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Does Tie Dye Fade Over Time? A Real World Example

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I, being the fairly unfashionable sort of person that I am, have a wardrobe consisting entirely of sweatshirts and tank tops. I literally wear sweatshirts daily – and yes, even in summer – because apparently I’m part lizard and am constantly freezing.

Woman wearing purple and blue ice dyed sweatshirt

So when I made this ice dyed sweatshirt nearly three years ago I knew it would be getting lots of wear. It became my fast favorite and I wore it near constantly. I wore it everywhere. I considered it my “fancy” sweatshirt, wearing it out to the store when I wanted to impress. I took it camping, where I rolled around in the mud and sat next to the smelly campfire. Come to think of it, I treated this sweatshirt a little bit like a toddler’s favorite blankie, dragging it everywhere with me.

It was washed almost once a week and as I sometimes view washing instructions as merely suggestions, I wasn’t always gentle about it. It got thrown in with the towels a few times, washed on hot and with bleach. Though I mostly washed it the way you’re supposed to.

Suffice to say, this little sweatshirt has been through a lot, and by the end of its life it was ready for me to put it out of its misery. The zipper pull had fallen off and there were holes everwhere.

Holey sleeve of ice dyed sweatshirt

But what about the dye?

Well, there was some fading it the well-worn areas. The sleeves had slightly lightened up, but you’d only really notice if you compared them side by side. The less-worn areas like the hood had actually held up pretty well.

So if you worry about your tie dye fading over time, no need to fret. With a properly dyed garment using good quality procion tie dye, the fabric is going to give out long before the dye.

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