Dying Faded Jeans

I hate it when my jeans get all faded out before they really need to be replaced. I prefer that super dark, super crisp, clean look you get with a new pair of jeans. I wear my jeans to work and they get dirty, so I end up washing them nearly every time or every other time I wear them, which means they fade out super quickly.

I am trying to be more conscious of where I spend my money and who I am supporting with the purchases I make, and jeans from a good quality, ethically made, fairly traded company can be really expensive.

However, the very best way to reduce, reuse, and recycle is to keep what I already have and make into something I love again! So instead of just buying new jeans, this time I decided to dye them.

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The ones on the left were originally a bright aqua color. The other two weren’t TOO much darker than they are now, but they have weird faded out bits around the pockets, waist bands, cuffs, and especially the knees. I hate it when the knees get all whiteish and worn looking.

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Faded knees. Ick.

So I picked up a few bottles of Rit dye at the grocery store, which was actually super cheap. The bottles were $3 each and the box was $1.50.

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I’ve never dyed anything before, so I was kind of nervous. It sounds hard to do and potentially could make a huge mess.

But I have to say, it was a lot easier than I was expecting. The most important things to note were that (A) I wore rubber gloves and (B) I read and followed the instructions, which is something I skip occasionally. Not this time!

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These are the colors I decided to use on each pair of jeans.

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I decided to use the “bucket method” of dying, because that’s what was recommended for a single item like a pair of jeans. I let the the first two pairs sit in the dye for the full recommended 30 minutes, and the third pair I only left in the dye for 15 minutes because the navy blue dye turned out a lot darker than the other colors.

The instructions recommend washing the newly dyed jeans separately than the rest of my laundry for the first 3-4 washings until the dye isn’t going to run much anymore to protect my other laundry from stains.

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And here is the end result! I’m super happy with how they turned out, especially the colorful aqua jeans! This is nearly the same color that they were when I first bought them. And no more faded knees on the other two pairs. They all look like new!

I feel like I could get really into dying things. This was fun.

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