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Author Topic: 888s-OD. Horrible smell, jacked up fade trying to get rid of it. Still smells.  (Read 1085 times)

Offline Kimball

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Hello all. First time here doing more than lurking. Tried the search function for this and couldn't find anything relevant:
I got a pair of 888s-OD jeans about a year ago. From day one they have had this faint but pervasive urine mixed with old pennies kind of smell that has steadily gotten worse with wear, to the point of being unwearable.

I've hung them out in the sun, soaked them, soaked them in woolite, hand washed them in woolite, hung them out in hotter sun for a longer time, soaked in vinegar, and now finally just threw them in the washing machine with woolite.
Unfortunately they got about 30 odd seconds of spin cycle before I could get in to pull them out, and now I've got a ruined fade *and* pants that smell like someone peed in a coin jar.

Kind of running out of ideas for the smell, and looking for advice on the fade. Anyone ever try to re-black their OD denim? Anyone ever do an ocean wash on them either? Figure the jacked up fade would get blended away with the latter, but I'm understandably hesitant to go Guinea pig with the most expensive pants I've ever worn. Plus I want to get rid of the nasty smell first or these might as well just end up in the trash.

It's all a mega bummer. These were my favorite go-to jeans, but I've been less and less comfortable wearing them because they stink, and now they kinda look like garbage. I actually wish they looked as good in person as they do in this photo, but they don't.
Any ideas? Thanks!
"20190605_194041.jpg"

Offline neph93

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@Kimball that is quite a tale of woe.

I don't doubt your story but there are weird things going on here. Were the jeans second hand when you bought them? This smell you describe sounds like they were used already. I have IH OD jeans, both the model you have and another and I've never experienced that. Equally I wash them in a machine all the time (with a gentle spin cycle 40c and 800rpm) and they do not marble at all. The SBG is notorious for that but I haven't heard about the OD doing that. Admittedly I tend to soak them with the shower head before the wash but that is the extent of the special treatment they get. All this stuff people do with woolite and vinegar leaves me cold.

None of that helps to solve your problems though. A sea wash would help to accelerate fades which may help eradicate some of the stranger markings you have. But if you are sensitive to strange smells I wouldn't advise it. Sea washed jeans tend to stink of the sea and all the crap in the sea (which these days is quite a lot). Also salt will weaken the fabric and seams. If you want to go that way then buy some building-grade, coarse sand, and use water from the tap. Same deal, no stinky seaweed/sewage or destructive salt.

Going the other way, re-dying is a possibility. @Cole re-dyed his SBG Beatle Busters a while ago (or something like that). I keep meaning to re-dye a pair of charcoal chino's I have with nasty wash marks but haven't gotten around to it. Home dying can be hit and miss but there is lots of advice on the internet as to how to do it best.

Offline Kimball

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Hey thanks for chiming in!
Agreed that it's weird, but I bought them directly off the rack from Self Edge in San Francisco.  I'm wondering if I just got a weird pair. I hope that I can sort it out; I was planning on getting a matching vest at some point, but now I'm a little bit spooked, because the only thing I can think of is that there's something funky about the black dye, and I am hesitant to throw hundreds more dollars on a second chance.

As for the marbling, my guess is that maybe all of the de-stinking attempts have loosened the dye more than normal. No idea. Makes me sad because the whiskers and combs were finally starting to pop through and now the whiskers at least are pretty much nuked. Feels like a waste of time and money, and a war lost trying to keep my favorite pair in service.

Offline Kimball

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Oh, and for whatever it's worth, I washed them on delicate in cold water, and pulled them out for all but the beginning of the first spin cycle.

Offline organisys

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Offline gaseousclay

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I'm wondering if I just got a weird pair. I hope that I can sort it out; I was planning on getting a matching vest at some point, but now I'm a little bit spooked, because the only thing I can think of is that there's something funky about the black dye, and I am hesitant to throw hundreds more dollars on a second chance.

I think you just got a weird pair. Many of us have OD items from IH and I can't recall anyone here ever mentioning a smell. The upside, since you're able to drop in at SE you at least have the luxury of being able to smell the goods before buying  :D
WTB:
IHSH-129 size L (blue)
IHSH-37 blue/orange L or XL depending on fit
IHSH-19

Offline Kimball

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I wonder if I might... smell these pants...  ??? :D

Offline Anesthetist

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My 634s14ozOD have a faint coppery smell to them. It never bothered me though. I had a pair of Unbranded black denim that smelled like sulphur so badly that I had to return them.


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Offline Kimball

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My 634s14ozOD have a faint coppery smell to them. It never bothered me though. I had a pair of Unbranded black denim that smelled like sulphur so badly that I had to return them.


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I am very fortunate in that one of my oldest and best friends was a long time men's denim designer for Levi's, is currently the head of men's denim for Wrangler, and is now about to transition into being the head of their fabric and dye development program. She says that the smell is the dye. Specifically the indigo, which I thought strange since these pants must basically get boiled during the overdye process. If I were to bet, I'd guess that there's some sort of fixative used in the process to keep the indigo from bleeding out while the black goes on top, so who knows... Maybe someone on staff will chime in and share some knowledge.

