Fading. One of the first words that comes to mind when we think about our beloved raws. More specifically, sick fades. We talk about jeans being the ultimate companions, but funnily enough, indigo, the dye used in jeans is often referred to as the ‘living colour’ due to the fact that it does denim fades over time making it vastly superior in the eyes of many to most other fabrics available on the market.

Do you want to know why denim fades?

Unlike most other dyes, indigo dye doesn’t penetrate the core of the yarn, and that’s what helps make it so unique. This results in the slow rubbing off of the indigo, making the white core gradually become more and more visible. Just like oil and water, indigo and cotton do not share a strong chemical bond; they hate each other and really don’t want to stick by one another’s sides.

We’ve all heard about aging gracefully. Well, that’s exactly what fading denim looks like. Each fade has a voice and tells a story. We’ve also heard the phrase “beauty fades”. Right? This phrase takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to raw denim as fades are perceived to add beauty to our jeans and our image.

Depending on the place, each fade has a name

Denim fades fanatics even have their own names for the lines that occur due to fading, depending on their positioning on the jeans. For example, we have ‘whiskers’ that bear resemblance to a little pussy cat, then there’s ‘stacks’ down by the hem, where the fabric above them bunches up into a ‘stack’ of small and loose falls when you have visible break on your jeans. Finally, we have my personal favourites, the honeycombs that form on the back of the knee and often have a geometrical pattern.

It’s true to say that indigo and cotton jump at the opportunity to be apart, because of this, your jeans are able develop their very own little lifelines, coming in the most obscure shapes and sizes and produced by things like, how you walk, what you’ve had in your pocket, not to forget the fade formed when you took the plunge and proposed to your girlfriend.

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