When I came across an article about the issue of black jeans fading – I right away thought about all of my comrades in arms denim. And of course, I am sharing 🙂

1017 ALYX 9SM Black Slim Fit Jeans

First the good news:

If you are so very upset because your most beloved favorite pair of blacks isn’t really black anymore here’s your chance to make them look black-black again:

The best way to restore the color to your black jeans is with black dye. To do this, start by washing your jeans in cold water to ensure the fabric is clean. Then, using a big plastic bucket, bowl or a utility sink, follow the steps on your dye of choice to create the dye bath. Next, let your jeans soak for the recommended amount of time, stirring occasionally to ensure no sediment forms at the bottom. Once soaked, rinse your jeans under cold water and lock in the color before washing in a cold wash and leaving to air dry.

Lane Bryant Signature Fit Boot Jean

Now, let’s talk about how to improve the “lifespan” of your black jeans. With time, it is practically unavoidable that your blacks fade, even with less washing and less wear.

While you might not be able to completely stop them from fading, there are ways to postpone the inevitable.

Raey Shady high-Rise Skinny Jeans

Set the dye

With any new pair of black jeans, try setting the dye before washing them for the first time to help lock in the colour. To do this, simply soak your jeans in a bath or large bucket, combining cold water with a cup of vinegar and tablespoon of salt. While it might sound a little odd, locking in the colour of new jeans can make a big difference.

L’Agence Black Margot Cropped High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Off-White Slim Fit Low Crotch Jeans

Wash your jeans less frequently

Washing your jeans regularly could actually be causing them to fade prematurely. Especially if you’re washing them in a machine. Instead, try spot cleaning your jeans if you get a mark on them and hold off washing them entirely the longest you can. It’s also recommended that you hand wash black jeans rather than in the machine but, if that’s not an option, put your jeans on a ‘gentle’ to avoid an overly rigorous spin cycle.

Use cold water

Over time, hot water and soap can cause dye to gradually bleed out of clothes. And it makes sense. If you’re trying to remove a stain from your jeans, chances are you would first try washing it in hot soap and water. The thing is, dye behaves similarly to a stain, and can be removed over time when exposed to the same environment.

Invest in color protecting detergent

To help lock in the colour for longer try washing your jeans in cold water and using detergent specifically designed for dark clothes. If you don’t have a specialised detergent, try adding a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt to your wash.

Wash with other dark colors

In the same way you wash your whites together, make sure to wash your black jeans with similar colors to help avoid fading.

Wash inside out

This might sound like an obvious one, but turning your jeans inside out reduces how much contact the outside of your jeans has with soap and water, and from rubbing against other items of clothing, helping protect the colour for longer.

Avoid using the dryer

Always avoid putting your jeans in a dryer, as the heat can make your jeans fade faster. Instead, air dry your jeans on a drying rack or hanging from the belt hooks for minimum creases, and preferably dry out of direct sunlight.

And one more thing: faded black isn’t THAT much of a disaster considering that one of the biggest denim trends these past seasons (and not going anywhere soon) are faded and washed-out black jeans! Check it out some of the faded options below.

R13 Black Distressed Boyfriend Jeans
Hudson Axl Skinny Jeans
Scotch & Soda Skim Skinny Fit Jeans
AGOLDE Riley Jeans

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