Good jeans are like fine wine. They age beautifully and the longer you have them, the better they look. While the science behind that is still unknown, not all jeans fade the way you want them to. Detergent, weather, washing methods and other such elements can easily spoil the colour of your jeans, especially, black jeans. A pair of faded blue jeans might still look great, but faded black jeans look totally out of style. Nobody wants a pair of grey jeans that don’t even look new. If your black jeans are an indispensable part of your wardrobe, there are some things you can do to keep them from fading. If they’ve already crossed the mark, you can try and restore their colours too. All you need to do is have some patience and follow these cool tips.
Often, a colour fading off of black colour jeans is unavoidable. However, certain hacks such as re-dyeing with colour for jeans or using ingredients from your kitchen can help slow down or stop the process. Want to know how to colour jeans at home? Keep reading to find out.
Tips to prevent black denims from fading
1. Keep it away from the washing machine
The primary element that messes with your jeans’ colour is the washing machine. It’s not just the detergent, but the entire process of washing that can easily peel the colour off of your jeans. The more often you do it, the faster the colour fades. So limit washing your black colour jeans to once or twice a month. If you don’t use them frequently, there is no need to wash them unless they are really dirty. Even then, spot cleaning is a better option to get rid of accidental stains. Consider hand washing your black jeans or sending them out to the dry cleaners. Your washing machine might also have a ‘gentle’ wash setting that makes the washing process less aggressive than it needs to be.
2. Wash using cold water
When it comes to colours fading off of your clothes, hot water is the culprit. It cleans better than cold water, but it is also responsible for your faded jeans. When you pop your clothes into the washing machine, change the settings to use cold water instead. If you want to get rid of tough stains, stick to spot cleaning. Aggressively cleaning your jeans will not just get rid of the stain, but your jeans’ dye too.
3. Pick a good detergent
While all detergents might seem the same at first look, they are not. Certain detergents are made to protect the colour of your clothes while cleaning. They might be more expensive, but they are definitely effective. The science behind colour-protecting detergents is that they combat any corrosive materials in water (such as chlorine), reducing the effect they have in affecting the quality of your clothes. Invest in a good colour-protecting detergent and use it for all your denim washing cycles. This will help retain their colour and clean them too.
4. Use kitchen ingredients
If you don’t have or prefer to not invest in a colour-protecting pair of jeans, get vinegar. When mixed with salt, they act just as well to prevent your jeans from fading. You can even do this immediately after you buy a new pair of black jeans. This will help set the dye in and slow down the process of colour fading. Make sure to use cold water and soak the jeans in it for at least an hour. Rinse them in plain water later and start using them as you would. Don’t wash them in detergent unless they are actually really dirty.
5. Invest in fabric conditioners
Fabric conditioners or fabric softeners work the same way your hair conditioner would. They cut down on the friction between clothes, preventing their colours from fading. Your jeans will not just retain their colour, but also have a beautiful shine and will also smell great. Fabric conditioners are designed for dark clothes, and investing in a bottle can be a great way to keep your jeans looking brand new for longer.
6. Try steaming
Another lesser-known method of cleaning clothes is steaming them. It helps get rid of the odour and prevents the fabric from shrinking as well. The best part about steaming your black jeans is that it also removes all wrinkles. You can buy a steamer at home and save on the extra work required to wash and iron your favourite pair of jeans.
7. Drying them in the shade
The sun is another factor that harms a fabric’s health. Put your jeans out to dry in the shade so that the harsh sunlight doesn’t affect their colour. If your washing machine has a dryer, don’t leave your jeans in for too long. The heat can have the same effect as drying them out in the sun would. While it takes longer for them to dry, it is very effective in preventing them from fading. Plan your washing cycles accordingly to ensure that not having your jeans (because they’re still wet!) does not affect you.
8. Wash them inside out
This is an age-old tradition for washing clothes. Before popping them into the washing machine, flip your jeans inside out. This protects the outer side from the direct effects of the chemicals in your detergent and the aggressive results of excessive friction. Do this for all your important clothes, especially those with fun prints on them. Ideally, you should also wash these clothes separately to further prevent them from rubbing on each other. It might seem like extra work, but in the long run, your jeans will thank you for doing it.
