Care myth #5: Don’t tumble dry raw denim

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Keep your jeans far away from the tumble dryer,” Menno Van Meurs from Tenue de Nîmes advises, “it harms the fabric as well as the fit.”

This one is arguably more common sense than myth these days, but the premise here is that tumble drying is not good for your jeans. Let’s start by looking at what happens when you tumble dry your jeans.

Tumble drying jeans

Basically, the high temperatures alter the composition of the cotton, Greg Tamura of The Denim Hound explains.

You know all the lint that comes out?” Jeremy Smith from Standard & Strange rhetorically asks. “It’s made of fibres from your clothes.”

Tumble drying accelerates wear and eventual breakdown, Greg elaborates. “It also changes the way the denim feels.”

Nick Coe from Heddels agrees. In his experience, tumble drying can lead to really bizarre creasing and wrinkles, which just mess with the fabric and fades.

Danny Hodgson from Rivet and Hide says tumble drying is bad for any fabric but adds that “people do this if they have sized wrong and want to get as much shrinkage as possible.” The only time I’ve tumble dried a pair of jeans myself was for that exact reason.

“If you desperately need to shrink a pair of jeans,” Merv Sethi from Okayama Denim says, “we’ve advised people to run the gentle cycle on the dryer and toss the jeans in, checking them every 10-12 minutes to regulate the shrinkage.”

Gordon of Blue in Green stresses that whether this myth should be busted or confirmed is subjective. “As a blanket statement, I would not say that tumble drying is bad for your jeans.”

However, it’s not that simple, as he explains: “There are many factors to consider before making this sort of statement, such as what sort of dryer is being used, the cycle it’s run on, how wet the jeans are, and whether the denim is stiff or soft to begin with. These factors are all relative to the outcome of using a dryer for your jeans.

I don’t suppose there’s anything inherently wrong with putting your jeans in the dryer,” Andrew Chen of 3sixteen argues, but adds that he always advocates for hang drying jeans.

The bottom line is that whether this myth should be busted or confirmed is a matter of personal taste.


Wiki home » Raw denim care myths » Myth #5: Tumble dry

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