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Author Topic: Soaking and Stretching Denim  (Read 60628 times)

shubharamani

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Soaking and Stretching Denim
« on: January 05, 2010, 01:04:56 PM »
Hey guys. I thought I'd ask you about your Iron Heart jeans stretching experiences. I now own 6 models of IH jeans : 634S, 1634, SEXIH03, SEXIH03BK, 9301 Slim Super Black, and 301S. On the Self Edge website, it's stated that none of these will shrink much (1/2" in the waist at most), and all will stretch 1" in the waist after 30 repeated wears.

It's been my experience that this is absolutely true. I'll even add that the jeans will stretch AT LEAST 1", possibly even a little more.

For all my jeans except the 634S and 1634, I purchased them uncomfortably tight. I mean, they were a bit vulgar for my tastes (although many guys like that ultra-tight fit on a woman). I'll also state that I've washed and tumble-dried in my Maytag washer/dryer (EXTRA HOT/HEAT, inside-out, zero special care) everything except the 634S and 1634 exactly once. The 634S and 1634, I've washed and dried about 3 times.

The thing is, they barely shrink, if at all. I think Kiya just says the "1/2 inch" expected waist shrinkage to be safe. And, while all but the skinny versions (everything but the 634S and 1634) are grossly tight when I first pull em out of the dryer, after about a week of consistent wear, they're not vulgar anymore. After a month of consistent wear, they're actually a bit loose !

I'm a true waist 29 (in Levis, other brands). But I've noticed that if I purchase a W28 in IH jeans, they become a W29 after repeated wear...and that's when they look perfect on me.

As for the bootcut variety -- the 634S and 1634 -- I probably shoulda gotten those in a W29, even as I wear them "boyfriend style". Why ? Because they look just about perfect when I pull them out of the dryer. In a week, I'm swimming in them. If I didn't wear a belt, they'd be at my knees !

Everyone has their personal style preference. For the slim versions of IH jeans I buy, I like them fitting perfectly well. No baggy shit. Some folks like their jeans a bit loose, and that's cool too. Whatever works for you.

The thing is, as much money as we spend on these jeans, we need to be very careful about the size we purchase -- especially if we plan on wearing them for months at a time without washing/drying.

Because, in my experience, these fuckers DO stretch a significant amount with repeated wear !

PS. on sufu I see a handful of people bitching about how their Iron Hearts didn't stretch like they expected, now they've got jeans which are too tight, blah blah blah. My guess is that their waistline must have expanded and they're in denial about it !

As for the 634SR, which I might buy one day (but not soon), those shrink to tagged size, so I'd buy a W29 in those (boyfriend style). Based on what I've read on this forum and on sufu, I think some people have made a mistake and bought those way-y too big [expecting massive shrinkage]...and they not only didn't shrink as much as expected, but they also stretched more than expected.

I'd like to hear about your own stretching experiences. This discussion may help others to prevent expensive sizing mistakes ! Oh, BTW, since I'm so short (5' 2"), I don't focus much on length -- only waist -- especially because I wear mostly slim, stacked jeans. Feel free to discuss length shrinkage as well.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 10:40:43 AM by Giles »

shubharamani

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 01:06:59 PM »
PS. I always say "bootcut", I mean "straight cut". Excuse me !

shubharamani

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 01:09:59 PM »
The 634S and 1634 are straight cut, not boot cut. :)

Offline DougNg

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 01:39:58 PM »
Oooh, good thread

I have a pair of 634S, 634SR, 802, SEXIH07 Indigo, and soon a pair of SEXIH07 Black

So far, the SEXIH07 has shrank the most, easily an inch in the waist, maybe more. After a week, the everything sits JUST right. These are the perfect fit for me. What equates to a standard fit on SuFu is a slim fit for me

My 634S and 802 are both a similar fit on me, perfect around the waist and thighs, looser around the calves. My 634S shrank a little after the first hot soak, but stretched back to perfect when I looked at them funny. My 802s have gotten a combined amount of wear for about 30 mins, so I really can't comment on them much

