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How to Dye Your Denim Jeans

How To Dye Jeans and Denim

Dyeing jeans is a great way to fix a problem pair of jeans. You can dye them to revive the new look your jeans once had. You can dye your jeans to cover up a problem with your jeans like a stain or when they're too worn out looking. You can dye your jeans to get the exact color of jeans that you want or you can dye your jeans in unique ways for cool effects.

No matter your reason for wanting to dye your jeans, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Fabric dye is permanent, and it can be messy. That's why I prefer the bucket method of dyeing and I use a good pair of dishwashing gloves.

  • When the jeans are dyed, the stitching will often dye as well. Whether it does or not is usually dependent on what the thread is made of. Cotton thread will generally dye and is most often used on jeans, but if the thread is polyester, it most likely wont' dye at all.

  • The dye will generally look darker when wet and until after it has been washed the first time. The final outcome will most likely be lighter.

  • If you have never dyed jeans before, I wouldn't recommend starting with your favorite pair. If you have an old pair to test your process on, you can make adjustments before dyeing a pair you really care about.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • To cover bleach spots requires some prep work because the dye is affected by the original color. Pleas see How To Fix Bleach Spots By Dyeing Jeans.

  • If your stitching didn't dye and you wanted it to, you can try a Sharpie marker in the closest color. It takes time, but it should cover the stitching.

  • If you a going for a very dark denim color try using, one package of RIT Navy Blue, one package of Indigo and one package of Black. Don't forget to use HOT water.

  • Often times if you don't like the result you just need to dye the jeans one more time. Some jeans just seem to absorb the dye so much, that a second dye is necessary to get the color you're looking for.

  • Purple of lavender tones can sometimes show up because Indigo has purple undertones. If that is the case I recommend adding Navy Blue or Black dye to the Indigo dye, depending on how dark you want the results to be.

 

Steps to dye your jeans per the RIT Dye website:

Always refer to package directions for the dye you are using.

  1. Fill your bucket or sink with enough HOT water for the fabric to move freely. Use 1 package of RIT powder or 1/2 bottle of RIT liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for each pound of fabric. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of HOT water, then add the pre-dissolved powder or liquid to your dye bath. Stir to mix.

  2. Wet the fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and then add to your dye bath.

  3. Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down) for 10 to 30 minutes. This is essential if you want the fabric to dye evenly.

  4. Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until the water runs clear. Wash the item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.

  5. Dry the item in the dryer or air dry it.

  6. Clean the bucket or sink immediately with chlorine bleach or scrub with a chlorine-based powder, liquid, or gel cleanser.

 

 

To dye your jeans in the washing machine using Dylon dye:

 

That's it! Hopefully you now have a great pair of dyed jeans that will get a whole new life in your wardrobe!

 




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