Yesterday, Google’s Advanced Technology and Project group and Levi’s finally announced retail availability for their Jacquard-powered Trucker Jacket. However, the woven fiber technology launching on Wednesday has a very significant limitation in how many times it can be washed.
We’ve known for quite some time now that the USB “Jacquard snap tag” that contains the Bluetooth antenna, battery, and other smarts has to be removed before washing. However, the SFist uncovered today that jacket can only be washed “up to 10” times.
The Jacket is designed to withstand up to 10 washes with the Jacquard snap tag removed but your experience may vary by usage and wash conditions.
This information comes from a document on the Jacquard Help on “Taking care of your Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google.” It goes on to tell wearers not to dry-clean the jacket. These limitations are likely due to the Jacquard fibers located in the left cuff of the Jacket possibly wearing out over time.
Denim jackets are historically very durable, with good ones lasting for years with minimal wear and tear. However, the inability to properly wash them might severely limit their longevity in regards to maintenance.
This limitation also seems damning given how Google and Levi’s are positioning the Trucker Jacket for cyclists. As fashion writer Robyn Hagan Cain aptly notes:
“when you build a piece of outerwear for bicycle commuting, it’s going to absorb the smells of sweat and city air…If you like your outerwear freshly-laundered, this one might be a tough sell.”
Other restrictions note how “air drying is preferred,” but tumble drying on low heat is possible. Meanwhile, tailoring the jacket will void the warranty.
If the poll we ran yesterday is any evidence, the Trucker Jacket did not even appeal to the more tech enthusiast community. However, given this limitation, even fewer people might want to purchase it.