How to Fade a New T-shirt
Posted on November 09 2017
Depending on your personal taste, you might not like the feel of a brand new T-shirt. We get it. Nothing quite beats the feel of a shirt that's been worn and washed a lot. If that's your thing, you need to know how to age a T-shirt so that it's a bit faded, super soft, and fits perfectly.
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Here's what you need to do to get a perfectly aged T-shirt.
Round Up Your Ingredients
The good news? You might already have most of these in your home already. You'll need:
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Tea or coffee
Black and darker shirts probably won't need the tea or coffee, but lighter shirts can rock a subtle patina if you want. Just grab whatever grounds or leaves you have around the home.
Toss it in the Wash
Normally, hot water is a no-no when it comes to your favorite cotton clothing, as it tends to shrink things. In this case, we're tossing the rules out the window because we have a separate goal in mind. Crack your washer up to the highest heat setting and add your normal detergent. Next, add a few cups of salt and half a cup of baking soda to the machine (dump it on the clothes--you don't want that clogging your detergent chute). Dry on high. You'll want to repeat this cycle 3-4 times, depending on your preference.
Get Your Fade On
The washing machine should've taken down the brightness a few notches and made the new/stiff material softer already. Next, you're going to fine-tune the colors, and this is where the lemon juice comes in. Create a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part lemon juice and soak the shirt(s) in a bucket for several hours.
Use Some Elbow Grease
If your shirt has a screen-printed design, this step will make it look more worn. With fine sandpaper, scuff up the design until you create the look you're going for. You can even take the grit to the hems in a few places where the fibers are more likely to naturally wear down.
For those of you who have opted for a shirt that's not basic black, you can give it a natural-looking stain with the tea or coffee leaves. You'll want to keep an eye on it so you don't go too dark, and the process could take anywhere from an hour to a few days depending on the existing color and your preference. Fill your bucket with super hot water, then add your coffee or tea. Now toss in the shirt and check it out here and there until you're happy with the results.
Fading your tees will definitely take some time and effort, but in the end, you'll love the way they look!
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