Restore the fade by dying your jeans
Sometimes, it’s too late before when you realise that your jeans are not what they used to be. But that does not mean you have to discard them. There are several tried and tested methods to fix your faded black jeans. You can easily know more about how to colour jeans at home with this guide.
This one is a no-brainer. You can get a black dye for your jeans to restore their colour. Start off by rinsing them in cold water. Add some salt and vinegar to get rid of any dirt or odour. Research your black dye for jeans online and buy one that has the least amount of chemicals. Pop it into a bucket of water (some dyes might require you to boil them in water so read the instructions carefully) and let it work its magic. Use a plastic bucket, cover your floor with waste cloth (or just dye your jeans in the bathroom) and let your jeans soak. You may have to keep stirring them to ensure the dye spreads evenly and it does not settle at the bottom of the bucket. The next step would be to rinse the jeans in cold water to get rid of extra dye and then leave them out to dry. This way, you also ensure that your jeans' colour dye sets in well.
When do I dye my faded jeans?
The first time to black dye your jeans is when they are not the same shade of black anymore. Do not wait for them to fade completely because this just makes dyeing them difficult. The sooner you do it, the easier it is to get them back to a fresh black shade. Pick a day when you have plenty of time to spare. The process of dyeing your faded black jeans is a long one. Take time to clean your jeans because again, dirt might prevent them from absorbing the colour properly. Patience is key to ensuring your jeans look good as new again.
How do I choose the right dye colour?
Black dyes for jeans have been around for a very long time. However, not all black dyes for jeans are the same. For instance, you can get powdered as well as liquid dye. Liquid dye, as compared to powdered black dye for jeans, is much more concentrated. The powdered dye needs to be mixed with hot water for it to dissolve properly. Read up on dyes for clothes online, and pick the one that suits your needs the best. Keep in mind to read the instructions on the product to ensure that you don’t damage your jeans and mess up dyeing your jeans. You do not want all your hard work to go to waste, do you?
Things to keep in mind while dyeing jeans
1. Wash them only with cold water after dyeing. You do not need to use a detergent, but you can use mild shampoo to get rid of the excess dye.
2. Wash your jeans separately after you have dyed them. The black colour dye for jeans might stain your other clothes and you do not want that.
3. Keep track of how long you need to soak the jeans in dye. Ideally, the longer you soak the better the colour is absorbed.
4. Get a dye fixative to further ensure that the new colour sticks. You do not have to use them, but they do help prevent the colour from fading.
5. Plan well. You do not want to run around searching for important things when you are dyeing your jeans. Keep large spoons, gloves and newspapers handy. Have some waste fabrics on you to prevent any unnecessary stains.
Other hacks to fix your faded jeans
1. Paint fun patterns over them. You can purchase fabric colours from any stationery store in your area. Instead of getting your jeans back to black, you can revamp them with some fun designs using colours for jeans. This will give them a new personality and you will have a fun new outfit.
2. Use rubbing alcohol. Also known as isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol can help restore faded spots on your jeans. All you have to do is dip a cotton swab in it and then start rubbing around the faded area. This dissolves the jeans' colour dye that can then be spread on it. It does not completely restore the colour, but definitely improves the fade.
3. Use a marker. Make sure the colour matches that of your jeans and then add a few strokes over the faded area on your jeans. Then, with some rubbing alcohol, you can spread the ink to even out the colour. Don’t make your strokes too dark or the colour will stand out.
4. Wash your faded jeans with another pair of black jeans (if you have one). This will help restore the colour of your faded jeans.
5. Use liquid bluing. Your slightly faded black or blue jeans can get an extra shine and a darker colour with them. Use it with caution, especially if you want to brighten your white jeans.
Want to fix the colour of your jeans? Get a black colour dye for your jeans. You can even stick to your faded jeans and add them to college outfit ideas. Today’s fashion culture makes it seem like you need to always have new, fancy clothes on. However, a little vintage touch to your outfits like a pair of faded jeans or a worn-out shirt can look great too if styled well. If you do not like that, it is best if you take care while washing your jeans so they don’t fade. If they’ve already faded, then make sure to re-dye them for a new look! Look at Sonakshi Sinha’s fashion style for some inspiration.