We needed a couple of extra work pants. And instead of buying the usual (and expensive) work pant (such as this), we decided to use the original work pants, namely the jeans.
And the only alternative here was raw denim. Jeans that is not chemically treated (and washed). And the Levi’s 501 Shrink-to-Fit jeans fit our need perfect (and cost less than $50).
The 501 is not sanforized. That is a process invented in the 1920s that limits post-wash shrinkage. After sanforization the pants will only shrink about 1% in wash. But without it, a pair of raw denim will shrink up to 10% after the first wash!
So therefore, the pants has to be shrunk and customized to the individual user. And because the pants will shrink that much you have to add some to your size before buying. I’m an 32*32, and used a 34*34 here. It is still somewhat big, but since it is a work pant that is perfect!
First, put the pants in as hot water as you can get out of your water heater. Be sure to emerge everything. And the pants tend to float, so keep it down with a couple of glass bottles or something like that..
After 60 minutes in the hot water you can take it up and let it drip. The water is blue, but do not worry: It is possible to wash of. But note that you should NOT let the wet pants touch other light coloured fabrics that you care about…
After about 45 minutes drip drying it is time to use a more aggressive drying technique. Namely; towel drying.
Take down the pant and put it on top of a big towel. Then put another towel on top and squeeze-dry it by walking around on that “sandwich”. Turn the pant inside out and repeat.
Wear until completely dried
After the towel walking is completed it is time to wear them until they are completely dried. You will want to wear them instead of just air-drying them so they shrinks and adapts to your body.
Remember that it is in the drying phase that the fabric shrinks!
This phase will take about 3 hours. And please do not sit in that nice looking sofa, because the pant will transfer some dye.
The next step is to wear them as much as possible!
This pair will be used in the Maker Space and we will post a picture of it after a couple of months of use. So stay tuned!