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How To Fade Your Denim Like A Boss

It is not a secret that raw denim starts to fade after sometime. The fades (wrinkles, honeycombs, whiskers) will look different and unique for every pair of jeans. It is influenced by individual lifestyle, job, hobby, and even things we carry in the pockets. There can be no two pairs of jeans with the same-looking fades. For instance, jeans of a chess player and a skateboarder will look totally fade differently from each other. So what are the best ways to achieve amazing fades?

1. How To Achieve High Contrast Fades

To get high contrast fades depend on the background color where the fades sit on. It does not matter if you have one-washed, non-washed, sanforized, or unsanforized jeans the idea is patience to get those initial fade before the next soak or wash. The areas where creases, wrinkles, whiskers, and honeycombs occur are the areas where jeans would lose their dye (indigo) faster than non-distressed areas. Let's say there are already signs of initial fades and you decide to wash the jeans. What happens? The already faded areas will lose more indigo when washed and become more apparent against darker background. So, the more the distressed areas lose more indigo before the next wash the more contrast of the fades. However, we do not recommend not washing your jeans at all but if you want to achieve high contrast fades you need time and patience. Very simple.

Here are some of our favorite non-washed jeans:

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2. How To Achieve Vintage Looking Fades

It is all about preference really and it is just the opposite of "How To Achieve High Contrast Fade" we talked earlier. Let the pictures we about to show you explain to you how vintage fades are like. They are Momotaro Jeans 0205SP with only one year of wear and 10 times of wash. The jeans were washed whenever needed.

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As you can see the distressed and non-distresses areas lost the indigo dye almost quite equally.

Here are some examples of our favorite one-washed jeans:

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3. Developing Fades On Unsanforized Denim

If you buy unsanforized denim, you can start with soaking them as it will help to prevent misplacing fades. Unsanforized denim fabric normally shrinks vertically and horizontally, depending on yarn construction and weaving process. If you wear non-wash unsanforized jeans and they already start to fade, then you decide to wash them, you risk misplacing the initial fades. The fades are there but, since the fabric shrinks the initial fades won't sit on the same places on your body. So you will have to start wearing to get those fades back again.

Here are some of our favorite unsanforized jeans:

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4. Actively Wear Your Jeans To Develop Fades

  • When you get a new pair of unsanforized  jeans we recommend to soak them first
  • Try wearing them everyday for 5-6 months (You can even sleep in them)
  • It is good if you can air dry your jeans everyday by turning them inside out
  • Wash your jeans if you have been wearing them for 5-6 months
  • Turning them inside out and let them air dry
  • (This is optional to add your jeans wearing experience and add a story to your jeans) You can even soak your jeans in the ocean and rub them with sand but salinity will ruin the fabric and the hardware

Here are a couple of pictures showing the amazing fades that you can achieve:

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In general, any kind of activity will fade your jeans. Some people say that biking yields amazing results and that hiking will lead to contrast fades. Sitting in an office will give you great honeycombs. Skateboarding and skating on rollerblading will also fade your denim (when you fall the jeans will have quite a story to tell).

Check out this small video by @denimhound showing how lifestyle helps to develop fades:

How your jeans will look is absolutely individual. Jeans of different brands may fade differently, so feel free to experiment with various models. Rock your denim and enjoy the beautiful fading experience.

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