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The Samurai Jeans Co. Guide To Washing Raw Jeans

Heddels exists for one purpose: To gather the best information about long lasting goods like raw denim in one easy to use place. Stated simply, we aim to keep you from having to spend hours combing through forums’ less-than-amazing search results and spare you the the wrath of their users for the information you need about raw denim.

Today, we hope to save you from the agonizing pain of deciphering awful Google Translate results to get information off of Japanese sites. The following is our translation of the washing guide on Samurai Jeans Co.’s official site. (You can also check out our complete guide to washing raw denim jeans and pick up a bottle of our Denim Wash.)

Note: In Japanese, the terms for “soak” and “wash”, as we designate them in English, are interchangeable. Anything in parentheses is a note from the translator.

The Samurai Jeans Co. Guide To Washing Raw Jeans

Look like Moonspeak to you? Fear not!

Samurai Jeans Co. – Washing Advice

Regarding The First Wash

The first wash (or “initial soaking” in English) is primarily done to “de-starch” the jeans, and is also used to control shrinkage.

When you first purchase your jeans they will be very stiff due to the starch added during the manufacturing process. Initially, it is not recommended that you wear your jeans until you wash them with water to make them more comfortable. It will also decrease the extent of any irregularities in the denim.

Also, as the denim is initially “rigid” (The English term is used), please note that unique twisting may occur during the first soak. (We call this leg-twist in English)


  1. First off, turn the jeans inside out. Place the jeans in warm water.
  2. Air will be contained within the denim; this cannot be helped. Hold down the jeans for approximately 10 minutes to soak the cotton thoroughly and release the air trapped within. Afterwards, you should be able to leave them be. If the jeans continue to rise to the surface after 10 minutes, do not worry. Soaking the jeans for 1-2 hours is adequate. At most, 24 hours is the longest they should be soaked for.
  3. Indigo dye will be released from the denim and will change the colour of the water. Machine washes will emphasize this colour-loss. Of course, hand-washing is OK as well.
    At the time of the first wash detergent is not necessary, however, if one decides to use detergent please ensure it is free of fluorescent (???) additives or bleach. Our Kaminari (Thunder) Soap contains no additives and is perfect for washing jeans. *** For very heavy-ounce denim, it will remain extremely stiff. To soften, we recommend turning the jeans inside out and using a washing machine.
  4. Rinse the jeans thoroughly.
  5. Providing a washing machine was used, it is best to use the spin-cycle while the jeans remain inside-out.
  6. When the spin-cycle is finished, turn the jeans right-side-out, smooth out any wrinkles and hang-dry in the shade.
  7. Samurai Jeans Co. does not recommend using a dryer machine, but if one so chooses, please be aware of the heat and the length of time used to dry. The jeans may shrink beyond normal or the denim may soften too much, so please be careful if you choose to use the dryer.

Please use the above method as a guideline, and not as a rule. Steps will vary for those who choose a fully-automated wash, and some people prefer to leave their jeans unwashed. We believe that everyone washes in their own way. It is best to try different methods to discover one’s own personal style of washing their jeans.

Please wear your favourite Samurai jeans with love forever.

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