The blue dye used for denim was originally taken from the Indigofera tinctotia plant and has been used across time and the world over because of it's strength of colour and resistance to light and water.
But it was also, and perhaps more interestingly, because of it’s gradual and often beautiful fading, that it became known as the ‘the living colour’.
Many of us, it seems, walk around wearing the rubs, stresses and strains of our lives on our jeans - whether we’ve washed and pressed them or not.
Denim is synonymous with radicalism of all types as well as a potent symbol of masculinity (think Marlborough man) so naturally it forms an important part of any butch uniform. My mother wouldn’t let me have any Levis until I was about 14 - no matter how much I sulked and tugged at many an ill fitting polyester dress (well, it was the ’80’s).
Now of course I could write forever about how many ounces of selvedge Japanese denim I’ve loved and worn through since then, but what is always the same is the sense of wearing an protective, butch, armour.
And armour, does not like to go in the washing machine. Seriously. If you can resist the urge, depending entirely of course on what or who you’ve been doing in your jeans - put them instead in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. They come out nice and fresh with all the patterns of fading and wear preserved nicely.