Raw denim has not been washed when it arrives at your door. That doesn't mean it's all soiled from seamstress hands. It means the denim is fairly stiff and all of the dye is still in the denim. This gives the denim a very different fade as it ages from wearing and washing.
Each time you hand wash raw denim it will bleed some of its dye making it a little lighter. The fading and breaking in of raw denim is what gives it such character. Think of it like Mel Gibson's face, it started smooth and lowly broke in, and is now full of 'character'. Unlike Mel's face, denim will fade pretty rapidly your first few washes. So how much different will your jeans look after the first wash?
Above is a picture of the transition that a pair of Washington Alley Websters made after the first wash. As you can see the color has changed to a more deep blue. There is more white feathering running vertically in the pocket and leg. It is also much more broken in between the legs. The denim will also shrink some which you can see detailed, here.
That should give you a pretty good idea of what your raw denim will look like after the first wash.
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