This Encyclopedia entry is a must-know term. Learn more in our Denim vocabulary.
Raw denim is denim that hasn’t been washed or treated.
It is the purest form of denim, and the primary choice of denim for denimheads. Raw denim is also known as ‘dry denim’ and ‘unwashed denim.’
Once they’ve been cut and sewn, all jeans are raw. From a functional standpoint, they don’t need any further processing and are ready to be worn.
Until the 1960s, all jeans were sold as raw, meaning crispy stiff, without any garment finishing, and ready to be faded by the wearer.
Because of the way denim is dyed, the colour changes as you wash and wear your jeans. Over time, they mould to your body, you create your own aged look, and the denim gets softer.
But while some choose to wear their jeans raw, many prefer to buy jeans that’re already soft and have that faded lived-in look. Garment finished, also known as ‘pre-washing,’ makes that possible.
The video below explains the difference between raw denim jeans and pre-washed jeans.