Progress Report | APC New Standards, First Wash

My New Standards had seen six months of fairly consistent wearing and I decided it was time for a wash…well, not technically a wash I suppose, a cold soak.  It wasn’t the smell that dictated the decision (they seriously didn’t smell that bad at all), nor even the magical six month mark.  I more or less just got sick of the stiffness — they still could practically stand up on their own.  I of course would not have even started to consider this had I not felt all the wear marks were well-established and I wasn’t 100% satisfied with where they were at.

This was the first time these guys hit any water whatsoever, and so I thought I’d document the before and after effects of cold soaking raw denim.

Process:

I did a quick rinse with them on in the shower with luke warm water to let some running water over them.  Then, I turned them inside out, laid them flat out in my tub, and filled the tub up enough to make sure everything was submerged.  I let them soak for a couple hours, rolled them up in some towels (that I didn’t care if they got indigo on them) to soak up some water, then hung them up outside in the sun to dry.

Effects:

They tightened up a tad, but not a lot at all.  Most noticeable were the taming of the knee bulges, which I was happy about.  The color didn’t change much, maybe some very slight overall lightening of the color, as one would expect.  The most notable difference to me though, was the softening of the fabric.  After a couple hours of wear, the fabric softened up pretty nicely and that incredible stiffness they had before was gone.  The hand is much more pleasant now, but don’t get me wrong, they still feel nice and rugged.  It also lost it’s slight patina that it had developed (noticeable upon close inspection, it almost seemed waxed), but I feel like that might come back after some more months of non-washed wearing.  The after pictures below were taken after about an hour of wearing post-wash.  It’s been about a week now, and the color/fading has really taken on a new life and is starting look really really nice.  The best way I can describe it is that the color seems to have been getting sweeter ever since the soak.  I feel like I washed them right at the perfect time.  I’ll post some pics sometime.

BEFORE:

The above picture is probably the most accurate representation of the color the were before.

Notice the saggy knees.  A quick note about the knees — Having two kids means that I’m constantly on my knees so they were pretty quick to fade.  One thing I’m a bit bummed on is that when these were newer, they’d ride up quite a bit when I bent my knees, making the knee wear really low, pretty much at the top of my shins when I’m standing straight.  Ever since I washed them, they ride less and I’m practically starting a new knee spot above the older one.  It’d be a good idea to make sure when you’re breaking in your new jeans, that you train them not to ride up a lot when you bend your knees.

Wallet obviously in the left pocket.  Right pocket worn from keys/mini flashlight/key hook that I hang off my back loop.

Some great honeycombing.  Wouldn’t have been so defined had it not been for the initial stiffness.

Dirty ass cuffs/selvage.  This cleaned up pretty nice after the soak.  I did rub the selvage against itself to clean it a bit.

Close up of the twill pattern in the denim and how the indigo warp threads fade.

You could tell how stiff and crunchy they still were.

This is a closeup of a canvas belt I got a couple months ago.  You can see how much indigo was still bleeding even after several months.

AFTER

Notice how the knees tightened up compared to before.

Nice honeycombs minus the ultra-crunched look of before.


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19 responses to “Progress Report | APC New Standards, First Wash

  1. Awesome shots. My own NS’s don’t need a soak/wash either, but I was thinking of hitting em with some water and it’s good to know that someone else was thinking the same thing.

    As a side note, it’s good to have Newgrass back on WordPress – I look forward to commenting as per usual.

  2. hey teppei, if happen to read this, i was wondering how you got a pair of some black jeans you were wearing over the summer and at bamboozle last year to look faded grey. maybe they were bought that way but i hope not because im looking forward to getting a pair of black levis to get a nice faded black/grey look, and i thought maybe you had a method of attaining that. thanks dude.

  3. Great looking jeans.

  4. I’m experiencing the same saggy knee wear with my NS’s (I have a one year old son), and odd as it looks, it sorta gives them character. I’ve got two years of weekend wear on mine and they’re starting to reek bad. The old “stuff the pockets with dryer sheets” no longer works. So I’m reluctantly going to hit them with some water. But after seeing how nice yours came out, I’m feeling a bit more motivated. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wow, 2 years? You are a man of commitment. Try this for the smell, I did it a few times and it works great: Hang your jeans up indoors somewhere and light a stick of incense under them. Worked great for me, and you won’t necessarily smell like a hippie, more subtle campfire-ish.

  5. These turned out very nicely. How often did you wear these? I have a pair of petit standards that i’ve have for 4 months and wear 1-2 times a week and they are nowhere near where yours were even in the before photos. What the hell do you do? kill bears in them?

    • Haha. No, raise a nearly three year old boy and an 8 month old boy. Seriously, it’ll put some wear in your jeans. I also play music for a living and am on tour half the year and touring can be hard on your clothes. Plus I wore them probably 4 to 5 days a week. So in short make some babies, go on tour, or kill a bear.

  6. I read this post a while ago now and I didn’t really understand why you were so interested in your pair of jeans and their wear but today I was reading about denim, specifically selvage denim because I remembered seeing the word somewhere (in this post) and it completely opened my eyes! So thankyou for helping to enlighten me on the matter, I’m now rather excited about the whole subject.

  7. Hey Teps, are these 31’s or 27’s?

  8. Thanks for taking the time to respond, one last question before I dedicate 150 on some jeans. I have a pair of unbranded straight raw denim, how would you compare the fit of the two? I like unbranded because it is a straight leg and below the thigh area isn’t that tight or super tapered. Is the APC like that or is it skinnier and tapered?

    Thanks for the help!

    • The Unbranded are a lot slimmer size for size (if you compare, say, a 30 and a 30). The best way I can explain it is that I’m a 30 waist, sized down to 27 with the APC’s, could hardly button them or move my legs in them for the first week, but they fit amazing now. With the Unbranded, I got a 30 and they fit fine right off the bat. The leg opening is also tighter on the Unbranded (that’s why I say they’re slightly tapered even if it’s a “straight leg”), where as the APC’s seem to be more of a true straight leg. If you search around, I’m sure you can find measurements for both jeans. Hope this helps.

  9. Those are sweet man! And, you play in Thrice? Correct me if I am wrong. Currently I am over on SuFu (superfuture, check it out!), and I am wearing 2 pairs for the next two years. Samurai S500JX-LR, and The Strike Gold S1103EX. I think you should switch over to japanese denim :) Shit’s freaking amazing. It is totally different than any denim you’ll ever own. Anyways, great job!

  10. waht water did you soak them after you shower them? did you use hot water or cold water?

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