How to Wash Selvedge Jeans: A Comprehensive Guide

Selvedge jeans are a type of denim that are made on old-fashioned shuttle looms, resulting in a self-finished edge that prevents fraying. These jeans are known for their durability and high quality, making them a favorite among denim enthusiasts. However, washing selvedge jeans can be a bit tricky, as they require special care to maintain their shape and color. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps of washing selvedge jeans and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for them.

Step 1: Turn Your Jeans Inside Out

Before washing your selvedge jeans, turn them inside out to protect the outer layer from fading and abrasion. This will also help preserve the color and texture of the denim. If your jeans have any hardware, such as buttons or zippers, be sure to zip them up and fasten them to prevent damage during washing.

Step 2: Choose the Right Detergent

When washing selvedge jeans, it’s important to use a mild detergent that won’t strip away the natural indigo dye. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the denim and cause it to lose its color. Look for a detergent that is specifically formulated for dark colors or denim.

Step 3: Wash in Cold Water

It’s best to wash selvedge jeans in cold water to prevent shrinkage and color loss. Hot water can cause the denim to fade and lose its shape, so be sure to select the cold water setting on your washing machine. If possible, use a delicate or gentle cycle to minimize agitation.

Step 4: Hang Dry

After washing your selvedge jeans, avoid using a dryer, as this can cause shrinkage and damage the denim. Instead, hang your jeans to dry in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as these can cause the denim to fade or warp.

Step 5: Iron or Steam

If your selvedge jeans are wrinkled after washing, you can iron or steam them to restore their shape. Be sure to use a low heat setting and place a cloth between the iron and the denim to avoid scorching or burning.

FAQs: How to Wash Selvedge Jeans

Why Should I Wash Selvedge Jeans?

Washing selvedge jeans helps remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria that can accumulate over time. It also helps maintain the color and texture of the denim, preventing it from becoming stiff or brittle.

How Often Should I Wash Selvedge Jeans?

It’s generally recommended to wash selvedge jeans every 6-12 months, depending on how often you wear them and how dirty they become. If your jeans are particularly dirty or smelly, you may need to wash them more frequently. However, be sure to avoid over-washing, as this can cause the denim to lose its shape and color.

Can I Dry Clean Selvedge Jeans?

Dry cleaning is not recommended for selvedge jeans, as the harsh chemicals can damage the denim and cause it to lose its color and texture. Instead, follow the steps outlined in this article to wash and care for your jeans at home.

What Should I Do If My Selvedge Jeans Shrink?

If your selvedge jeans shrink after washing, you can try stretching them back into shape while they are still damp. Gently pull on the waistband and legs to stretch the denim back to its original size. You can also try wearing your jeans while they are damp to help them conform to your body.


Washing selvedge jeans requires a bit of extra care, but it’s well worth it to maintain the quality and durability of your denim. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can keep your selvedge jeans looking great for years to come.

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