Are you looking to give your clothes a bit of a facelift? Are you looking to add some personality to an outfit or maybe just extend the life of some pieces in your wardrobe? The vintage look of faded clothing is in, and we’re here to help!
How to fade your clothes? The easiest way to fade your clothes is to use bleach, and this is the most effective way to fade dark clothing. However, if you are a bit intimidated by bleach, you can also use natural fading methods like using sunlight, baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice.
In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to fade clothes – and it’s surprisingly easy! Read on for all the details.
How To Fade Synthetic Fabrics
Synthetic fabrics are highly durable, and the colors in these types of fabric are often permanent and less likely to fade over time. However, there are still a few ways that you can fade synthetic fabrics. Let’s take a look at them below.
Using The Washer
Washing synthetic fabrics in hot water will create a vintage, faded appearance over time. The hot water breaks down the fibers in the fabric, causing them to weaken.
This makes the fabric more susceptible to abrasion, and when combined with the friction in the washing machine, it can cause the colors to fade. In addition, the high temperatures of the water can cause the dyes in the fabric to bleed, further contributing to the fading effect.
However, this process is not instantaneous, and it can take at least 5 washings before the vintage look is achieved. Additionally, some fabrics are more likely to fade than others, so it is important to experiment with different materials to find the perfect look for your clothing.
It’s important to note that natural fibers like cotton, rayon, and wool can shrink or become damaged when washed with hot water, so this method is definitely recommended for natural fibers.
The plus side of this method is that it’s super easy: just wash your clothes in the washing machine using a heavy-duty cycle and hot water. It will take five or six cycles for you to see a noticeable result, but this method is quite effective with synthetic fabrics.
Using The Dryer
The tumbling action of modern dryers can cause fading and wear on your clothes over time. The friction created by the tumbling action roughens the surface fibers of your clothes, making them appear faded.
This method also works better for synthetic fabrics because natural fabrics can also shrink in the dryer, especially under high heat. You should also avoid using this method for clothing that contains spandex since spandex can melt under high heat.
To use this method, simply wash and run your clothes through the dryer using a high heat setting. If the colors are still not as faded as you’d like, you can run the clothes through the washer and dryer again and again until you’ve achieved the desired results.
How To Fade Natural Fabrics
Natural fabrics like cotton are known for being comfortable and breathable, but they don’t hold dye well. As a result, the colors can quickly fade in the wash or under sunlight.
That means if you want to fade natural fabrics like cotton, you can simply wash the clothes normally (using regular temperature settings) and see a difference in the colors after a few washes. If you want to speed up the process, sunlight can also help.
Most people are familiar with the fading that can occur when leaving clothes in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. While this is often seen as a flaw, it can actually create some beautiful results. Sun-faded clothing often takes on a vintage look with muted and soft colors.
The fading process can also add interesting texture and patterns to fabric, as the sun bleaches away pigment in an irregular way. This method works best with natural fibers since it won’t damage the fibers – the sunlight will only eat away at the dye!
To use this method, simply wash your fabric using a regular temperature setting and then hang your garment out in the sun to dry.
Make sure to adjust your garment throughout the day because the sun will move, which may result in uneven fading if one area is more exposed than another.
It may take a few days out in the sun to see a significant result, but this method will be highly effective and safe for your natural fibers.
How To Fade Denim
The faded look is quite popular with denim, so if you want to fade your jeans quickly and effectively, there are a few ways to do it.
Denim is a type of fabric that can be made of many different types of fibers. If you have 100% cotton denim, for example, you can use the sunlight method mentioned above.
However, if you would like to speed up the process, here are a few ways that you can do so.
Using Baking Soda
If you’re looking to give your denim a distressed, vintage look, you can achieve this effect at home with a little baking soda.
You can add half a cup of baking soda to your washing machine along with your regular detergent. Then wash your jeans on the longest cycle with a hot water setting.
The baking soda will help to speed up the fading process and create an authentic-looking patina. For best results, finish by drying your jeans in direct sunlight to fade the fabrics even further.
If your jeans are 100% cotton, use a regular temperature setting instead of hot water since the hot water can shrink your jeans.
Note that if your jeans are made of more than 70% synthetic fibers, the colors may be more permanent, and baking soda alone may not be strong enough to fade the dye. If that’s the case, you can use a combination of salt and baking soda. Let’s take a look.
Salt is a natural element that can have a variety of uses, including acting as an abrasive agent. When salt is applied to fabric, it creates a cool vintage look on jeans. The salt reacts with the dye in the fabric to create a unique distressed look.
You can use regular table salt or even rock salt, but the bigger the grain, the more effective it will be as an abrasive agent, which means your jeans will look more faded.
To use this method, make a salt bath using four cups of salt, one cup of baking soda and a gallon of water. Then, submerge your jeans in the salt bath and let them soak for at least 24 hours. The longer you let the jeans soak, the more dramatic the faded effect will be.
