I need to reblack some faded jeans...
  • I work for MAC Cosmetics in NYC and have to wear all black to work. I have a few pairs of pants that have faded in areas and are thus no longer acceptable work attire. I would like to reblack them so I can wear them again. I've tried dyeing them with RIT Dye a number of times, but have only lost time and money in the process as they still look exactly the same.

    One pair of jeans is 98% cotton and 2% elastane. The label on a second pair of jeans is unreadable after dyeing (as apparently that's the only place the dye actually worked), but the jeans feel similar to the first pair of jeans. I also have a pair of stretch jeans with studs on the pockets that is 73% cotton, 25% polyester, and 2% elastane. Finally, I have a 100% cotton pair of cargo pants.

    I have some some Textile Color that I bought at Mood Fabrics in the hopes of painting them black. I then went to an art supply store and discovered the rest of your product line. What are my best options for reblacking my pants using your products? I would be willing to try a few different methods if they will produce different-looking results. For example, i was thinking of using Pearl EX powder on one pair of jeans to give them a metallic finish. It would be nice to have one pair that still looks like regular black jeans, but I'm willing take some calculated fashion risks with the rest. I've already used black acrylic paint with soft gel gloss to give one pair of jeans (not included in the list above) a faux-leather or "coated denim" finish.

    Please keep in mind that I am very much a novice with these products and methods, so easier is better. I am an artist by trade, however, so I'm comfortable with mixing mediums and such.

    Also, concerning heat setting...Do I paint both sides of the jeans, turn them inside out, and then heat set with an iron? I'm kind of afraid they'll stick together or something. Should I do one side at a time and turn them inside out? Iron over a thin piece of fabric? So confused...

    I know this is a lot to ask all at once, but I'm starved for information and have no other resource to turn to. Please help!

    Thank you.
  • Hello!

    Sorry to be so tardy with our response.
    I love that you are so willing to be adventurous in your quest for reblacked pants!
    Probably the easiest method for restoring the deep color to your pants would be to use our iDye fabric dye using the stove top method. Because you have mixed fiber pants I'd recommend using both the iDye for natural fibers and the iDye Poly on anything that has less than 80% cotton. Using the stove top method will give you the greatest depth of shade so I do strongly recommend that. You'll find the directions here: http://jacquardproducts.com/idye.html.
    Trying to paint a pair of pants with the Textile Paints would be, IMHO, a lot of work. If I were going to do something like that I'd stick with the Dye-Na-Flow paints - they are much more flowable, the hand is very soft, and although the paints are transparent they will do a very nice job of re-deeping the color.
    About a metallic finish - using the PearlEx with a clear fabric medium like the Textile Colorless Extender or Neopaque Flowable Extender is a great way to create effects ranging from a bit of shimmer to full on metallic type coverage. You might also want to check out the Lumiere paint colors to that end, all premixed metallics and pearlescents.
    And last, but not least, heat setting: First, no need to paint both sides of the jeans! With any of our paints an application on the right side will suffice. Simply allow the paint to dry completely and then iron using the highest setting appropriate for your fabric type. Either turn the garment inside out or cover with a thin (think dish drying towel) cloth and iron. The important part is to allow the fabric to get as warm as possible. I've found working a smallish area at a time (2 -3 iron widths) and making sure I overlap gives me best results. Another alternative is using Air Fix with the paints. This is an additive that reduces/removes the need for heat setting.
    Hope this helps, and don't hesitate to ask more questions (and we'll try to be better about getting back to you !)

    Annette