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Washing Japnese Denim Swatches and Laundry Gremlins…

Hey Everyone,  If you’re living in my neck of the woods I hope you enjoyed the snow…complete with two snow days (my girls couldn’t be happier :)   I had a chance to wash my denim swatches… and I got some surprising results.

photo 5Here’s a pic of the swatch after the first washing.  Across the width of the denim it did not shrink at all.  I was a little surprised at that.  But what really got me jazzed was the change in the measurement lengthwise.  I had carefully stitched around the edges to create a perfect 9″ square… instead of being shorter than 9″ it had actually grown 3/16″… That’s a pretty significant amount for a 9″ length.     Here’s are close-up pics of how much the denim frayed after one wash and dry.  The one on the left is the crosswise (weft) edge
and the one on the right is the lengthwise (warp) edge.

photo 3 photo 2

So, I put two more swatches in for a second washing… with some of my daughter’s dark clothes.   After the wash cycle I dug around to find them so I could smooth them out and put them in the dryer.  I could not find them.  So I put everything into the dryer and let it fluff for a few minutes.  I couldn’t wait for the cycle to finish… I fished around to see if I could find them…. Nothing!  Not even some loose denim threads. After the cycle was finished, I carefully folded all of Abby’s clothes, I looked up every sleeve and  pant leg… The denim swatches completely disappeared!

I’m really didn’t want to wash the same swatch over and over… because I wanted a reference for what the denim looked like after various numbers of washings… but I really don’t have a choice because I don’t want to cut my pattern pieces out until I’m sure I don’t have to enlarge them for shrinkage… Even though the swatch didn’t shrink across the width after one wash, I need to give it a few more to washings to be sure.  This denim is very densely woven, so perhaps that why it may not shrink that much.  I guess I’m going to throw the washed swatch back in for a second wash because I’m dying to see what happens to the length too.

I’m also considering adjustments that would need to be made to my pattern in order to take advantage of the selvage edges…  Stay tuned 🙂



5 thoughts on “Washing Japnese Denim Swatches and Laundry Gremlins…

  1. So how did the jeans come out. I’ve always washed and dried the denim in hot water and hot dryer five times before sewing. I would like to try this and see the fading in the jeans made prior to washing.

    1. Hi Mary,
      …. The jeans are still a “wear” in progress…. I haven’t worn them because of the heat! 🙂 stay tuned, I’m probably going to break down and wash them sooner than later!

  2. Now that is spooky!! Did your swatches end up in the land of lost socks??

  3. The big mystery is, “where did the swatches disappear to?”

    1. …I know, I can’t understand it… Laundry Gremlins!!!!

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