Make sure that the solution can reach every corner of the fabric. Otherwise, you’ll see weird folds and creases in your fabric where the salt solution cannot reach.
After 24 hours, simply remove your garment from the salt bath and wash it through a regular cycle according to the fabric’s washing instructions.
You don’t have to rinse the fabric before washing it, since the remaining salt will also act as an abrasive factor when it’s in the washing machine, which will cause your jeans to fade even further. Then, you can leave your jeans to air dry and enjoy the faded effects!
How To Fade Light-Colored Clothes
You may wonder if light-colored clothes can have a vintage look – can the colors look even lighter than it is? Well, you can give light-colored clothes a vintage look by making the colors look duller and more distressed.
Using Vinegar And Tea
Vinegar can be used to create a vintage-inspired look for clothing. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to break down the bonds that hold dye molecules to fabric, resulting in a faded appearance.
If you have a bright-colored shirt and want the colors to become duller, you can also use a combination of green tea and vinegar to add a vintage ‘cloud’ over the colors.
First, you will need to make a tea bath using ten tea bags and hot water. Then, you can let your garment soak in the tea bath for a few hours, even up to 24 hours, to dye the garment a faded, brown color.
After the colors have been dulled, you can remove your garment from the tea bath and soak the garment in a vinegar bath using one part vinegar and two parts water. Leave the clothing to soak for 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
This process will set the tea dye colors to give your bright-colored clothing a distressed and vintage look. Then, you can run your garment through a washing cycle using cold water. The result will be dull colors that you often see in vintage T-shirts.
How To Fade A Black Shirt
Fading a black shirt is a simple process that can be done at home with common household items. The key to success is to take your time and be patient; rushing the process will likely result in an uneven fade.
There are several ways to fade a black shirt. Let’s take a look at them below.
Using Chlorine Bleach
There is one common household product that can quickly and easily fade clothes: bleach. Bleach is a powerful cleaning agent that contains chlorine, which is highly effective at removing stains and bleaching colors. It’s also commonly used for tie-dyeing black clothes.
When applied to fabric, bleach will break down the fibers and cause the color to bleed out. As a result, bleach should be used with caution to avoid damaging clothing. For best results, always test a small hidden area of the fabric before applying bleach to the entire garment.
This method only works with durable fabrics like cotton and polyester. You should avoid using bleach on delicate fabrics like silk or wool.
If you want a nice and even result, just add one cup of bleach to the washing machine and run your clothes through a regular washing cycle. The bleach will create an even, faded result after just one washing cycle.
If you want the faded effects on certain areas of the black shirt, you can also use a spray bottle to control apply the bleach on the areas that you want to bleach.
Make sure to use gloves when you work with bleach because it can burn when it accidentally gets on your skin. First, mix the bleach using one part bleach and three parts water. Then, transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
It helps the bleach if your garment is a bit damp since wet fibers are weaker and are more susceptible to bleach. Then, you can spray the bleach solution over the areas that you want to lighten, controlling how much bleach you want to apply.
After applying the bleach, you can leave it for about an hour. The longer you leave the garment, the more faded the fabric will be, so it’s recommended to check on your garment every once in a while to make sure the colors are as light as you want.
When you have achieved the desired colors, you can rinse the garment under cold water to remove all of the excess bleach, and then wash your garment using a regular cycle to completely remove the bleach from your garment.
Using Lemon Juice
If you’re a bit intimidated by bleach, there’s an all-natural substitute that works well with cotton and polyester fabrics as well.
Most people are familiar with the bleaching properties of lemon juice – after all, it’s a common household cleaning agent. But do you know that lemon juice can also act as a natural bleach for clothing?
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is an effective bleaching agent, and it can be used to remove stains from fabric. If you want to fade a black shirt, lemon juice can also be an effective bleaching agent.
To use lemon juice to bleach your clothes, mix one part of lemon juice with three parts of water. Then, soak your garment in the lemon juice bath for up to 24 hours.
Lemon juice is certainly not as strong as bleach, so it will take more time to be effective. You can check on the garment occasionally to see whether you’ve achieved the desired colors.
Then, you can rinse the garment using cold water and place it under sunlight to dry (no washing necessary). The sunlight will take the fading effect even further, so if you don’t want the colors to fade anymore, you can just air-dry your garment.
Borax is a natural mineral that has a wide range of uses, and it’s a highly effective whitening agent, which is why it’s often used in laundry boosters and stain removers.
Borax will help to break down the minerals in the water, which helps the detergent perform more effectively. That’s why you can use Borax to give your black T-shirt a vintage, faded look. This method also works best if your detergent also contains whitening agents.
If you want the faded effects to be drastic, soak your black shirts in a solution with ½ cup of Borax for about half an hour, then you can wash your shirt using a regular cycle.
If you want a mild faded effect, you can also add Borax directly to the washing machine when running a regular cycle. The Borax will still work as a whitening assistant, but the effects may not be as drastic.