How to Dye Your Levi's® 501®
We’ve partnered up with Levi’s® to show you how to customize your 501® Originals with our dyes. The Levi’s® 501® Originals are not just about enduring style, it’s also about sustainability, durability, and timelessness. No two pairs are the same — that’s what makes it a true original. And with dye, you can truly make them one-of-a-kind.
- Levi's® 501® Originals
- Rit All-Purpose Dye
- Plastic Container or Stainless Steel Sink
- Measuring Spoon + Cups
- Dish Soap
- Rubber Gloves
Prepare your Dyebath
- Prewash your 501®s and leave damp
- Fill plastic container or stainless steel sink with enough hot water (ideally 140oF) for your 501s to move freely, roughly three gallons.
- To help enhance the color, add one cup of salt.
- Add one tsp of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
- Wearing rubber gloves, shake Rit bottle really well. Pour half a bottle (1/2 cup) of dye into dyebath and mix well.
- Immerse damp 501®s into dyebath and stir continuously for 20 minutes with tongs.
- Wearing rubber gloves, move your 501®s back and forth and up and down to ensure even coverage.
- When desired color is achieved, remove 501®s from the dyebath. Squeeze out excess dye.
TIP: The longer the jeans remain the dyebath, the darker the color will be. (Remember: color will appear lighter when dry.)
- Lay 501®s on a flat surface.
- Scrunch various sections of your 501®s, one leg at a time, and secure with rubber bands.
- Immerse bound 501®s into dyebath and stir occasionally for 20 minutes or until desired color is achieved.
- For multiple colors, create another dyebath and immerse only a portion of the bound 501®s into the dyebath.
- Remove 501®s from the dyebath and squeeze out excess dye.
TIP: To see more of the original 501® denim shine through in the final piece, secure your scrunch very tight.
- Fold 501®s in half so that the legs line up.
- Hang your 501®s on a hanger and make sure the bottoms are evenly matched.
- Dip the legs slowly up and down and back and forth for 20 minutes or until desired color is achieved.
- When desired look is achieved, remove 501®s from the dyebath.
TIP: To prevent a harsh dye line, tilt the legs side to side for an ombré effect.
- Once you’re done dyeing, allow your 501®s to sit and absorb the dye for 30 minutes.
- Optional: Fill clean plastic container or stainless steel sink with hot tap water and add half a bottle (1/2 cup) of well-shaken ColorStay Dye Fixative. Wearing rubber gloves, submerge your 501®s into the ColorStay Dye Fixative solution.
- If you used the dip-dye method, place only the dyed portion of the 501®s into the bath.
- If you used the scrunch tie-dye method, place your bound 501®s directly into the bath. Placing unbound 501®s into the bath could result in dye bleeding into other areas.
- Stir slowly and continuously on and off for 20 minutes.
- Rinse in cool water until water begins to run clear. Machine wash your 501®s with an old towel in warm water with mild detergent. Rinse and dry.