My 634SR is my loose fit jeans of the bunch. They fit perfect around the waist, but are more roomy around the thighs. I shrank to size, no sizing issues after discussing with Giles. That being said, they shrank A LOT

The SEXIH07 and 634SR both shrank enough that the left outseam is facing dead at 12 o'clock

All my jeans are hemmed, the 634SR to 31, 802 to 32, 634SR to about 31, and I think the SEXIH07 to about 33. The hem depends on the cut. I like to wear jeans with a wider hem with chunky boots, so I like them a little shorter. Also, the 634S is my "dressy" jean, so stacking doesn't look great for that in my opinion. The SEXIH07 is my more trendy jean, so I'll wear them with normal boots or shoes or sneakers. I have a slight problem with hemming, which is that I have the right inseam length standing, but the hem is a little high for my tastes when I sit, I'm guess that's because of the shape of my legs.

I guess I should add that I don't do the "if you can button all the buttons all the way to the top they're too loose" thing. Slim/skinny cuts don't work for me, I have a 41" chest and a 31" waistline, so wearing something that tight just makes me look like a carrot. I like them to be slightly snug when I first put them on and then have them perfect after about two hours.
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Offline hectic

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2010, 05:00:58 PM »
Yeah, good thread.

My other half hates my obessiveness when it comes to jeans sizing - its like when you get a haircut, self improvement is deeply subjective...

Some observations:

IH 634S - no shrinkage at all IME, and a fair bit of stretching, way beyond the tag size. I tend to do a leg stretch by hand when they are damp as well, I find that this give a more of a post-wash snuggness for couple of wears which I like.

IH 634SR - I was one of the over estimators in this regard, expecting a lot of shrinkage I up sized and in hindsight its a bit of shame, still a beautiful jean but they dont get worn. Stick to your normal tag size would be my recommendation.

Flat Head 1005 - I've got three pairs of these in various stages of wear and shrink, I find that the shrink is long and quite progressive on these - certainly my earliest pair is quite a bit snugger than the latest pair. These also shrink a lot overall.





Offline hectic

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 06:31:59 PM »
N.B.: I am 6 foot 4 inches (190 cents approx) and I find that both the IH 634SR and the FlatHead 1005 (post soak of course) are absolutely spot on for leg length, enough for a bit of stack but not enough to look silly.

Both jean types measure 35" in the in seam.

The 634S are way long though and I had a re-hem.


Offline DrPat

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 06:39:51 PM »
The 634S are way long though and I had a re-hem.
The 634S have a 34in inseam, which should make them shorter than the 35in of other jeans.  Or did you custom order an extra-long pair?

Offline hectic

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 06:45:15 PM »
Not to my knowledge, but they were hemmed twice  (the second time properly with a chainstitcher) with about a 1 inch reduction each time.

They are a size 38 though so maybe thats a factor. Perhaps I was an anomaly so maybe do not take my example as representative.


Offline hectic

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 06:46:17 PM »
Yup just checked the site - the 38s come with a 36 inch in seam

shubharamani

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 07:36:54 AM »
Just thought I'd mention -- I LOVE the way my SEXIH03BKs fit now -- after one hot machine wash/tumble dry inside-out and 30 days of continual wear. They're actually a tad baggy in the butt and a little loose all around but that's what I'm shooting for. I'm now wearing a belt with them to keep them hoisted up ! The amazing thing is that these were tight as fuck when I first wore them -- uncomfortably so -- but something changed in the 3rd week of wear -- they became all of a sudden looser and very comfortable. The Black cyclists run a bit smaller than the indigo (says so on the Self Edge website), and God knows I felt that extra pinch in the top button ! Anyway. I'm here to tell you that these jeans stretched AT LEAST an inch in the waist and butt area, and I'm guessing even more. Now they're so comfy and feel just perfect ! The Iron Heart Cyclist jeans are my ALL TIME FAVORITE ! I'm bummed that they are sold out forever, done and over with...no more runs !

