Raw Denim Fades – Train Tracks

Train Tracks - Iron Heart 666Sod (source: superfuture.com)

Train Tracks - Iron Heart 666Sod (source: superfuture.com; user: ThinFinn)

Compared to honey combs, whiskers, stacks, or wallet fades, train tracks are a more uncommon fade that occurs along the outseams of the jeans. As the denim wears, the outlines of the selvedge will be become more apparent, forming two sets of lines that resemble train tracks running up either leg.

As the outseams do not undergo as much stress and wear as other areas of denim, it is difficult to achieve this particular fade. Like anything, however, it is not impossible. To facilitate train tracks fades, consider flattening the outseam before you start wearing it.

Often times, the selvedge outseam gets folded in two, producing a one-sided train track. From my experience, I didn’t really think about flattening the selvedge before wearing it, so my current N&F jeans have one-sided train tracks on certain areas and two-sided train tracks on other areas.

How should one remedy this problem? It’s simple – iron the selvedge from the start!

Roy ironing the selvedge (fast forward to 2:08):

Train Track Snapshots (source: superfuture.com)

LVC 1947 (SuFu user: almostnice)

LVC 1947 (SuFu user: almostnice)

Vintage Levis 502 (user: mhp)

Vintage Levis 502 (user: mhp)

Samurai 5kb (user: giantsdrink)

Samurai 5kb (user: giantsdrink)

Even non-selvedge jeans can get train tracks. The fading comes from two sides of pressing on the outseam of the jeans to cause indigo loss. Though you’ll have better stronger contrasting results with selvedge raw denim, it is still attainable with non-selvedge.

Stay raw!

-Josh
tw: @rawrdenim | fb: Rawr Denim | subscription: Rawr Denim

Josh

Well known for his 15 month Nudies Jeans denim experiment in 2010, Josh is a raw denim enthusiast, tennis fan, and foodie from Edmonton, Canada.

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  • Supernova33333

    Great post!

    I never gave a name to it but this is to me “the essential touch” for an authentic look.

    In production the effect would easily show with just a light garment wash (which would leave the raw denim look without the blue bleading and rubbing problem) not only on selvedge denim but also on thick/fat overlocking (like Replay and Diesel do).

    According to traditional construction of the jeans the side seam it is always flat ironed on a finished garment. During the wash though you might get that nice uneven back to front train tracks.

    However this finishing is possible only on traditionally made denim and woven trs; many manufactures now proceed with one only overlocking instead of split seam as is faster and cheaper. This cheap process does not even allow a good fit of the leg.

    Thanks!

  • Supernova33333

    Great post!

    I never gave a name to it but this is to me “the essential touch” for an authentic look.

    In production the effect would easily show with just a light garment wash (which would leave the raw denim look without the blue bleading and rubbing problem) not only on selvedge denim but also on thick/fat overlocking (like Replay and Diesel do).

    According to traditional construction of the jeans the side seam it is always flat ironed on a finished garment. During the wash though you might get that nice uneven back to front train tracks.

    However this finishing is possible only on traditionally made denim and woven trs; many manufactures now proceed with one only overlocking instead of split seam as is faster and cheaper. This cheap process does not even allow a good fit of the leg.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.thedescendingnude.com Style1artists

    Nice post. 
    I’ve noticed this detail on a few of my jeans in the past but never new there was a name for it. 
    I’ve recently made myself some jeans and (unkowingly) found that the best way to get the begginings of the track lines if you don’t have access to an industrial steam iron is to turn the legs inside out and spray a bit of starch along the seam allowance. 
    If you have a tailors seam press (or a length of 2×2 wood), give the seam a good press and the starch will help to creat that impression. 
    just as an extra, I turn the leg back through and wet the seam again then give it another good press and you can start to see the impression showing while the denim turns from wet to dry.  You can use a sleeve pressing board but I find the harder the surface the more of an impression will be created for that first wash.

  • http://www.thedescendingnude.com Style1artists

    Nice post. 
    I’ve noticed this detail on a few of my jeans in the past but never new there was a name for it. 
    I’ve recently made myself some jeans and (unkowingly) found that the best way to get the begginings of the track lines if you don’t have access to an industrial steam iron is to turn the legs inside out and spray a bit of starch along the seam allowance. 
    If you have a tailors seam press (or a length of 2×2 wood), give the seam a good press and the starch will help to creat that impression. 
    just as an extra, I turn the leg back through and wet the seam again then give it another good press and you can start to see the impression showing while the denim turns from wet to dry.  You can use a sleeve pressing board but I find the harder the surface the more of an impression will be created for that first wash.

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  • Anonymous

    Sick post, Josh! Y’know…I’d never once considered ironing the outseam to achieve better tracks. That’s funny, and I’ll have to ponder a bit whether that should go onto the list of “Raw Denim Cheats”…Very cool. I find that you can tell older, well-worn jeans apart just by looking at the definition in the tracks.

  • Anonymous

    Sick post, Josh! Y’know…I’d never once considered ironing the outseam to achieve better tracks. That’s funny, and I’ll have to ponder a bit whether that should go onto the list of “Raw Denim Cheats”…Very cool. I find that you can tell older, well-worn jeans apart just by looking at the definition in the tracks.