Not so long ago I went fabric shopping in Binondo and picked up some denim to make into a pair of jeans. In its raw state the fabric was quite stiff, very dark and thin compared to typical denim. Prior to purchasing the seller told me that the fabric would shrink and even showed me a sample of what it would look like after washing. I thought to myself that I do not plan to wash it for some time and that how it looked after washing was because they washed it too much.

I picked up my new pair of jeans last week. The fit was great after I had the width of the legs altered (starting above the knee all the way down). The alteration added about half an inch allowing my legs to move and my knees to bend. I wore them and noticed that the indigo bleeding was too much so I decided to have them washed. I purposely did not turn it inside out to allow the indigo to be washed away.

I got back my pair of jeans in a sad state. A lot of the indigo was removed making the fabric very soft. The look of the fabric became uneven as the indigo was not evenly washed away. It also shrunk in all areas shortening the overall length by about an inch, half an inch less in around the legs and the waist. I believe the shrinking was because of both the washing and drying process. At this point I can declare that this pair of jeans is no longer wearable.

I’m a little disappointed at the outcome of my first pair of bespoke jeans. I chose a fabric that was different from typical denim and took the risk without full knowledge of what it would be like if washed and dryed by commercial laundry services. Going bespoke is a learning process and I learned my lesson: follow the advice of fabric sellers. And I’ll be staying clear of other denim fabrics from now on.