How to Fix Faded Knees on Jeans

Breathe life into your dull denims with a little dye action.

Photo: ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A great pair of jeans is a staple item in any stylista's wardrobe, no matter the shape and style. However, although denim is definitely durable, it doesn't last forever and neither can your jeans. A favorite pair can accumulate plenty of wear, from damage like rips and stains to everyday fading. Some of the most obvious fading on jeans occurs at the knees, where the fabric becomes thin and the dye gets scrubbed away. Despite the damage, there's no need to resign yourself to a sloppy style. You can restore the color to your faded jeans with a little dye.


Launder your jeans to remove any stains that might affect the dye process.


Put on a pair of rubber gloves and any old clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Dyeing can be messy.


Fill a large bucket with hot water in your bathtub, so that the dye will be easier to clean up later. Add half the bottle of Rit liquid dye and 1 cup of salt. Stir the liquid with a wooden dowel or other stirring tool.


Rinse the jeans with lukewarm water --- you need to get the jeans more than damp. Once wet, add the jeans to the dye bath.


Stir the dye bath for at least 20 minutes, or until the denim turns the color you want. Remove the jeans from the dye and rinse them out.


Launder the jeans again in cold wate, with detergent. Hang them up to dry.

Things You'll Need




5.Old clothes

7.Large bucket


2.Washing machine

4.Rubber gloves


8.Rit liquid dye

10.Long wooden dowel


Tips & Tricks


Choose any blue dye color you like. For a dark shade, you can mix indigo or denim blue with black. For a lighter shade, simply keep the jeans in the dye for a shorter amount of time.

Do not wash your jeans in hot water after dyeing, or the dye will begin to bleed and your jeans will fade again.


Related Videos




Rit Dye: Dyeing Techniques
"Transforming Fabric"; Carolyn A. Dahl; 2004

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