denim school

Rigid Jeans Are The Starting Point

Nowadays, with so many different choices within the jeans segment, it’s sometimes difficult to pick the right pair at your favorite (local) denim dealer. Denim walls at denim retailers can be overwhelming with all the finishes, details, and washings on each pair. Therefore, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics in the denim jungle. To the beginning that started the denim movement in the first place when jeans entered on the market. Going to the origin of jeans means going back in time when denim was only available in rigid (unwashed) fabrics as there weren’t any factories yet that finished jeans with a vintage worn look.

So, let’s go back to the essential, the starting point of blue jeans. Let’s highlight the 5 main reasons why to buy a pair of these rigid jeans!

1. Create your own wear pattern.

Wearing a pair from scratch, which means without a factory washing, is a special journey. The jeans is a sort of blanco canvas in the beginning but will show your behavior and lifestyle after a while. The indigo of the yarns will chip off with wear and will create the holy fades in the end. This results in a sort of natural pattern that you created yourself by simply wearing your jeans day in and day out. Seeing the transformation of the blue canvas into your uniquely created wear pattern is magical. Nothing beats witnessing this special aging process, and above all, no pre-washed jeans will come this close to the most perfect washing that fits your body type. And not to forget, all the fades in the wear pattern remind you of all the special moments and journeys you made while wearing your jeans.

2. The most sustainable way of wearing jeans.

To keep it short, there’s nothing more sustainable than wearing a pair of jeans that isn’t pre-washed. A pair of rigid jeans have no factory treatment at all and is the purest form of wearing jeans. The fabric is raw, rigid, or unwashed as how they call it. This means that these kinds of jeans are the most sustainable to wear (as it comes to the fabric of course).

3. Quality that last long.

There are many jeans these days available at denim stores with tears, patches, and repairs. They’re replicated from authentic worn jeans as most people prefer to buy jeans with a vintage look. But, the downside is that most of these jeans are beaten up so heavily in the factory that they’re not that strong compared to rigid jeans. Rigid jeans are sturdy and will not break so easily. Therefore they will last long(er) so you can enjoy them for a long(er) time. That’s another sustainable plus, so another good reason to kick in your own rigid pair of jeans.

4. Very comfortable to wear.

Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans in their wardrobe, and most of the time this isn’t their newest pair. This is probably the one that has been worn the longest, or worn most of the time, and maybe even patched and repaired multiple times to keep your jeans alive. Wearing a rigid pair of jeans means that the jeans will shape to your own body type in the end as it wasn’t ‘shaped’ yet when it was new. You need to ‘break it in’ yourself. This results in jeans that will be super soft and super comfortable to wear. The only thing you need to do is to wear them as much as possible.

5. Nothing more authentic.

Last, but certainly not least, the authentic part of buying a pair of rigid jeans. As said earlier, back in the day, all jeans were made with rigid fabrics. And originally these fabrics were woven on authentic narrow shuttle looms (this means: a slow weaving process), so, therefore, they show the highly-appreciated selvedge ID on both sides of the fabric. When wearing these kinds of jeans made with selvedge fabrics, you can wear them with a turn-up so you can proudly show the craftsmanship of your pair. Just like the cult heroes Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe did back in the day. Talking about authenticity!

Learn More About Denim!

In case you want to learn more about denim, this to train yourself, store or brand staff, send me an e-mail to: to discuss the opportunities how we can achieve this. I’m happy to learn you more about denim!

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.