Deconstructing Jeans

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Ramblings

I have these awesome Fluevog Derby Swirls which are a beautiful blue-red faux pony hair. They are quite bright, and I’ve not yet been able to find anything to wear with them that doesn’t make them look like clown shoes. So, I spent some time considering what style would look best with them, and punk seemed to be about the best. Couldn’t find any red plaid or Union Jack jeans in my size, so today’s project was deconstructing an old pair from my closet.

Fluevog "Red Pony" Derby Swirls.

Fluevog “Red Pony” Derby Swirls.

The first step: laundering them, since they were in the laundry pile already. Here they are after the initial laundering.

After laundering.

After laundering.

The second step: applying random blobs of bleach. This was actually the toughest part, because the Clorox “Bleach Pen” didn’t do a thing. I had one opened and one unopened, and neither one of them did anything after 5 minutes on the fabric, so I busted out another Clorox product and could see it working immediately. They were then laundered again to stop the bleaching action. Here they are, front and back, bleached.

Front, after bleaching and laundering.

Front, after bleaching and laundering.

Back, after bleaching and laundering.

Back, after bleaching and laundering.

Third step: applying random areas of red dye. I don’t have a lot of MX dyes around here (that’s what you need to dye cotton), and my craft store hadn’t had any in stock. Instead I purchased Jacquard’s “Tie-Dye Kit” for red tones and used one of the colors in there. It was either Red or Ruby; both were in the kit, and I just grabbed one without looking at it.

First, the bleached jeans went into a bucket of soda ash and warm water for about 15 minutes while I gathered all the other stuff I’d need – towels, rubber gloves, dye pot, stirring stick. These light grey jeans bled a lot in the soda ash bath. They bled a lot. I had planned to do the next bit with the original soda ash bath, but I was afraid it would simply redeposit all the grey back onto the bleached sections, so that stuff went down the drain. I laid out the wet jeans and sprinkled random splotches of dry dye powder here and there, rubbing it into the wet fabric, and then flipped them to do the same on the back. Then I wadded them up in the dye pot and poured new soda ash water all over, and let it sit for an hour. This was followed by a hot-water laundering, to get rid of any excess dye.

The front, after dyeing.

The front, after dyeing.

The back, after dyeing.

The back, after dyeing.

Finally, I wanted them to be destroyed as well as altered in color. I took my small scissors and cut slits and holes in them, here and there, and used a pumice stone to rough up and fray the cut edges, for that really worn look.

On me, with the boots.

Finished and on me, with the boots.

I’m about 99 and 44/100% happy with them. The only thing that really irritates the hell out of me is that these jeans are 2 sizes too small!

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