Rit dye your favorite jeans

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans?
I do.
I wear jeans nearly every day as part of my "uniform".  
My favorite jeans are Hudson jeans.
I picked some up three years ago with a gift card at Nordstrom rack for $69.
The most I have EVER spent on jeans before.
But they fit perfectly, and I wore them nearly every day.
And you could tell.
The knees started wearing out and they started looking pretty ragged.
So I started my hunt (18 months ago) for new Hudson jeans.
I tried The Rack again, but the Hudson jeans were $99.
Too much for me.
I looked on-line but Nordstrom sells them for $209.

My husband recently made his first ebay purchase (he bought a new guitar).
Since he was now officially an expert, I thought I would see what else we could pick up on ebay.
My husband isn't a fan of all of my money-saving schemes.  
He likes it when I get a good deal, but he doesn't want any part of it.
He must have been feeling a little guilty over his HUGE purchase, so when I approached him through e-mail to see if he would be willing to buy me some Hudson jeans on ebay, he agreed.
Before he changed his mind, I quickly scoured the listings to find a pair of jeans in my size that I liked.
I sent him several, and not wanting to waste any time (ie, wanting to get this over with) he bid on the listing that was ending the soonest. 

I obviously didn't look as closely at the listing as I should have, because when I got the jeans, they were this 80's mom jeans color.  They don't look so bad in this picture, but they were pretty bad.

Here is a side by side comparison of my jeans.
My favorite well loved pair is on the right.

You can see the difference in the color.

I liked how these jeans fit, and I couldn't return them, so I decided I would try to dye them.
Heck, I'm crafty.
Why wouldn't it work?
I bought navy blue and black rit dye and set to work one sunny afternoon.

There are directions and several websites that will tell you that you can do the dye process in your washing machine.  Not wanting to dye the inside of my new front loading washing machine, I decided to do it the old fashioned way. 

I boiled 8 cups of water

Then I took the pot of boiling water outside.  
I dipped my jeans in the water to saturate them and wrung them out as best as I could.
Man, that water was hot!
And just so you don't think I have superhuman hands, I was wearing gloves.

I put a bucket on the glass and mixed together the dye.
I looked on the Rit website and they recommend a navy blue and black combo, so I used the whole bottle of navy blue, and about a quarter bottle of the black.

I used a paint stirrer to do the dirty work.
I pushed the jeans into the dye and mixed it around agitating it as much as possible for a few minutes.
Then I let it sit for 10 minutes.
I repeated this process three times, for a total of 30 minutes.

When the thirty minutes was up, I rinsed the jeans out with a hose until the water ran clear.
It took me about ten minutes of washing and wringing until the water ran clear.
Be patient!

Once the water ran clear, I put the jeans into the washing machine with a towel to see if the dye was out of the jeans.
The towel on the right started out yellow...so after one round in the machine, it was still losing dye.

 I washed it again with another white washcloth.

I even put it on heavy soil and extra high spin

Still had dye in it.
Notice the blue towels keep multiplying!
I repeated this process about 5 times and pretty much came to the conclusion that I will not wash these jeans with anything else in the load.  

So how did they turn out?
The new dyed jeans are on the left.
My old jeans are on the right.

How much did I save?
Hudson jeans on ebay $25
dye $8
total: $33
Savings at Nordstrom: $176
Savings at The Rack: $66

Having a new pair of favorite jeans: priceless


"H" said...

I had a pair of shorts that the color kept on running and eventually I soaked it in salt water for a while and that really helped set the color......just a thought....

Jill said...

What a great idea! You are so crafty!

Mrs. S. said...

I am not kidding, I just tried dying a cute pair of jeans yesterday & they came out the hideous mom blue. I was pissed!! So trying this!! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Much better color now - yay for you! Just be careful tho, the dye from the new jeans can still transfer - on to things like your panties, couch, etc!

Unknown said...

You might also try a wash with a little vinegar added- the smell doesn't stay

Christine said...

LOVE the new color!! LOVE that you saved $$!!!

Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

Unknown said...

I'm on a weight loss mission, so I obviously don't want to waste money on more "fat" jeans as we all like to call them. Unfortunately, I need a new pair soon. I picked up some cute LEI jeans at Walmart for $20. They fit okay, but they have the "worn" or "washed" meaning that they're faded on the front of the thighs and on the rear. Not really a great look for me, so I figured I could just dye them. My concern is that the the lighter areas will stay lighter. Has anyone run into this issue?

Anonymous said...

RIT dye makes a product that sets the Color so it won't bleed. You could try that if you want it to be permanent. To the comment about the faded areas on the jeans., try using RIT dye whitewash. It removes all the color from fabric without bleaching. Then you can dye without areas that are more faded than others.

peggy mckenzi said...

the ebay pair looks so retro though!!

peggy mckenzi said...

the ebay pair looked so retro though!!

Tiffany said...

They did turn out great! I've done this before with black jeans that had faded. The only down side is that the dye never seems to set. It comes off on EVERYTHING! Some of my shirts, car seats, couches etc.

Unknown said...

They look great! I like them better than your original favorite pair. The dyed pair looks smaller in size. Did they shrink from the boiling water?

Nancy Wood said...

Vinegar in the wash helps, but it also helps to let them sit in the vinegar in another bucket over night. When I bought new jeans I did this like 3 times before washing (I do laundry at a laundromat so washing over and over is time consuming and costly)

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