How to: Dye Worn 100% Cotton Denim Jeans

Recently, there has been a trend to refurbish/re-style worn apparel such as jeans. Later on, I will take you through the process of how to easily achieve this trend and dye plain jeans to black.

To achieve good wash fastness (Reactive Sorafix Dyes are recommended).
The jeans should be clean for higher absorbency of the dye. If the jeans are coated with a special finish, such as polyurethane, the dyeing will be negatively impacted.


Pre-Scouring Materials

  • Strong Detergent (Sora Scour LF-MD)       1.0 – 2.0 G/L


  • Heat to 80 – 90° C
    • Stir for 30 minutes
  • Rinse @ 60° C
    • Stir for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse @ 40° C
    • Stir for 10-15 minutes

Recommended Dyeing Formula

Medium Black         Dark Black      Jet Black

Sorafix Supra Black RN (OWG*)                         4.5%                 6.0%            5.6%

Sorafix Orange SS (0WG*)                                                                               0.4%

Salt G/L                                                             80                    80                  80

Soda Ash G/L                                                    20                     20                  20


*On Weight of Goods (Jeans)


Dyeing Procedure

  • Add jeans to fresh bath; heat to 60° C; stir for 5-10 minutes
  • Add pre-dissolved dye: dissolve @ 70-80° C slowly over 10-15 minutes while stirring
  • Add salt slowly while stirring for 15 minutes
    • Stir for 10 minutes after all salt has been added
  • Add pre-dissolved soda ash slowly while stirring for 30-45 minutes
    • Stir for 30 minutes after all soda ash has been added
  • Rinsing/soaping off: use as much water as possible
  • New bath: rinse @ 40° C while stirring for 10-15 minutes
  • New bath: rinse @ 60° C while stirring for 10-15 minutes
  • New bath: soap @ 60° C with 2 G/L Sora Scour RR while stirring for 15 minutes
  • If there is still a lot of color in the water, repeat above step
  • New bath: rinse @ 40° C while stirring for 10-15 minutes

Additional effects can be obtained by tying the jeans in various places.


If questions arise during the procedure, feel free to contact one of our technical staff by clicking the picture below.

By |June 6th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Ed Tessener is Director of Textile Sales and Marketing at First Source Worldwide. A lifetime in the textile and color industry, he’s become a master in the field. His superior eye for detail and hospitable approach to service makes him a reliable source for textile process troubleshooting. At the end of long day of R&D, nothing beats a glass of wine with his pooch on his lap.