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Lee 101J Jacket 1946 Model - to wash or not to wash?

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
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229
Location
Australia
I have just purchased a replica Lee 101J Jacket 1946 Model from Japan: http://item.rakuten.co.jp/mavazi/leearchives_006/

006_main02.jpg 006_main03.jpg

The denim is dry 13.75oz left hand denim, so is quite stiff.

I feel dry denim looks better after being washed at least once, and according to the guys in Japan, shrinkage will be minimal:

This jacket shrinks after washing.
The shrinkage is as follows.

JACKET LENGTH: 2cm (0.8inch)
CHEST WIDTH: 1cm (0.4inch)
SHOULDER WIDTH: 2cm (1inch)
SLEEVE LENGTH: 4cm (1.6inch)

The shrinkage is different in the washing environment.
Please make it the rule of thumb.

And I could get away with a little shrinkage as stated above.

So, what do you guys think about washing dry denim for an authentic look? Surely people back in the 40s and 50s washed their denim?

And, do you recommend washing the jacket according to the care instructions on the label (HOT WASH - Normal Cycle, TUMBLE DRY - Medium Heat) to prevent more than desired shrinkage, or some other way?

Cheers,
Dave
 
Last edited:

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,562
Location
Australia
Denim has traditionally been washed but there is a fundamentalist streak in dealing with this fabric that has people not washing jeans and doing crazy stuff like freezing it to kill smell and germs. Don't think that was an option in 1930...

But denim does shrink as you've said and part of the art used to be (even when I bought jeans 40 years ago) buying gear that was a size or two too big so you could wash and shrink it to size.

Wash in cold water but know that there is a risk involved. How does it fit now?
 

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
Great jacket.
Wash it on a cold wash.

Denim has traditionally been washed but there is a fundamentalist streak in dealing with this fabric that has people not washing jeans and doing crazy stuff like freezing it to kill smell and germs. Don't think that was an option in 1930...

But denim does shrink as you've said and part of the art used to be (even when I bought jeans 40 years ago) buying gear that was a size or two too big so you could wash and shrink it to size.

Wash in cold water but know that there is a risk involved. How does it fit now?

It fits a fraction big. I could dry clean it to prevent any shrinkage, but I just feel that it will look better once washed - to me dry denim just looks a bit too stiff, and you're right, they wouldn't have been NOT washing their denim in the early days.
 

AdeeC

Practically Family
Messages
646
Location
Australia
I would wash it in cold water with minimal agitation or just soak and drain and dry it very slowly.. Even piece of denim I owned has been washed on a regular bass. Once through initial shrinking that's it.
 

pilot error

One of the Regulars
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225
Location
fl
Wash inside out in cold water with the mildest soap you can find. Hang or flat dry.
 

ProteinNerd

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,894
Location
Sydney
I'd be more tempted to wear it while drying after a cold wash, not exactly comfortable but it might stop it shrinking too much in some spots? That's what the Levi STF crowd do.
 

xmr

One of the Regulars
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227
Location
Germany
I have a selfedge jacket, i washed it once or twice I think. First wash was after 6 months, I poured coffee on it. After these washes it looks amazing, the blue is vivid, it develops great whiskers/honeycombs etc.
 

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
I actually want it to shrink a little, especially in the sleeve width. So if I wash it for minimal shrinkage (cold wash, no spin, dry flat), and it hasn't shrunk enough, will washing it again in warm water cause further shrinkage?
 

andy b.

One of the Regulars
Messages
191
Location
PA, USA
I actually want it to shrink a little, especially in the sleeve width. So if I wash it for minimal shrinkage (cold wash, no spin, dry flat), and it hasn't shrunk enough, will washing it again in warm water cause further shrinkage?

I have found that with Sanforized denim the majority of the shrinkage will occur with the first wash, no matter the temperature. After that you can wash it in boiling water and throw it in the dryer and you will get very little additional shrinkage. I know this because I have "experimented". ;)
 

Dagenham Dave

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Australia
I have found that with Sanforized denim the majority of the shrinkage will occur with the first wash, no matter the temperature. After that you can wash it in boiling water and throw it in the dryer and you will get very little additional shrinkage. I know this because I have "experimented". ;)

So regardless of the temperature on the first wash, the shrinkage will be the same?
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
great looking jacket, slanting front yoke makes it cool.
I never have experience with dry denim jacket, but all my clothes are hand washed in cold water, and hang dry in the shade inside out, all casual clothes are also never get ironed. I have minimal color loss on my jeans that way
 

Big J

Call Me a Cab
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2,961
Location
Japan
Real denim is cotton with an indigo dye, just like kendo gear. So I'd suggest rinsing in cold water, and hanging in the sun to kill bacteria and smells.
No one likes stinky clothes.
Except some kinda perverts.
 

xmr

One of the Regulars
Messages
227
Location
Germany
beware of the spin cycle...it will F*** up your raw denim.
Take it out before the spin.

never noticed anything ****ed up about my denim clothing. These are LVCs, Lee, Edwins mostly, all selvedge, all machine washed cold inc spinning. I have all the fadings I want and no weird side effects.

Regarding all These weird denim have-tos just watch https://vimeo.com/56727014

Sometimes I think People think they have to treat denim like raw eggs. Just look at all the great vintage faded Jeans - I doubt These were treated that careful lol.
 

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