Have your slacks refitted by a tailor or give them a dye treatment to make them look brand new.

How to Dye Faded Black Dress Pants

by Chance Henson

Clothes fade over time. Whether your dress pants have faded as a result of regular wear and tear, improper cleaning or bleaching by sunlight, you can restore their original brilliance by dyeing them black with do-it-yourself fabric dyes. When dyeing your pants, keep in mind that fabric that is "Dry Clean Only" or requires cold-water washing are not appropriate for the dyeing process and can become permanently damaged.

Dyeing Pants

Place the plastic gloves on your hands to avoid staining your hands. Heat 3 gallons of water on your stove until just before it begins to boil. Add half a package of powdered dye or half a bottle of liquid dye to two cups of hot water and set aside.

Pour heated water into your sink or bucket and add pre-mixed dye, stirring the water until the dye is completely integrated into the water.

Place your pants under hot running water until they are completely soaked. Remove your pants from the hot running water, turn off the tap and wring the pants free of excess water. Submerge your pants in the dye solution that is in the bucket or sink.

Stir your pants in the dye solution constantly for 10 to 30 minutes. Remove your garment from the solution and gently rinse in warm water. Gradually decrease the water temperature until it is cool and the dye ceases to bleed out of the garment and the water runs clear.

Immediately place your pants in a washing machine and wash with a mild detergent on the machine’s warm-water setting. Remove the pants from the washing machine at the completion of the cycle and rinse with cool water. Dry according to the garment's care-tag instructions.

Items you will need

  • Plastic Gloves
  • Stove
  • Bucket or Sink
  • Hot Water
  • Dye Solution (Either powdered or liquid)
  • Stirring instrument
  • Washing machine
  • Mild Detergent


  • Add 1 teaspoon mild detergent to dye solution to ensure even coloration.
  • Cover your workspace with newspaper to avoid staining counter tops.


  • Always exercise caution when handling hot water.
  • Synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and spandex will not hold dye chemicals.
  • Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions should you get the dye in your eyes or mouth.
  • Keep all young children out of the room while you are dyeing the garment.

About the Author

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images