tfar

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 09:21:31 AM »
My 634SR are tag size 33. They are a bit tighter than other 33 jeans I have. I hope they will still stretch a little. While I did really good on the weight management plan. The 9634 in tag size 34 fit much more comfortably. I do have other pairs of new jeans in 32 or 33 waist and they are still a bit easier on the belly than the SR in 33. After the wash I did I have about 20 days of wear on them. If you want them to stretch faster it actually helps to wear the belt rather loose. This way the belt will not help to reign in your belly and the denim will get stretched faster. The reverse should be true, too, but God knows I don't have that problem. :)

I have seen people apply those stretching devices you can find at Home Depot to the waist of their jeans. Not such a bad idea. Just don't pop the button.

Till

Offline simon626

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 09:30:05 AM »
shooba i will buy any of your waist sized 29" IH's that you don't want....Let me know if you're tryin' to get rid of'em  ;)
Currently Wearing: IH-666OD & SExIHxindo

Offline simon626

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2010, 09:34:46 AM »
oh yea-

I usually have to buy a size 32 in levis if i don't want the jeans feeling ridiculously tight when they come out of the dryer. So...i think my waist size probably around 31"

I bought my IH301S's in a size 29. I've worn my jeans every single day for a month now and the waist is PERFECT. i wore a leather belt to reduce the chance of blowout and unwanted stretching though. the jeans now glide on perfectly without trouble at all yet they are probably the most tight fitting jeans i have right now. A+ in my book for tightness  :D
Currently Wearing: IH-666OD & SExIHxindo

shubharamani

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2010, 04:16:30 PM »
Till,  I'm surprised that your 634SRs haven't loosened up yet ! My guess is that you're not wearing them enough -- or maybe un-sanforized doesn't stretch as much ?? Also, did you throw them in a dryer ? Weren't you the one who told me that the dryer softens the jeans up, making them more stretch-able ? Wear them to bed ! Seriously ! I didn't mention that but I wear all my IH jeans (most of which are a W28) as pajamas...and none were as disgustingly tight as the IHSEX03BK at first, though all were pretty tight. With the IHSEX03BKs I had to leave the top button un-buttoned at night for the first 2 weeks. Not any more though...as I said, now, the IHSEX03BKs are actually a little loose, requiring a belt !

I'm glad I went with W28 though, cuz the next size up would be wayy too baggy on me by now, after 30 wears. This is true about all the IH skinny jeans I own (Cyclist IHSEX03 & BK, IH 301S, 9301 Slim Super Black).

shubharamani

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Re: Soaking and Stretching Denim (Get Educated)
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 04:26:38 PM »
shooba i will buy any of your waist sized 29" IH's that you don't want....Let me know if you're tryin' to get rid of'em  ;)

simon626, thanks for the offer but I don't own any W29 ! I only have 6 pair of IH jeans so far -- the 4 you know about (just mentioned in my previous post to Till) -- the skinny ones purchased at Self Edge, San Francisco. The other two are a W30 straight cut which I got 3 years ago, also at SESF, and which I hardly ever wear.  You're wayyy too tall for those, simon626 -- they've been altered to a L32 -- and I've already offered them to my 65-year-old Mom. Self Edge didn't even have the skinny versions available back then, plus admittedly, I was 12 Lbs heavier back then than I am now. I've stayed 110-112 Lbs consistently now, for about 2 years. It was a simple diet change, which I have no problem sticking with. Basically -- skip the heavy dinner and eat granola cereal. Every now and then I break the rule (like last night, when I went on a friend date), but 90% of the time, I religiously stick by it. I'm VERY CAREFUL about what I consume -- to look this good at age 45 takes a lotta work and discipline, young man ! I NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER -- OK, rarely, but - I NEVER eat dessert or junk food. I just don't fucking do it. I don't drink booze either, which is nothing but empty calories -- and that helps. I eat heartily -- meat, veggies, few carbs...and I don't count calories -- but I limit myself to a light breakfast (banana and possibly 2 eggs scrambled) and one major meal a day (which is always lunch).