DIY Jeans

We all have a favorite pair of jeans. You know the ones. They hit you in all the right places; don’t gap, pinch, or squeeze where you don’t want them to. It’s taken a while to get them to fit you this way and finding this pair might have even taken you hours of shopping and frustration. That’s what makes it even more painful when you realize the wash on your jeans is fading. It’s like a slow and painful breakup - and your soon-to-be-ex is always there waiting in your dresser. You reach for them but they just totally clash.

If you’re anything like me you would hold on to these because you just can’t let go, and start to see other jeans on the side during sleepless nights filling shopping carts. Before you replace them or chuck them in the Goodwill pile, do the best thing for your jeans and your wallet and consider dyeing your jeans instead. It’s a simple fix that can give you months more of wear on your jeans.

  1. Make sure your jeans are clean and free of any deep set stains. They don’t have to be straight out of the wash (softeners and detergents can interfere with the dyeing process). And if you didn’t know, it’s best to wash your jeans between 3 to even 10 washes to prevent fading in the first place.

  2. Fill a large pot with hot water and heat it on the stove. Make sure to leave space for the jeans that we will put in later, it will raise the water level significantly.

  3. As the water heats up soak your jeans in a mixture of salt and hot water to prepare for the dye. Once the the water in the large pot begins to simmer wring out the jeans well unfold and place them in the pot. Stir around with a wooden spoon to ensure there are no hard folds in the jeans.

  4. Pour in half a bottle of black RIT dye. Stirring frequently to make sure all of the fabric is submerged and in contact with the dye bath. Let the water simmer but never come to a boil.

  5. After thirty minutes to an hour (depending how much fading or color change you need) lower the heat and cover. Check back and stir the jeans every five minutes or so to ensure even coverage.

  6. Once the water has cooled dispose of the dye bath water and rinse the jeans in cool water until the water runs clear.

  7. Place in the dryer on high heat to set the dye and check your work.

The hot water and high heat drying may cause some shrinkage. After this process wash with cool water and like colors. We recommend wearing your new jeans a few times before your first full wash and waiting at least five wears before a deep clean. If your jeans were originally a light color you may need to repeat the process or double the amount of dye. Need a visual? Check out the video below.

Happy DIYing!

model: victoria riquier

ph: zine designs

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© 2021 A.J. Dunlap