Can standard new indigo denim be dyed black, or almost black?

About 18 months ago, on Ebay, I got a pair of black jeans, but when I got them it turned out that they were really an extremely dark blue. This was OK, because I wanted them to wear to the office occasionally, instead of regular blue jeans, and they were still OK for that. Now, however, after 18 months, they’re getting a bit too washed out and I’d like to replace them.

The problem is that I can’t find this style and color anywhere. It’s as if the pair I have is the only exemplar of this style in this color that ever existed. The EBay member who sold them to me reported that she had gotten them “at a boutique”. I suspect that the boutique had them dyed to be able to sell a unique product. So now I’m thinking that perhaps, if I buy a regular pair of these jeans in the standard dark-indigo color, it would possible to have them died black or almost black. If so, who would do it? Any dry cleaner? Or would I have to find some kind of specialist?

I’d imagine that an application of RIT dye would work for this. The supermarket I used to work in sold it, but I’m unsure if supermarkets still carry this product. If not, any fabric store should be able to point you in the right direction.


Dying fabric is a fairly easy do it yourself project. Any fabric store can point you towards an effective fabric dye and you can then dye the pants yourself following the instructions on the dye.

Some fibers don’t dye well, but denim (cotton) should be fine.

Target and WalMart sell RIT in provocative quantities. You should be able to find it anywhere.

Sorry to be the voice of dissent (and experience) but I would **not **recommend RIT for black dye. Black is a very difficult color not only to die, but to maintain. Esentially, there is no “black” dye , only very, very dark green, purple or blue. Blacks also wash out at different rates, which is why some of your black socks don’t match your black pants. RIT just simply doesn’t cut it, in my experience.

That’s not to say you can’t do it yourself. You certainly can, and it’s not hard, but you need a high quality fiber reactive dye like Procion and a prewash/afterwash like Synthrapol. I would use the Vat-dye method either on the stovetop or in a washing machine. Note that for black, you need to double the amount of both dye and salt.

If your not a do-it-yourselfer, then looking in the yellow pages for a place which dyes wedding dresses or costumes is your best bet.

:smack: And if you’re not a moron like me, you’ll know it should be “you’re” and not “your” in that last sentence.

And that black is a difficult color to DYE, not DIE. :smiley:

:smack: :smack:
:::Adopts her cat’s “I meant to do that” face:::

Oh, yeah? You ever seen someone die black? Purple and bloated, white and pasty, yellow and bruisy I’ll give ya. Various African-inspired brown ashy shades, sure. But BLACK? Black takes talent. And a fire.

Wow, thanks for all the responses. This answer almost seems to confirm what I thought: that they tried to die my old pair black but didn’t succeed in making it completely black. Where you would normally see wear highlights, I could see that they were really deep, deep, blue. But that’s acceptable.

Unfortunately I’m not sure I can do this myself. We either have our laundry done, or use a laundromat; I’m not sure trying to dye something would be acceptable there.