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How To Dye Jeans

Written by: Eleanor Richards | August 31, 2016.

dying jeansUnfortunately, there comes a time in every pair of jeans’ life, that they end up looking faded and worn out. If this has happened to you before, normally the response is to keep the jeans in the back of the wardrobe for years to come. Bringing them out on DIY days when you’re not bothered about getting them a little dirty.

However, just because your jeans are faded doesn’t mean this is the end of them. It’s remarkably easy to dye your jeans to bring back the colour, and have them looking like new again. We’ve put together this quick guide to allow you to revitalise your jeans with ease.

Preparation

There are two stages to preparing the dying process. You need to get both your jeans, and the dying station ready. Sorting out your jeans is the easier part. If they have any fabric labels, like Levi’s do, either remove this label so you can reattach it later, or cover it up in electrical tape so the dye won’t stain it. Then soak your jeans in warm water, so they aren’t going into the dye bone dry.

Then you need to prepare the dye. Use a large bucket that can easily fit a couple of gallons of water in, and you can fully submerge your jeans. Dye itself is fairly easy to come by. Most large supermarkets or DIY stores will sell it, or it is easily available to buy online.

Fill your bucket two thirds full with hot water – just under boiling point. Depending on how dark you want your jeans, add all or some of the dye. There will be clear instructions on the packet to let you know how much to use and how to add it though!

Once all this is sorted, you’re ready for the next step: dying your jeans.

The dye process

Immerse your already damp jeans in the bucket and stir them around for 5-10 minutes to ensure the dye has covered every part of the material. You then need to leave them in the bucket for about an hour, stirring them around every ten minutes.

To do this make sure you use gloves as the dye may stain your skin and is difficult to clean off. Stir them around using a wooden spoon or ruler, but ensure it won’t be used for cooking afterwards.

After an hour is up, remove the jeans from the water and rinse them off. Using cold water, you should rinse them until the water runs off almost clear. Then either hang them up outside to dry naturally, or use a tumble drier on a very delicate setting.

Result

Once your jeans have dried, you should see a notable difference in the colour. If they are darker than you intended, you can simply wash them a couple of times to achieve the desired shade. However, remember that as the dye will run off in the washing machine, it’s best to wash them alone to avoid staining other clothes.

This dying process will work for all your clothes, not just denim! So if you have a faded shirt that you want to give a new lease of life to, why not give it a try.

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One thing to remember though, is that this process will probably remove any fades or signs of wear you had before. So creases around the knees, or marks on the pockets from your phone or wallet will be covered up. But you can always get these back after wearing for a few more months.

If you want a new pair of jeans, whether to dye straight away or wear until you have to, Mainline Menswear sells hundreds of pairs. These come from leading denim retailers including Nudie, Levi’s, G Star Raw and many more. Visit our website here to browse our extensive collection.

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