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Ah, shrink-to-fit. That age old term of denim lore. Might seem a bit of an uncertainty in an already uncertain arena of custom jeans fitting. But not to worry. We have knowledge. We can help you understand everything you need to know to experience the wonder of old school denimry (this is a word, we made it so).
Here are some of the other names for shrink-to-fit:
All of these mean the same thing: the denim has not been sanforized. Sanforization is the process of steaming and drying the denim to help pre-shrink it. Because they're unsaforized, shrink-to-fit denims live up to their name: they're going to shrink. Some can shrink 10% or more.
How to order the right size for shrink-to-fit
This is not our first shrink-to-fit rodeo. We want to make this process as simple for you as possible. So we've done all of the calculations and pattern adjustments on our end so that all you have to do is order in your standard size, shape and inseam.
(Not even sure what your normal size is or feeling nervous about the idea of your jeans shrinking? We can help you get the perfect fit and answer any questions with an In-Person or Virtual Fitting.)
How to go through the process of Shrink-to-Fit
1. Don't freak out if your jeans are too big when you first get them. This is on purpose.
2. Soak your jeans in hot water for 1 hour.
3. Remove your jeans from the water and gently squeeze excess water. Admire the greenish-blue beauty of the indigo stock you've made and
4. Hang them up over a sink or a bathtub to dry. Depending on climate conditions where you are, it can take up to 24 hours for the jeans to fully dry. Do not try to speed this process up by putting them in the dryer! The dryer and your jeans are NOT friends.
5. Wear them. A lot. They'll be a bit stiff at first, but your body heat and consistent wearing will soften them in no-time. We find that many shrink-to-fit denims break in faster than our pre-shrunk denims.
Will the jeans stretch back out to their original state?
Not really. The jeans will give to a small degree, but it will take some stress (wearing) to make this happen. During their soak, both the fibers of the yarns and the weave of the denim tightened up. Shrink-to-fit is so cool.
The bottom line:
With a little know how, you can have a great experience with shrink to fit. The general rule when ordering with Detroit Denim is to order your normal size and we'll take care of the rest. The soaking means you have a bit of extra work to do, but the eventual results are absolutely worth it. It's a great experience and we think it helps build a strong relationship between wearer and jean. At Detroit Denim, we love the experience of shrink-to-fit custom jeans.