Black denim: wearing, washing and the pop cultural aspect

Without black jeans, the world would be a much duller and conformist place dwell. Imagine The Velvet Underground without black denim. It’s impossible, doesn’t work that way. In the 50’s Levi Strauss & Co. decided that they needed to update their 1837 classic in some way. They needed a poster boy. When they found him, he was very reluctant.

Today, a pair of black jeans is considered well-dressed, but to us rebels who keep questioning the state of things, who keep pushing to make this world a little better every day, it’s a mindset. A way to differentiate ourselves from the rest. Black don’t fade the same way indigo does. The black penetrates the fiber all the way through, making it almost impossible to get the same contrast. You could get some mustaches and honeycombs and such, but when washing it, the color will fade and make it grey.

Home laundering your dry black jeans is pretty much a lottery. Washing them too early will make the color bleed out over the fabric, just like indigo would. Wearing them for six months or more will make the dye go deeper into the threads, fixating the color and preventing it from bleeding as much. This way you’ll get more visible moustaches and honeycombs. Depending on how the fabric has been dyed, you also get different types and effects. Rope dyed black denim run a huge risk of getting rain or snake effects when washed at home. Some like it others don’t. If you don’t want effects like these, you should take your jeans to the dry cleaners if they need to be freshened up.

Our black coated jeans have been treated with tree sap to give them an almost leathery look and feel. Washing them will make the coating dissolve and come off before you’re able to get that beautiful worn in character. After six months of wear and tear the coating will be worn down, bleeding into the twill lines of the fabric and the seams, creating clear and beautiful contrasts. Our advice is to never wash them.

In 1956 Levi Strauss & Co. unleashed their Elvis Presley Jeans on the world. The box office smash hit, Jailhouse Rock was all the rage and the post war kids who got tired of playing cowboys met their new hero. A rebel that made them discover the opposite sex and fall in love with the rock music blasting out the radio. These kids were exposed to this whole new world, a world where the set their own boundaries. From that day, black denim was on every behind of every teenager. Elvis himself didn’t like denim. It reminded him of the struggles of his working class upbringing, the struggle of working hard but still being poor. But the kids didn’t mind. They loved the attitude and outsider aspect of black denim.

Head over to our Online Shop and check out our black jeans.

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Latest news

  • Jun 23: It’s Summer Sale Time! All Spring 2014 garments need to go, and are sold at 30% off at the Nudie Jeans Online Shop nj.io/Ftmj
  • Jun 11: The aged, patinated leather gives this bag a beautiful, well-worn look. Get Geronimosson Aged Trunk from the Nudie Jeans Online Shop nj.io/UZXG
  • Jun 06: Melting Butter paid us a visit at the Nudie Jeans Repair Shop in Soho. nj.io/Dhps
  • May 14: Yeah! Our Repair Shop concept won Sustainable Store of the Year award. nj.io/rio7
  • Apr 04: Black Coated denim is back - Thin Finn Back 2 Black. nj.io/PzGp
  • Mar 20: Guardian Sustainable Business wrote a nice piece on wear, tear & repair. nj.io/2pvM
  • Mar 04: Did you get our latest newsletter about denim jackets, khakis & tees? nj.io/S0R0
  • Feb 20: Our store in Göteborg has been renovated - it's a beauty. Say hi to Nudie Jeans Repair Shop Göteborg. nj.io/aGRj
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Your jeans go
where you go.
They live your lifestyle.
They get abrasions
and scars.
And they bleed.
Just like you.


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