What are Acid Wash Jeans? Get the Facts

What are Acid Wash Jeans? Get the Facts

Denim jeans are recognized throughout the world for their unmatched versatility and varied style. While some of the first jeans produced in the 1800s were rudimentary, manufacturers have since broadened their horizons by producing jeans in dozens of different styles. Today, you can find denim jeans available in low-rise, high-rise, slim-fit, skinny, stretch and more. Each of these styles has its own unique characteristics. Low-rise jeans, for instance, sit lower on the waist, whereas their high-rise counterpart sits higher on the waist.

Once particular style that’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity is acid wash. Granted, acid wash jeans have been around for decades, dating back to the late 1970s and early 80s. In the years to follow, however, they were replaced with more standard styles. But like many fashion trends, acid wash jeans are now making a comeback. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe with stylish new denim, you may want to consider acid wash jeans. To learn more about acid wash jeans and why they are so popular, keep reading.

Acid Wash Jeans: The Basics

Based on its name alone, you may assume that acid wash jeans are literally made by washing the denim materials in acid. Although this would make sense, there’s no acid actually used in the production method. Instead, acid wash jeans are made with chlorine to achieve a lighter, bleached color than regular denim. Chlorine and water is added to a larger drum, after which the denim jeans are placed inside, either with or without pumice stones. As the jeans rotate in the solution of bleach and water, it turns the denim materials into a lighter color; thus, creating the characteristic features of acid wash jeans.

Acid wash jeans are generally characterized by a lighter tone. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire jeans are light, however. Rather, they contain areas of contrasting color, with some parts featuring a light blue color and others featuring a darker — though still somewhat light — blue. This is a similar style as stonewashed jeans, which also share contrasting color tones.

With that said, it’s difficult to determine whether jeans were manufactured using stonewashing or acid washing techniques. Because they both achieve a similar outcome, only the manufacturer knows the true answer to this question. However, some manufacturers specifically label their denim jeans according to the way in which they were produced. If they were made using stonewashing techniques, for instance, the manufacturer may label them as “stonewashed denim.” Or if they were made using acid wash, the manufacturer may label them as “acid washed jeans” — you get the idea.

Benefits of Wearing Acid Wash Jeans

So, why should you choose acid wash jeans over the countless other denim styles that are available? For starters, they have a naturally aged and worn-in appearance that many men and women prefer. You may be able to replicate this style by washing and wearing standard denim jeans, but this usually takes several years. And even then, your jeans may still lack the characteristic features of genuine acid wash jeans. By choosing acid wash jeans, you don’t have to worry about intentionally damaging your jeans, as they are already made to look aged and worn-in.

Secondly, it’s worth mentioning that acid wash jeans are coming back in style. Fashion isn’t static, nor is it persistent. A style that’s popular today, for instance, may be gone tomorrow. This is why it’s important for individuals to familiarize themselves with the latest fashion trends. And as stated above, one such style that’s making a comeback is acid wash jeans. With their unique one-of-a-kind appearance, men and women of all ages appreciate the style offered by acid wash jeans.


Origins of Acid Wash Jeans

You might be surprised to learn that acid wash jeans have origins dating back to the 1960s. Granted, they didn’t become popular until the 1970s, though they were technically invented about a decade prior. It’s said that acid wash jeans spawned during the 1960s as a result of the counterculture surrounding the popularity of Levi 501 jeans. Surfers in California and other parts of the Southwestern United States often wore jeans such as Levi 501s, which they soon discovered would become bleached after prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Some surfers, in fact, preferred the look of acid wash jeans so much that they would hang new pairs of jeans outdoors for days or weeks on end. It wasn’t a quick or easy process, but it was the only way for surfers to achieve the look of acid wash jeans. Later, however, some of these surfers began experimenting with different processing techniques, one of which being an application of diluted bleach. They would soak the jeans in a combination of water, bleach and sand to achieve a lighter and more worn-in appearance. As the popularity of this homemade acid wash style became more widespread, denim manufacturers took notice and began making their own acid wash jeans to sell — and that’s essentially how acid wash jeans were invented.

Choosing the Right Pair of Acid Wash Jeans

Now that you know a little bit about acid wash jeans, you might be ready to get your hands (or legs) on a pair. Like all jeans, though, it’s important to choose the right type. This means checking to see what materials it’s made of, as some contain 100%, while others contain a combination of both denim and polyester or spandex. The latter are known as “stretch denim” because they are more elastic than their standard counterpart. Stretch denim is used in virtually all styles of jeans, only one of which is acid wash.

Additionally, make sure you choose the right size. You might get lucky and find the perfect size when shopping at your local retail store, though this usually doesn’t happen. A better option is to order your acid wash jeans here at MakeYourOwnJeans. You can specify your own body measurements, which we’ll use to customize your acid wash jeans so they fit perfectly.

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