We at Harlow know that a fabulous pair of denim are akin to being your best friend or lover even. When you find the perfect pair of denim, you are keen to develop a deep long lasting relationship with them. You want to ensure that throughout their lives they are always looking amazing and are at the top of their game.
So like any amazing relationship, you need to treat them with the love and respect they deserve for it to be a mutually satisfying one, you don’t want them expiring before their time, you want to ensure that they stick around as long as possible.
There are many schools of thought as to how you should care for your denim.
Some say NEVER machine wash, others say DO NOT WASH EVER, but most of us just want to keep our denim looking “as the fabulous as day they were bought” without too much trouble, so here are some tips…
- Turn those babies inside out before you put them anywhere near water. No matter the cycle, the very act of machine washing and drying is abrasive to fabrics because the garments rub against each other in the turning, tumbling load. To help minimise the abrasion wear & colour loss washing can cause, we suggest you zip up all zippers, button up all buttons and turn your jeans inside out before placing them in the washer. Leaving them inside out until you take them from the dryer ( & only if you must, drying is NOT a good option)
- Do not overload the washer, without room to move, zippers, buttons & rivets can snag or break, and cause damage to the denim fabric.
- Use care, ideally place the denim load on a delicate cycle to minimise the abrasion, even better unless they are particularly dirty wash them in sold water on a gentle cycle and if you must use the dryer, dry them at a low temperature. Remember that most women’s denim have elastane in them and heat makes the elastane deteriorate quicker.
- Use at special detergent that is formulated to preserve dark colours. They have ingredients to help fabrics hold onto dyes and to deactivate the chlorine in the water that can fade colours. Black and indigo denim are particularly prone to fading with washing, so anything that will keep their colour can only be a good thing, right?
- Never use bleach on your denim – but that’s a whole other tutorial ( blog post to come)
- Use a mild detergent in a cold wash separately. Don’t pour the detergent directly onto the denim - it's best to dissolve it first.
- Never soak your jeans because it will cause the indigo dye to run. This will make our jeans fade faster than they should.
- Go gently on the dryer, We implore you - Line dry where possible & make sure it’s in the shade, the sun can bleach you dark denim quicker than anything. We understand that sometimes you NEED to wear those babies , and only the dryer will have them ready in time, but just remember, Heat is not good for any fibre, especially for those denim fabrics that contain elastane, which all of Harlow’s denim do. Your dryer poses just as much of a threat to your denim as the washer. High temperatures will make your jeans shrink, and all the tumbling leads to unnecessary wear and tear. Left in the dryer too long & tend to get over-dried and "fried.” All fabrics and especially jeans benefit when you take them out of the dryer slightly damp. Simply tug and smooth them into shape and let them finish drying flat or on a hanger. If, even after tumbling on low heat and a delicate cycle, you see lots of lint on the dryer's filter, you may want to switch to line drying your jeans to help preserve the fabric.
Overall if you want to maintain the “just bought” look, wash them as little as possible, as over washing can cause them to shrink and lose their strength and durability very quickly.
Lastly here is a school of thought that you should NEVER was your denim, instead pop them in a bag and then into the freezer over night, this supposedly kills off all bacteria & will have them smelling fresh again! I can’t say I’m a believer, but you do what feels right for you
Just remember these gorgeous denim pieces deserve the very best care, take care of them and they will be helping you feel fabulous for years to come…