Easy way out
While they are relatively more expensive than other techniques, chemical fade dye products are an easy way to get the faded look for your jeans.
Just as wines mature and turn more luscious with age, your jeans, when allowed to age gracefully, become an appealing vintage-style adornment for your legs. They say eyes are a reflection of your self, and we say your worn-out, faded jeans are a reflection of your slovenly and careless self. But who cares? As long as it is in vogue and you witness even the most civil woman attempting to gain forceful possession of a pair of faded jeans from an equally unyielding (and possibly wounded) aficionado in a store, it’s really cool.
However, why buy milk when you have got cow for free? Meaning, instead of forking out more dollars to buy faded jeans, why not simply fade the ones you already own? Sounds good, eh? Learn how to fade your jeans at home, and be cool and edgy without burning a hole in your already-perforated pocket.
Few lemons will do it
Yeah, you heard it right. Lemon juice is one of the surefire ways of fading your jeans and yes, without the inorganic accompaniment of chemicals. Just dunk your jeans into a bucket of water and make sure it is completely soused; or simply use a water hose for it. Rinse it and wring it as if your life depended on it, and remove all the extra water. Put good dollops of concentrated lemon juice (enough to smother your jeans with) in a bucket and plunge your jeans in it. Just as your bad stomach won’t mend the moment you swallow a pill, likewise, your jeans won’t fade the moment you treat it with lemon juice. So, accept delay with equanimity, no matter how fitful you are feeling. Allow the lemon juice to soak your jeans for a few hours, but make sure to check on it from time to time for the desired ‘fade’ look. Once you get that perfect faded look, get your jeans out from the bucket and hang it on a clothesline. Hose down your jeans to stop excessive lemony magic, let it hang on the clothesline in the sun to expedite the fading process, and you will be rewarded.
Another proven and potent way of fading your jeans is tada! Bleaching! While bleaching will help you tamper with the original color of jeans and in a way deprive it of its vitality, it will also weaken your fabric. So, before going in for this fading technique, make sure you know the consequences of it (this sounds as if the Apocalypse is right around the corner). Moving on. For this technique, you can use a washing machine (you don’t have to switch it on, we’ll use it only as a container) or bathtub (a bathtub is preferable if you are looking for an even fading effect). Ah and yes, use gloves for health and safety. Drown your jeans in hot water and add half a cup of bleach in it. Don’t allow your jeans to slacken; try to keep them as flat as you can in the bathtub using a stick. Let your jeans soak till the time you get the required shade. Rinse it with cold water, hang it out to dry, and wash it with a fragrant detergent to get rid of the bleach smell as well as use a fabric softener to slacken it (well, now it can).
Those of you, who are looking for a sporadic or uneven fading effect, then spot bleaching is your thing. Wearing gloves is again mandatory. Lay your jeans flat on a table and again don’t allow your jeans to form crinkles. Take a sponge or cloth and dampen it in the bleach solution (don’t drench it, soak it enough for the sponge or cloth to hold it). Pat the sponge or cloth to moisten the areas that you want to lighten. After it dries, wash it in the washing machine, but make sure there are no other clothes in it or else they’ll get tie-dyed along with your jeans.
Use sandpaper or pumice stone
This technique is an area-specific one to lighten your jeans. Choose the areas that you want to fade―around your knee, seat, pocket area, etc. Use a sandpaper, preferably 180 grit or a pumice stone, and rub it on the areas that you want to lighten. Don’t scrape it vehemently or else there will be no fabric left to lighten it! Anyway, you are withering down the fabric in a bid to fade it, so abrading it forcefully will rip that part of your jeans (well, of course if you are looking for a distressing effect, then the resulting look you’ll love). After scraping the desired areas, wash the denim to remove the remainder dye, and you are done.
Why manhandle your jeans if you can wait a little longer?
Denim is a sturdy fabric that can brook up with all your chemical treatments and other kind of abuses, but if you have the patience to wait for a few days for your jeans to fade naturally, then there’s nothing like it. All you need to do is tarry wash your jeans as long as you and others can put up with the stink, ha ha. Finally, after you wash it in the machine, you’ll see a fade color of your jeans, with the good part being that the longevity of your jeans won’t be reduced as opposed to other fading techniques.
Now that you all know how to give your jeans a worn-out and faded effect, you can try them on your least loved, or let’s say, inexpensive jeans. Because, god forbid, if anything were to go awry, you will at least not get a panic attack. Good luck.