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How to fade denim

Updated February 21, 2017

Bright new denim does not match with many fashion trends. To get a well-worn look on new blue jeans, you need to fade the denim fabric. Fading the colour of denim fabric generally comes with time, but you can speed up this process with a series of washings. Optional distressing the denim will give brand-new jeans or denim jackets a well-worn look. You can skip this step if you just want to lighten the shade of the denim fabric.

Lightly moisten a sponge with bleach.

Wipe the sponge against the front of the thighs, across the back at the seat of the jeans and on the knees. Rub the elbows of denim jackets. This bleach treatment creates "shiny" spots that indicates wear of an "aged" denim top or jeans.

Wash the denim in the washing machine with a strong detergent.

Line dry the denim in the sun to further fade the colouring.

Repeat the washing and sun drying until the denim reaches the desired faded shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge (optional)
  • Bleach (optional)
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