Jeans, Jeans, Jeans Galore

The year is 1977 and City Laundry is buzzing. Semi after Semi pulls in and drops off mountain sized loads of jeans. New jobs are being created to keep up with the masses. Carl and Paul Kramer seized the opportunity to take on the task of softening Levis.

National clothing firms were contracting local laundries to shrink and soften jeans. Without this process, jeans come stiff and with excess dye. This pre-wash process removes excess dye and shrinks the jeans so consumers don’t have to worry about doing it themselves. Researchers found that consumers were more willing to pay for the product post process. Thus, allowing City Laundry to open their doors to the challenge.

The jeans would come in by the truck loads and had to be unloaded. They were washed in 400 lb. loads with gentle bleach and softener then rinsed a couple times. After pressing the jeans, they were re-labeled and shipped back for distribution.

Fast forward to 1985, City Laundry is still pre-washing jeans at an average of 1.4 million pairs each year! Since the start of the jean washing in 1977, trends changed forcing the laundry to adjust the formula used to wash the jeans. At the beginning a lighter wash was the fad, but in 1985 consumers wanted a darker jean.

What a blast from the past!