the materials, which will compromise the original fit. And that would be a pity.