We don’t consider ourselves the total experts on how to wash and care for your Iron Heart gear, but here are some guidelines that might help. Extra special attention should be taken with the Superblack, SBG (Superblack Fades to Grey) and Cotton Duck fabrics, as these are susceptible to white marks and creases if not washed with special care.
Raw Denim (by “raw” we mean the fabric has gone through no post-weave processing at all – raw denim is sometimes referred to as “loom-state”)
Always soak before wearing, not only does this shrink the raw denim to tag size, it also beds in the constructional stitching, lessening the possibility of a stitching problem (e.g. crotch blowout). Ideally soak inside-out for an hour or so in a bathtub or large sink of hot water and drip dry. If you cannot drip dry, soak up the excess water with an old towel and lie flat on a clothes rack to dry.
Ultra Heavy Raw (UHR) Denim
An initial soak or wash is particularly important with this denim, as it is very stiff and abrasive in its raw state, so can cut through the constructional stitching if not bedded in. The denim is loom-state (there has been no post weave processing performed on the denim), so it will shrink and skew. Our UHR jeans are designed to be "shrink to fit", so after washing or soaking a couple of times they will shrink to tag size. You are likely to see about one inch shrinkage in the waist and two inches shrinkage in the inseam. When you get your jeans, soak them in a bathtub or large sink of cold water for a few hours. Then turn them inside-out and wash them in a washing machine* at no hotter than 30 degrees C (circa 90 degrees F), you do not need to add washing powder or detergent. Ideally no spin (or very slow spin) and don't put them in a tumble dryer, it is far better to allow them to air dry (still inside-out). Before they are completely dry, turn right side out and try to smooth out all the wrinkles.
Extra Heavy Selvedge (XHS) 25oz Denim
Our XHS denim is sanforized but the jeans are unwashed, so there is a little shrinkage to be expected but not as much as a raw denim like the UHR. If your XHS jeans start out as a good, snug fit then you can either soak them and go through a bit of pain, or wear them for a while until they stretch out a little before washing them (using the washing guidelines immediately below).
Washing Sanforized Denim and Pre-Soaked Raw Denim (does not need soaking before wearing)
1. Turn garment inside-out
2. Hand wash, or machine wash* on relatively short cycle (max 40°C/100°F) with slow or no spin
3. Shake/stretch item to ensure no creases before drip drying or drying flat on clothes rack
4. Do not tumble dry (this is likely to cause shrinkage and white marks)
Washing Superblack and SBG (Superblack Fades to Grey) Denim, Cotton Duck
1. Turn garment inside-out
2. Hand wash in bathtub or large sink, or make garment wet before putting in washing machine*
3. Use a liquid vegetable soap (powder and flakes are more likely to leave residue)
4. Wash on a gentle cycle
5. DO NOT use the spin cycle (this is very important)
6. After washing, use a towel to soak up the extra water
7. Lie flat on a clothes rack to dry
8. Do not tumble dry (this is likely to cause shrinkage and white marks)
Cotton Flannel or Chambray Shirts, Cotton Jersey T-Shirts and Sweatshirts/Hoodies
These can be washed on a regular machine* cycle, (max 40°C/100°F) with quite fast spin. To avoid shrinking, DO NOT tumble dry – hang garments flat to dry and press if required.
*Our experience is with UK front-loading washing machines, please be extra careful if using American large top loading washers, from what we have learned these can be much more vigorous, resulting in a harsher wash and/or more than usual shrinkage.
Leather Jackets, Shirting, Accessories and Wesco® Boots
All leather garments should be hung correctly, stored in well-aired locations and ideally not crushed. Never store leather garments, boots or accessories near a direct heat source such as a radiator, fire, hot water tank (airing cupboard) etc. or in view of direct sunlight for any prolonged periods. Exposure to high heat sources or sunlight will dry out and potentially discolour leather.
Whilst both rough-out and hide leather finishes are durable and relatively low maintenance if you are keen to keep your new leather purchase looking its best then we would suggest a good quality leather nourishing cream. This will help to keep the leather supple and probably only needs application once or twice a year depending on how much the garment is worn, it will also have light cleaning properties. You do not have to use any leather treatment or waterproofing on deerskin or horsehide, it simply isn't necessary.
Cowhide is a tough leather with a very supple feel and should not require any breaking in. Generally black or brown cowhide garments will not show up marks easily so they are pretty easy to care for. If your jacket gets wet, wipe off the surface moisture with a clean dry towel and hang it up in a well ventilated area, but not too near a direct heat source. Let it dry naturally. If you get oil or grease on your garment then put some flour or talcum powder on the stain and leave it alone. The following day wipe the majority of the powder away with a clean cloth and use a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Horsehide is an extremely tough leather and will require some breaking in. This leather is packed with waxes and oils in the tanning process and like any wax it stiffens up when cold. Warmth will soften the hide so it's pliable and comfortable. Wearing your jacket for an hour or two will soon warm and soften the hide. Treating horsehide is easy: do nothing, absolutely nothing. Be tough, wear it and love it! If unworn for sometime, horsehide can show a "bloom" of white on its surface, this is just the wax used in the tanning process, it can be rubbed off with a dry cloth.
Deerskin is the softest and most supple of all of the leathers, it can even be put in the washing machine, if you’re brave enough (we’re a bit too scared). But it is happy being immersed in water and will soften up and retain its shape once dry. It is therefore the easiest leather to clean (follow the cleaning guidelines for cowhide) but be careful of exposing light coloured deerskin to dark coloured clothing (such as indigo jeans) as this can cause the garment to take on unwanted marks.
It is always best to have clean and dry, non oily hands when handling rough-out garments. If you should get caught out in the rain it should be fine for a short period if untreated, and the garment should be allowed to dry naturally i.e. do not place it over heaters or radiators. Once the garment is fully dried a light brush with a high quality soft clothes brush may be needed. Soft cleaning sponges can be used where marks appear and a light brushing using a high quality soft bristle clothes brush can be used to reduce/remove marks. When caring for rough-out footwear, remove any dirt from the surface of the boot with a bristle brush and use a suede eraser to remove any marks. Then, using the bristle brush, scrub the area thoroughly. Good quality suede protectors can be used to maintain protection.