The ‘raw’ in raw denim stands for its purest form. It simply means that the denim does not go through washing or processing during production. Is it another form of denim fabric? Does it have applications in real life? All these queries have answers in this article. So, keep reading between the lines!

What is Raw Denim?  

Raw denim refers to the state of the pre-washing or shrinking process in production. It stays stiff at first but over time transforms itself to reduce the shrinkage in post-wear and wash.

Raw Denim

The interesting fact is, the raw denim does not get processed, shrunk, or stretched which makes it perfect to mold to your body. Because they will ultimately stretch over time.

What is  Raw Denim made of?

Raw denim is a jean fabric type that does not go through the washing process. Raw denim is made of 100% cotton. It remains in a natural state that gives the fabric a unique look and feel. 

Raw denim offers a clean look and dark indigo color. It will not be considered raw when it hits the water. Raw denim is durable as it takes time to break due to its inherent stiffness. By nature, raw denim fabric is more indigo color leaving on the surface.

Types of Raw Denim

Raw denim comes in different types. For instance:

  1. Selvedge Denim:  This is the original raw denim, that is woven on vintage shuttle looms with a woven edge. After going through the washing process, Selvedge denim starts shrinking. 

  2. Sanforized or Pre-Shrink Raw Denim:  It is well-furnished at the denim mill in order to create a fit similar to the original denim. It is a standard process for streamlining the fit.

Types of Raw Denim

Properties of Raw Denim

Fabric Name

Raw Denim

Fabric Construction

100% Cotton

Fabric Durability

High (Sanforized type: Less Durable)

Fabric Breathability




Fabric Shine

Low (Gets fading over time)

Fabric Heat Retention Abilities


Prone to Pilling


Water-Resistant Ability


Washing Temperature

Cold wash using Detergent


Jeans, Jackets, Accessories

Characteristics of Raw Denim

Raw denim offers exciting features that make it apart from the structured fit and individual. For instance:

Sustainable and Eco-friendly

Raw denim is sustainable to the environment because its carbon footprint is much less.

Unique Texture

Raw Denim provides a clean state that fades better than washed denim. 

Characteristics of Raw Denim

It is not as comfortable as the Regular Denim

If you prefer comfort to a unique fit, you must not buy Raw Denim. Because raw denim is rigid, shrinks to fit, and stiff as it can take months to break in.

Highly Durable

Raw denim has not been pre-related. Hence it remains rigid similar to a black canvas. But it also allows the wearer to create unique fades. It lasts longer and ages better over time.

Application of Raw Denim

Raw denim comes with various applications. For instance:

  1. Apparel: Jeans, Jackets, Shirts, and Overalls

  2. Accessories: Bags, backpacks, belts, wallets, and hats.

Application of Raw Denim


  • Is it possible to make men's and women’s jeans out of raw denim?

Yes. Raw denim, which is known as unwashed,  is stiff in texture and unique in nature. Men can make straight-leg jeans and bootcuts out of raw denim whereas women can make skinny jeans, mom jeans, and boyfriend jeans out of raw denim.

  • How often should we wash denim?

It is said that raw denim should be worn as it is. You will feel rigid initially, but it continues to get better as time goes by. Besides, the beauty of raw denim lies in their uniqueness in two pairs. Because two pairs are not the same.


According to some denim enthusiasts, raw denim should never go through the washing process. However, a minimum treatment is important to keep the color of the raw denim longer and to prevent the buildup of bacteria. In that case, non-bleach detergent can be used to keep it clean throughout. 

Because the fabric is of the highest quality, it offers durability, comfort, and style. Let us know if you have ever worn raw denim products in the comment below.





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