Levi’s 501 Shrink to Fit Issues

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 in Tips from Charles | 0 comments

Levi’s 501 Shrink to Fit Issues

Levi’s instructions for 501 Shrink-to-Fit Jeans

1. Wear them as long as possible before you wash them.
2. On the first wash, soak in a capful of Dr. Bronner’s soap for 20 minutes.
3. The hotter the water the more they shrink.
4. It’s normal for the dye to color the water.
5. Rinse and drip dry until damp
6. Put them on and wear them until completely dry.
http://levistrauss.com/sites/levistrauss.com/files/librarydocument/2010/10/levis-shrink-fit-501s.pdf

We know that some of our customers would like for us to launder and press these jeans the same way that we do all of their other jeans. However, these jeans will shrink, a lot. Another issue with these jeans involves the streaking and fading of the dyes. See below for more information on that issue. Some sales clerks have suggested that their customers have the jeans drycleaned to prevent these issues. This not a good solution.  Oak Forest Cleaners recommends that you wash and iron these jeans at home. If you follow the instructions from the manufacturer they will likely perform exactly as they are supposed to. If you insist, we will launder them for you but we will not be responsible for the almost certain shrinking, streaking, and fading that will occur.
From Drycleaning & Laundry Institute

The garment: A dark blue pair of cotton denim Levi
501 jeans. The care label states: machine wash cold
inside out-liquid detergent recommended-tumble dry
medium-hot iron-do not dryclean with confusing and
sometimes contradictory International Code Symbols
that for instance allows drycleaning.

The problem: During commercial laundering, the blue
dye bleeds, fades, crocks and creates objectionable
light streaks. We have seen this very same fading
problem during washing in similar Levi jeans of other
colors, including black, light blue and even gray.
Gentle home style cold water washing with mild liquid
detergents also causes some fading, but it is
minimized and streaking is usually eliminated.

Who’s responsible? Many consumers want to have
their jeans processed professionally because they
want them starched and pressed for a stiff crisp
appearance and sharp creases. Most washable jeans
from major jean makers can withstand both home
washing processes, as well as professional laundering
without adverse dye disturbance. However, this
particular style of jeans has had numerous
colorfastness failures during commercial laundering.

What to do: This is a warning that some Levi 501
cotton denim jean pants may not be commercially
launderable by standard methods without adverse
fading and streaks. In some cases, a milder alternative
care process, as labeled, may be acceptable.


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