We know that denim jargon and terminology can be confusing, so we’ll break this down for you in a simple way! Here’s your guide to virgin denim.
Virgin denim, also known as “raw” denim,” is denim that has been dyed and woven, but hasn’t undergone a pre-wash. Simply put: when it came off the loom, it was immediately cut and sewn into jeans without any distressing or washing.
When you first purchase virgin denim jeans, they are like a blank canvas. They’ve got a deep blue indigo colour with a slight shine, and they’re stiff when you first put them on. Because the fabric’s had no wash, the fabric is one monotone shade with no wear effects like the whiskers, fading or other effects you’ll see on washed jeans. (Aside: up until the 1970s, most jeans were made from virgin or “raw” denim. Today, most jeans are made with denim that’s already been washed during to shed ink off the fabric and pre-shrink it.)
The magic of virgin denim starts to happen as you break them in. After six months of regular wear, the indigo will slowly wear off and your own unique wear pattern will start to form. The denim moulds to your body, resulting in a completely one-of-a-kind, personalised product.
Each whisker, honeycomb and crease is an authentic reflection to the life your jeans have lived. All of your mannerisms will appear in the jeans, like if you carry a wallet in a certain pocket or always itch the same spot. The original stiffness will disappear and they’ll be fully moulded to your own body.
It takes months — even years — of commitment, but the result will be pretty sweet.
Please note: virgin denim cannot be washed in a regular machine. Click here for our 10 Step Guide on how to wash your virgin jeans.