When you get a new pair of jeans (or your mom bought you a pair that you’re not quite in love with), you might not love the dark shade. It might also be that you just love the feel of a worn-in pair of jeans and don’t want to go through months of breaking them in. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to fade your jeans quickly so that you’re rocking the comfort from the get-go.
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Here are some tips to help you fade your new jeans fast.
Wash Your Jeans
Your jeans likely still have dyes on them that aren’t colorfast. Wash them in the machine to not only rinse away any residual dyes, but to shrink them to the right fit.
Determine the Style You Want
You might want to stick with some nice fading. Or you might want to go full force with some rips, shreds, and other antiquing. Once you know what you want to do, draw a picture to plot the areas you’re going to be working on, and to make sure they have a good layout. Keep in mind that once you start the process, there’s no going back, so you want to be sure about what you’re going to do ahead of time!
Assemble Your Supplies
There are several ways to go about aging your jeans. You can assemble a collection of razors (the kind you use on your beard or legs), box cutters, and sandpaper. For washing, you’ll want some borax or OxiClean, and if you need a more intense fade, you can use some bleach—we’ll get to that later. To create an antiqued look, coffee beans and tea are great (and also acidic, which helps in fading them).
Tear it Up
Now is where the fun begins. Using your drawing as a guide, grate, fray, and tear your jeans. The razor is great for the hems, and you can gently work on those to create natural-looking wear and tear. Box cutters can create tears in the thighs, pockets, and knees (be careful to start small, because once the tear is there, there’s no going back). Sandpaper can soften areas without going all the way through the material. The trick is to work slowly and methodically so you don’t take things too far.
Get That Fade
Bleach can be scary to work with because it’s pretty caustic, not to mention permanent. You can create a solution of five parts water to one part bleach and let your jeans soak. If you do this, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them so you don’t take things too far. Some people like to leave it up to the washing machine, which is also fine, but doesn’t allow you quite the control you’d have if you were to have them out and able to keep an eye on them. Another method is to hang them in the sun for a day or two, or even longer, until you get the look you want. Washing in hot water and hanging to dry in the sun also helps (repeat as necessary).
Add the Patina
You might decide that once you’ve frayed and faded your jeans that you’re all set. Great. But for those who want to add a touch of patina, now’s the time to use your coffee and tea. You can add coffee or tea to a pan full of steaming hot water, then add the jeans. You’ll want to check them every 15 minutes or so to make sure you don’t just dye them brown, and keep in mind that they’ll appear darker when wet.
Rock That Look
Once you’ve gotten your jeans to look exactly how you want them, it’s time to pair them with your favorite T-shirt or hoodie! And if you want to get a nice worn look on your shirts, we’ve written a guide to fading your T-shirts, too.
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