In the early 80’s and 90’s light colored blue jeans were trendy and low-maintenance. You’d wear them, throw them in the washing machine, and then fuggedaboutit.
But that all changed during the late 90’s, when the style pendulum swung in the opposite direction towards the denim style of the 1950’s. Brands like Levi’s began to re-introduce Americans to dark washes as an alternative to their light washed denim.
And now that darker alternative has become the standard in denim, because of it’s modern and flattering hue and it’s ability to be dressed up & down. Dark denim just seems cooler and more wearable, but the only drawback to wearing dark jeans is trying to keep them as dark as they were on the day you bought them. Read on to discover what you should do and not do to keep your denim dark.
What You Should Do to Prevent Your Jeans From Fading
1. Don’t wash the jeans at all. The only way to keep your denim in the same exact shade that you bought them is to not wash them at all. Some recommend that you go without washing your dark jeans for at least six months to really get the color to last and to give it your own unique and natural fading. Sounds crazy but it’s do-able and that’s how some people keep their jeans that dark indigo hue.
If you’re worried about the smell according to GQ Magazine, “The Swedish label Nudie posts care instructions on it’s website, recommending that odors can be eradicated from jeans by ‘putting them in the freezer.'”
This method, while extreme, can work for you if you have very dark and very hard jeans who’s color and texture you want to retain, just don’t wear them until they get grimy. Freeze them after wearing them once or twice.
If not adding water to your pants seems too gross to you, hang your jeans up and then fill a spray bottle with water and saturate the fabric with it, then allow them to air-dry.
2. Hand wash them in your bathtub. This is a simple and cheap way to keeping your denim dark. You can wear the jeans until they feel too loose or dirty, then turn them inside out and throw them into a tub full of cool water.
Let them soak for 15-30 minutes so that any loose sediment can be separated then add a small a amount of mild detergent. Swirl your jeans around for a few times, but be gentle so that you remove as little dye as possible. When you’re done line dry your jeans so that they can shrink back and retain the hard texture they had when you bought them.
This method will draw out some dye and a slight amount of fading will occur over time, but it will only make your denim look natural and lived in.
3. Take your dark denim to the dry cleaners. If method one is a little too extreme for you, and method two involves too much work another alternative is to just take your dark jeans to the cleaners.
Your jeans will be clean and will retain their dark hue for a longer amount of time, but this method will soften the texture a bit and will put a dent into your wallet depending on how often you go. If you take this option just be sure to skip the pressing which will crease your pants and give the seams a slightly shiny and faded look.
What You Should Never Do If You Don’t Want Your Dark Jeans to Fade
1. Wash them in a washing machine. This method will fade the denim by a couple of shades each time you do it, because of the amount of friction and soap used.
2. Dry them in a dryer. Dryers, especially those that give off high heat will also fade your denim, plus it will soften the denim leading to looser fitting jeans.
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