Denim Prep

I love starting new projects.

Raw denim, rolled out and inspected.

selvedge denim roll

Tossed in the tub for a soak. I feel bad holding it under the water against its will.

selvedge denim soaking

Hung out to dry in the sun.

selvedge denim drying

Rolled back up, ready to cut.

selvedge denim rolled up

In case you missed it, here is a little interview I did with Peter from Male Pattern Boldness about denim and making jeans.

6 Responses to “Denim Prep”

  1. Lisa — May 13, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    Hi Taylor! Is there a reason you don’t wash the denim in a washing machine (outside of the fact that it may be too long for your machine)?

    P.S. I really like your blog and new sewing supply site. You are VERY talented for someone so new to sewing!

  2. Taylor — May 13, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    Thanks Lisa! I like to preserve as much of the dark indigo color as possible, and think that a static soak might be better than the continuous churning of a washing machine. I put everything else except raw denim in the washing machine.


  3. Johann — May 17, 2011 @ 10:47 am


    Do you wash your jeans once you’ve made them? I’ve read how the selvedge denim enthusiasts wash them every 6 months or something crazy like that. It just sounds so disgusting.

  4. Ms. McCall — October 22, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    Hi Taylor! I’m sorry that this is a question on such an old post, but I’m wondering if you soak the denim to get some of the shrinkage out, or if there’s some other reason? I know denim enthusiasts don’t like to wash their jeans very often, but I do plan to wash mine I think. I’m wondering if your wife’s jeans have shrunk much and if that’s affected the fit. Thanks!

  5. Taylor — October 24, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    Hi Ms. McCall! I soaked this piece of denim because I made a pair of jeans for my wife, and she wanted the denim to be softer. Soaking it does remove some of the starch/sizing, and makes it a little softer.

    I don’t soak the denim (or even wash it) before making a pair of jeans for myself. I wash my jeans, but when I do so, I soak them in cold water, and I never put them in the dryer. As a result, I never worry about shrinkage. If you think you will wash your jeans in hot/warm water, or ever put them in the dryer, then I would definitely prepare the raw denim that way before you cut into it, otherwise I think it could shrink a fair amount.

  6. Ms. McCall — October 26, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

    Great to know – thank you! I am going to wash them, but I live in a warm place, so cold water washing / air drying should be no problem for me. I’m still considering making them a little roomy to account for a little shrinkage, but hopefully it won’t be too much. Thanks again!

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