Softening Stiff Denim

I bought two pairs of denim shorts recently and after I washed them they became too stiff and scratchy to wear. I looked to see what materials were in them and noticed they contained a fabric called "ramie". So I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to soften them up a bit? Much appreciated.


By tehxemmers from GA

June 18, 20090 found this helpful

Ramie is cotton. Stick them in the wash a couple more times using cold water and use a softener. Dry them with a softener sheet but take them out when they are just a little bit damp. Like the original, hard as a board, Levi jeans they will soften up eventually. good luck!

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June 19, 20090 found this helpful

Turn them inside out and iron them on a high setting with steam. You may have to do this for the first couple of times you wash them, but it will help break down and soften the fibers. Works on denim shirts with scratchy collars and cuffs too.

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June 19, 20090 found this helpful

Hi here is the info on Ramie fabric. What is Ramie Fabric?

Ramie, also known as "China Grass", is a flowering plant native to eastern Asia. For centuries, ramie fiber has been used for making fabrics and clothing. In fact, ramie has been used for clothes since at least 5000 - 3000 BC in Egypt.

Ramie fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers. Ramie can be up to 8 times stronger than cotton, and is even stronger when wet.

Ramie Fabric

Ramie as a fabric, can be a great eco-friendly alternative to using synthetic fibers or non-organic fibers. It is also very comfortable to wear and is highly absorbent. This makes it a great choice for warmer climates or summer months. Ramie fabric also has good stain resistance. It's great in the wash too. It doesn't shrink, can withstand high water temperatures, and it's lustrous appearance actually improves with washing.

Ramie is low in elasticity and it does wrinkle easily. It is also quite costly to produce compared to other textile fibers, so this tends to raise the price of the end products.

Ramie can be used in a wide range of applications, including:

Dresses and skirts






Bed sheets etc

Table cloths and table towels

Sewing threads



Fire hoses


Ramie is often blended with other fibers such as cotton and hemp to produce fabrics with different characteristics.

Companies selling products made with ramie include:

Australia's The Earth Collection (who also have a distributor in the UK and Ireland)

Chinas Sichuan JTC Garments Co.Ltd (a subsidiary of Sichuan Cotton and Ramie Group)

I also found some ramie apparel and ramie bedding at

Tags: eco-friendly clothes, fabric, ramie, Sustainability

From Patrival Boucherville Quebec Canada

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July 11, 20100 found this helpful

Try soaking the denim shorts in a solution of vinegar & water (1:10), in a bucket. The solution should just cover the clothes, so no need to fill the bucket all the way to the top. This will help to breakdown the starch in the fibres all through. Next day wash them as usual. They should be softer. I live in a region where we have only hard water and most of our jeans and jackets turn stiff in the regular wash. I have tried this and it works.

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