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Sanforized vs. Unsanforized Denim

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What is sanforized denim?

Sanforized denim has been stretched, fixed and shrunk in length at the mill. This is done in order to reduce the amount of shrinkage that can happen after your jeans’ first wash. The result of sanforization leads to 1-3% shrinkage, as opposed to 10% shrinkage with unsanforized (shrink to fit) denim.

What is unsanforized denim?

Unsanforized denim, also known as “loomstate” or “shrink-to-fit” denim, has not been through the sanforization process. In sanforization, the fabric is stretched, fixed and shrunk in length at the mill in order to reduce the amount of shrinkage that can occur after the first wash. Since unsanforized denim does not go through this process, it is expected to shrink up to 10% after the first soak.

Sanforized vs. Unsanforized Denim

Sizing

Jeans made from sanforized denim go through the process of pre-shrinking at the mill, meaning you don’t have to size up when buying your jeans. People prefer sanforized jeans for this exact reason, and feel more comfortable buying jeans they know will fit.

Unsanforized (shrink to fit) denim does not go through a shrinking process, meaning you’ll have to size up appropriately to compensate for the amount of shrinkage that will happen after the first wash.

Texture

Undergoing the process of sanforization not only affects the sizing of your denim, but the texture of it as well. This process of stretching and shrinking will lead to smoother looking denim.

Unsanforized denim retains its rougher characteristics, as it remains unaltered until the day it is purchased.

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