denim distress
February 21, 2009 3:36 PM   Subscribe

I just bought a pair of jeans that are almost perfect – except they have that "wrinkled cloth" effect around the front pockets. Is there any way to remove that without having to iron it every time?
posted by roger ackroyd to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This only happens to me on pants that are too small.
posted by sunshinesky at 4:53 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: I have a pair of jeans like this. The wrinkles are in the fabric very deeply - I've ironed them and it doesn't iron out. I have no idea how they treat them to create those wrinkles, but I've not been able to do anything about it. I've washed the jeans a ton and the wrinkles are still there. My solution was to get over it, even though I don't love the effect. (Note: this is not the "whiskering" fake wear marks, this is actual wrinkles in the fabric.)
posted by misskaz at 5:03 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: sunshinesky, this isn't a size issue; I think you must be thinking of something else. The intentional wrinkling the OP is describing looks like this.
posted by kate blank at 5:11 PM on February 21, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, misskaz. I'll probably just return the jeans; I'm really not a faux wrinkle sort of guy.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:31 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: They actually distress the denim in industrial techniques involving abrasion and other techniques. You won't get the wear out.

The effect is called "whiskers" (like a cat), or "hige" (japanese word). Back in the day all denim was sold raw and unwashed. As you wore your jeans in, it would develop natural crease lines in the crotch, and in other stress areas like on the thighs and knees. If you wear your jeans often they develop a totally unique character that is individually mapped to your body. Your whiskers will be like nobody else's! As vintage denim became popular brands started to pre wash and distress jeans to give the vintage look, and most brands do it these days. Personally, I always buy dark indigo raw unwashed denim (think Levi's in the 50's), and wear it in until it creates a beautiful patina. Indigo and cotton is an amazing combination that wears so beautifully. The indigo fades out leaving the un-dyed cotton core. The color goes from a rich indigo through to an almost white with washing and wear. Just make sure you don't have a white couch or white accessories!

Depending on the brand, you can sometimes buy the same fit in various levels of distress. It ranges from those that are raw or have just had a rinse (ie untreated), through various levels of distress.

Some pictures of the process:
posted by avex at 5:58 PM on February 21, 2009

I'll probably just return the jeans; I'm really not a faux wrinkle sort of guy.

If the jeans really are almost perfect and sit well on you, no one will notice the wrinkles, instead they will think "wow his butt looks good in those jeans." No one will notice the wrinkles as much as you do. I'd keep 'em.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 6:18 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: I bought a pair of jeans from Uniqlo recently that had a similar effect; no actual color differences, but the areas around the pockets were super wrinkled, seemingly on purpose. One wash later, the wrinkles are completely gone, with no discoloration.
posted by saladin at 6:36 PM on February 21, 2009

Best answer: If they're actual (3D) wrinkles, then they're not whiskering. Whiskering is where the color varies where the natural wrinkles would (might) be. This sounds like a resin wash, where they make actual creases permanent by dipping them in a resin bath, crumpling them, and baking them to set the resin.

You're not going to get that out with washing. I'm not sure what happened with saladin's, but since the jeans company thinks that pre-wrinkled resin wash is something people want, they design it to stay in.
posted by mendel at 8:27 AM on February 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The actual folds/creases are referred to as tacking according to my local Levis store. The clerk there recommended taking the jeans to a drycleaner for assistance. Good luck!
posted by handabear at 9:06 AM on February 22, 2009

Oh wow, I've never seen pants like that. Sorry for my misundertanding. I still can't understand why anyone would want pants that appear this way...
posted by sunshinesky at 4:41 PM on February 22, 2009

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