Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Is Raw Denim Worth the Price Tag?

Written by: Danali Team



Time to read 4 min

Denim jeans are one of the most popular articles of clothing on the planet. Chances are you own a pair or even own several pairs in a variety of fits and washes. You may have even come across Raw Denim and when you saw the associated price tag - you immediately moved on.

We're here to explain why raw denim is worth the price tag and after reading this article, you'll be able to make an informed purchase. If you are new here or to the world of raw denim, check out our related reading below.

Related Reading:

Before Buying Raw Denim

Raw denim is experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to its unique look and durability. 

Many people wear denim everyday or majority of the week. Whether it is at the office, a night out, running errands, or anything in-between. Denim's versatility makes it a foundational piece of any wardrobe.

Raw Denim fans often wear their jeans everyday for a long period of time. Often years of vigorous wear before the jean is retired.

Think about your own denim collection, how much wear do you get out of your current pre-distressed denim? How many times do you buy new jeans or replace your jeans? Raw denim could be a worthwhile investment as it will cut down on costs over time and they will last much longer.

Raw Denim - Selvedge Denim - Danali - Canada

4 Benefits of Raw Denim

1. Fading - One of the biggest benefits of raw denim and what denim aficionado's will tell you is the fades or indigo loss that are developed after each wear as time goes on. Every kilometer you walk, activity you do, every scrape or knick on the jeans, even the items you keep in the pockets will slowly bleed the dark indigo dye making way for lighter indigo hues and eventually revealing the white cotton core of the denim.

What is left is a completely unique garment that was faded and formed by you through your everyday activities and adventures.

Raw Denim Fades - Nudie Jeans - Danali

2. Exceptional Durability -  Raw denim is unwashed, untreated, 100% cotton that is effectively untouched from the manufacturers to you. Since the jean has not been treated, you experience the entire life cycle of the jean from the initial break-in period to when you retire the jeans years into the future. 

Raw denim is also typically heavier weight than commercial denim making it more durable and less likely to suffer from blowouts. 

3. Eco-Friendly - It takes an awful lot of water to produce cotton and denim jeans - especially distressed and prewashed denim. The processes used in commercial denim can also expose workers to harmful chemicals. Buying raw denim saves the extra water and avoids the harmful chemicals.

Brands like Nudie Jeans use 100% organic cotton and is recognized for their work with sustainability, both environmental and social.

4. Value - The durability of raw denim lends itself to being worn for long periods of time. Raw denim fans will wear their jeans everyday or almost everyday for several years. They may only have one or two pairs of jeans they cycle through, significantly de-cluttering their closet space.


  • Durability
  • Fading and personalization
  • Eco-friendly
  • Good value over time
  • Versatility in your wardrobe


  • Initial cost
  • Stiffness in the jean during the initial break-in period can be uncomfortable

Buying Raw Denim

So you have decided that the initial investment of raw denim is worth the price and are interested in getting a pair. Here are a few things to keep in mind - especially when buying online.

Shop our Collection of Raw Denim

At Danali we hand pick the denim we love and would wear ourselves (or are currently wearing now). We carry raw denim and selvedge denim from brands Nudie Jeans, Naked and Famous Denim, and more. As well as rare and exclusive Japanese denim brands Momotaro Jeans and Pure Blue Japan.


How long is the initial break-in period for Raw Denim?

Raw denim initially will be stiff because it is unwashed and untreated. It will require some time to conform to your body and become more comfortable. The length of the break-in period will depend on how often you wear your jeans and what activities you are doing in them. Typically, the break-in period can last a few weeks to a couple months.

When Should I wash my Raw denim?

The common wisdom you will hear when discussing washing your raw denim, is that you should hold off washing your jeans until at least six months of wear. Of course, depending on how you wear your jeans, this timeframe may vary. 

Remember, your jeans are tough, they can take it. If they need a wash, do not hesitate and refer to our care guide for information on how to wash.

What is Selvedge Denim?

Selvedge, also called “selvage” or "self-edge," is made on a shuttle loom, creating a narrower fabric with a tighter weave. The result is more durable and heavy-weight denim with a pronounced ridged edge.

Selvedge denim is different from raw denim, although the two are commonly found together. Many denim heads will exclusively buy raw selvedge denim.

Raw Denim Repairs

Raw denim is extremely durable and lasts a seriously long time. But like all things there will come a time when your jeans will need some love and care. The most common repair is crotch reinforcement or crotch blowout repair. This can be repaired at most tailors or here, at Danali we offer tailoring and hemming services for your jeans.