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Repairing Faded Spots on Clothing and Fabric

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December 15, 2009

Faded Spots on JeansFade to White! Want to whiten your dingy whites? Or even better, how about revitalizing a set of expensive cotton sheets that have faded in color? Here are some expert tips on how to spruce up and revitalize fabric - it's easy, and it's how the pros do it!

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I had a beautiful baby blue set of Egyptian cotton sheets 1000 thread count that had faded and become very stained. I decided I wanted to try and make them white, and I succeeded at it! They look bright and white and good as new.

Before we get started, a few caveats: It is easier to go white if the original color was light. If your sheet set is a darker color, say a navy blue or a burgundy or forest green, you may want to try and redye the sheets (and that's another tip!)

Here is how to get the same results I did:

Instructions

Start by removing the original color. This step also works on dingy whites. Use a color remover. I used the Jacquard brand dye remover and it worked wonderfully well. For best results, do it in a large pot (not aluminum!) on your stove so you can keep the temperature hot. Boil the water first, and add 1 heaping tsp.

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of the remover. stir well. Wet one pillowcase and add to pot. Keep on low heat, stir and after 15 min, remove from heat and wash in detergent. Then repeat to do the next pillowcase. If your pot is big enough, do them together. It is important to wet first to get even results.

You can also do it in a bathtub, but it might take longer and require more dye remover. I did the larger sheets in the tub, with very hot water. I caution against dying or removing color in a front loading washing machine - or any machine. I once had dye residue damage on several loads of laundry : ( Your bathtub or sink is easier to clean and safer. Note that if the thread was 100% polyester, it will probably stay its original color.

A bottle of the jacquard dye remover cost under $4 and did an entire sheet set.

You will notice that the fabric might still be a bit grey or yellowish, although I was very impressed at how well it turned out. For all of you perfectionists out there, try these tips, in this order:

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Be sure to enjoy your new "brightey whiteys".

By Wangchok from Canada

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21 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 16, 2021

I have had this cut of fabric for a few years and just noticed faded spots where folded, when rearranging my fabric stash. There are printed white flowers on the light blue chambray fabric.

Is there a way to fix the faded areas or is this now scrap fabric?

A faded line in the middle of a light colored fabric.
 
A faded line in the middle of a light colored fabric.
 
A faded line in the middle of a light colored fabric.
 
A faded line in the middle of a light colored fabric.
 

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
February 16, 20211 found this helpful
Best Answer

It looks like light/sunlight has caused this and that means the color is gone and no way that I'm aware of to bring this color back.
It seems to be cotton material (?) and that means you could dye it but your flowers would no longer be white but just a lighter color of whatever dye you used.

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The problem here is that sometimes when you are trying to cover lighter spots with dye the finished product will still be a lighter shade than the rest of the fabric. To remedy this, some people recommend removing the color and then dying.
This does not always turnout as nice as the original and you are actually weakening the fabric a little each time you do this.

If it were my fabric, I believe that I would try finding things to do with smaller pieces and use the faded part for seams (unseen).

There are a lot of 'sewing' members on this sight so I feel sure there will be many excellent suggestions as days go by.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
February 16, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have had this happen before and I have not found a way to fix it, per se. What I have learned is it makes great tie dye fabric! You can experiment with it and make really neat patterns and shading and the fading then just becomes part of the charm because it will take color differently and not stand out.

I wish I had saved some of my 1960s-1970s creations. They were so cute!!

I can see a super cute summer sun dress made from this or a fun top that ties at the middle (very 1970s styling would be perfect for this!). If you do a sun dress, I see spaghetti straps in its future :)

Or a pretty blouse that will be tie dyed to go with jeans.

You can bring back one of my favorite trends like this!! I adore tie dye and chambray fabrics!!

Post back your finished project!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
February 21, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

You say your bin of fabric has been stored out of direct sunlight. That does NOT mean light doesn't get to it...even weak light will fade fabric eventually. Fabric needs to be stored in complete darkness to prevent fading. Even light going under the door of a relatively dark closet might be all that's needed to fade the fabric. So if you don't have a totally dark area for storage, make sure to put fabric in a dark colored tote with a tight lid, or line the inside and top of a light colored tote with foil or dark paper and make sure all edges overlap to keep out all light.

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June 24, 2020

I have a dark grey jumper which has been out in the sun and the sun has bleached it in places. Is there anything I can do to restore it please?


