How To Lighten Jeans Or Fade A Denim Jacket – Instructions
Denim jackets are one of the best light-weight jacket options for men and women’s summer wardrobes. Sometimes they can take a little breaking in to get that effortless look and if regular washing just isn’t doing the trick – I’ve got some simple ways you can fade your denim jacket – just in time for summer!
There are two ways you can make your denim jacket look lighter and distressed. One method will significantly lighten your jacket with the use of bleach. The second method will lightly fade your jacket using general washing techniques.
How To Lighten Jeans Or Fade A Denim Jacket With Bleach:
This is the most effective way to fade your denim considerably and can even be used to give your denim a dip-dyed, tie-dyed or ultra faded effect. Remember you’re dealing with bleach, so wear clothing that you won’t be upset if you splash bleach onto as bleach removes colour and can cause irreparable stains if splashed on clothing.
What You’ll Need:
- A Plastic Bucket
- Disposable Gloves
Warning: Do not use bleach on denim with high elastic content. The bleach will ruin the elastic.
- Fill a small bucket with one part bleach to five parts lukewarm water.
- Put on your gloves and place your jacket in the bucket. Make sure the water and bleach mixture completely covers the jacket. If it’s not covering the jacket it will have patches of light and dark fabric. You might need to use weights to weigh the jacket down and stop it from floating to the top.
- Leave the jacket immersed for thirty minutes for a subtle fade, but rotate it in the water every ten minutes to prevent colour patches from forming. If you would like it to be lighter, leave the jacket in the mixture longer until it’s the colour you’re wanting. For a light look denim, it often takes around three hours.
- Remove the jacket and empty the bucket, refilling it with water and submerging the jacket. Move the jacket around in the bucket to remove any bleach residue
- Put your jacket in your washing machine on a cold wash, add some laundry detergent and hang out to dry when complete. If you do not wish for your jacket to fade further do not dry it in the sun.
Tip: Fabric always looks darker when wet, so when it’s almost the colour you want it to be, remove the jacket from the bleach and wash it in the machine. If you use hot water, you’ll shrink your jacket so make sure the water is lukewarm or, if you’re concerned about shrinkage, room temperature.
How To Lighten Jeans Or A Denim Jacket By Washing It:
This method is a great way to make subtle changes to the colour your denim, this method will shrink your garment slightly if your garment hasn’t been pre-shrunk during the manufacturing process. If you aren’t sure or your jeans haven’t been pre-shrunk, they’ll shrink even more. So use short cycles and stretch your garment back out after each use.
What You’ll Need:
- Washing detergent
- Hot water
- Washing Machine
- Put your jacket in your washing machine on a hot cycle as hot water will help garments fade faster.
- Once washed, stretch your jacket out and hang your jacket in direct sunlight to dry.
Tip: Washing denim in hot water can shrink the garment, especially jeans that are 100% cotton, so only wash your denim for small periods of time and stretch the garment out after each wash. Repeat this step until you get your desired effect.
How To Age / Rip Your Jacket:
There are many ways to age and rip your jacket to make it look like a vintage jacket. You can use any of the following methods to help you:
Scalpel & Knife: Use a scalpel to make small cuts where you would like a rip to appear. Then use your knife to scrape lengthways against the grain of the fabric to fray and scuff the fabric.
Sandpaper: If you would like to lighten the fabric in certain areas like along the cuffs or collar, rubbing some sandpaper will help to soften the fabric and lighten it at the same time.
A Cheese/Nutmeg Grater: A cheese or nutmeg grater can scuff denim and wear down the fabric, making it look lighter and depending on the force used, can rip the fabric.
Tip: Make sure you place a cutting board between the fabric you are ageing, you don’t want to cut through the entire jacket when just focusing on one area.
If You’re Super-Duper Organised: You can get some inspiration from Pinterest so you can plan where you want to rip and scuff your jacket. I would recommend trying on the garment as you go, this is especially helpful if you plan to rip or fade in areas like the elbows – or if you plan to fade your denim jeans, in the knee area.