ALL THAT SAID... I have a pair of black sulphur dyed "Buck" jeans from Indigofera. They call it "gunpowder selvedge" but really it's probably just the perfect crappiness level of black dye to give awesome fades. They smell pretty much like a hot spring, but I actually kinda like it... Heh...

Online Giles

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We have no idea what the issue is....
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Kimball

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We have no idea what the issue is....

Two (multipart) questions for you, then:
1) Has anyone readily available to this forum ever smelled the indigo abd/or black dye used in this fabric, or have they actually been around for the dye process? If so, could they give a rough description of the dye smells or corroborate whether the smell could indeed be a dye issue? (Wonky long shot, I know.)

2) Without giving away any proprietary information, could someone actually describe the overdye process? Like, how do you physically do it? What makes the fugitive pigment fugitive? Do you indeed use some sort of fixative for the indigo? And how do you get the black to stick without then sealing the indigo so that it can't chip?

Question 2 is equally because I'm a curious nerd with an interest in textiles as much as it to help me figure out what to do with my weird stink-pants.


Offline neph93

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...the smell is the dye. Specifically the indigo, which I thought strange since these pants must basically get boiled during the overdye process. If I were to bet, I'd guess that there's some sort of fixative used in the process to keep the indigo from bleeding out while the black goes on top, so who knows... Maybe someone on staff will chime in and share some knowledge.


Sulphur dyed denim (Iron Heart’s SBG and Indigofera’s “gunpowder” are two examples) is well known to have a distinct smell that can be off-putting for some. It is also common knowledge that it washes out after a while.I’d add that the SBG smells much less than other sulphur-dyed jeans I’ve had  However, of all the discussions I’ve ever had about IH denim on here for the past four or five years, I’ve never had one about OD or 21oz smelling like urine and pennies. Nor have I read one after perusing the threads from before my time. Nor have I noticed it on my own small collection of OD products.

Chemicals do smell though. Perhaps you just got a pair with a little extra va-va-voom.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 06:56:16 am by neph93 »

Offline Max Power

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I've had overdyed products from IH, the 555-03 SBG an non of them smelled strange in any Kind of way. Only the SH106 had a real gunpowder smell but that washed out quickly.
I don't care what people say.. The Max Power way is the right way...

Offline neph93

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We have no idea what the issue is....

Two (multipart) questions for you, then:
1) Has anyone readily available to this forum ever smelled the indigo abd/or black dye used in this fabric, or have they actually been around for the dye process? If so, could they give a rough description of the dye smells or corroborate whether the smell could indeed be a dye issue? (Wonky long shot, I know.)

This fabric is made of the standard 21oz denim. It is, on its own, the denim IH sell most of. It is then overdyed with black fugitive pigment. The od’ed version is quite a big seller also and has been around for many years. I think that if this was a dye issue it would have come up earlier in the many years of the overdyed denim’s existence, and would be common knowledge in the same way as everyone knows about the faint smell of sulphur-dyed denim.



2) Without giving away any proprietary information, could someone actually describe the overdye process? Like, how do you physically do it? What makes the fugitive pigment fugitive? Do you indeed use some sort of fixative for the indigo? And how do you get the black to stick without then sealing the indigo so that it can't chip?

Question 2 is equally because I'm a curious nerd with an interest in textiles as much as it to help me figure out what to do with my weird stink-pants.

As a curious nerd I encourage you to mine the wealth of information readily available on this forum about the 21oz denim and the overdye process. The short answer is that the 21oz is dyed with indigo and has an extra treatment designed to preserve, but not fix the indigo. The OD’ing uses a black fugitive dye. This is done in a very vigorous, hot, environment that also strips all shrinkage out.  Fugitive dye is any dye that does not bond permanently with a fabric and therefore leaves the fabric, or that changes colour when subject to chemical reaction. Indigo is a fugitive dye also.

There is also a lot of stuff about washing jeans on this forum. People have their own routines and ideas about that. The general consensus here is that they are your jeans so it is up to you. In my own experience nothing cleans jeans like a trip through the washing machine. But whatever your approach, once a smell has permeated the fabric and been left there long enough, it can be very hard to get out. Just go into any vintage store and breath deeply.

The only pair of jeans I’ve ever had that smelt like you describe were my first pair of Japanese selvedge from seven or eight years ago. I bought into the whole don’t wash for six months crap. After a while they had a metallic, acidic odour. I followed all the BS advice (airing, freezing, waving over steam  ;)) then I gently, cold soaked, gently warm soaked and then repeated the above with mystical products. By the time four months came around they stank. Only then did I machine wash them. It made a huge difference but the funk never quite left. My point is that unwanted smells, whatever the cause, will only shift with a timely, proper wash.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 08:54:14 am by neph93 »

Offline Stuart.T

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I've had jeans that smell of urine and pennies, mainly because my crotch does too  :D