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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
June 25, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

You should be able to re-dye it. Make sure you get the right type of dye for the fabric the jumper is made of...a little research on the RIT Dye site will help you through choosing the correct dye. Good luck and post back your results if you want to.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
June 25, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sometimes this can be tricky so be sure to check and make a note of all fabrics (and %) before you think about dyeing your jumper as some fabrics will not dye properly.
Usually there is a dye that will work for almost any fabric but I would suggest you contact Rit Dye company directly and let them tell you which dye to try.
If there are really dark parts to your jumper they may say to take the color out first or maybe other instructions.

Usually there are several ways to dye a garment so be sure you're able to match their recommendations. Maybe by washing machine or pans large enough to cover with hot water, etc. but you will be able to read the full instructions.

www.ritdye.com/.../

www.ritdye.com/.../

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March 11, 2018

I was cleaning a stubborn stain off a pair of colored jeans, but the dye came off as well. I am just wondering if there is a way to correct this problem.


Thank you.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
March 12, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can mix up a dye in a matching color and apply with a paintbrush.

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February 13, 2019

My hat is sun damaged and discolored. Is there any way I can salvage the hat and make it wearable again?

Restoring a Sun Damaged Hat -faded hat
 

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February 18, 2019

I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has this problem. You buy a really nice blouse or shirt and a few months down the line you can clearly see the breast marks on the shirt due to being a bit busty. Is there anyone out there that has found a way for this not to happen? Or if it does happen, how do you fix it?


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April 2, 2015

Am getting white shades in my pure black cotton jeans. It looks awkward when I wear them. I washed it so many times, but I couldn't get any positive results.

By Gowri

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
April 2, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

From your description, it appears that your jeans are losing their black color in some areas. If so, further washing will only make the problem worse as the spots are not stains but lost dye areas. You can try a home dye product to redye your jeans, however, even if the pants take the dye, the white areas may still be lighter than the rest of the material.

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July 3, 2018

Actually I have one maroon colour Raymond shirt, but after washing it with detergent powder, white patches appeared on my shirt. How can I remove them?

Shirt Has White Spots After Washing - white splotches on washed shirt
 

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October 22, 2016

My husband left a jacket on a sunny porch over the summer, now it has a big faded patch on the back. Is there any way to get rid of this without dyeing the jacket?


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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
October 23, 20161 found this helpful

The sun, especially shining for such a long time on the jacket, has essentially bleached the material. Some fabrics can lose color from even a day of sun exposure. You can try dying the jacket, however, there may be a problem in how the dye affects the bleached area.

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August 18, 2005

I ruined my favorite shirt and tried to buy another one, but they don't sell it anymore. I can't even order it. It is dark purple and made out of rayon. It has a huge light pink spot on it in a couple of places. It looks like the color faded out of it for on these spots. How can i fix this? Can I dye rayon? I read something about a crayon and iron. Can I iron rayon? Please give me ideas, I will try anything.



Melissa

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By (Guest Post)
August 19, 20050 found this helpful

Sounds like a bleach stain. Purple will bleach out to pink sometimes. Bleach or a cleaning product that contains bleach does this. You have nothing to lose by trying to color with crayon and ironing in, but I doubt it will match. If you do it, be sure to wash separately so crayon excess doesn't bleed onto other clothing.

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By Toni B. (Guest Post)
August 21, 20050 found this helpful

Try a magic marker close to the color of your top. Be sure to keep the marker in the middle of the stain, as it will darken the outer part that has not lost its color. Good luck.

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By (Guest Post)
August 25, 20050 found this helpful

It does sound like a bleach stain. I don't know much about rayon, but you could try RIT dye in the laundry section of your grocery store (two packages, since it is a dark color). You may want to try the RIT color remover first, to start off with a more evenly-toned color overall. If you try the crayon and it doesn't work, then you'd have the problem of removing the crayon completely before trying to dye it.

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By kkochavi (Guest Post)
August 26, 20050 found this helpful

Get a quality pigment dye from an art supply store and follow directions. I've read rayon takes color beautifully. Good luck!

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August 20, 2006

Why do I have faded spots on laundry? I am not using bleach.

Tammy from Crawfordville, FL

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August 20, 20060 found this helpful

Are you using laundry detergent WITH bleach? I use to have the same problem until I stopped using detergent with bleach.

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July 30, 2019

I hand washed my new baby blue jeans and have noticed that they have white faded marks on them, can they be removed? Is this the colour coming out of them?


Help :( Thanks in advance.

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November 18, 2018

How do I repair faded spots on silk?

Please help. Thank you!

Repairing Faded Spots on Silk - closeup of faded spot
 

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