My best friend Jen used to be famous for cutting up clothing. Kooky and creative by nature, it was not unusual for her to come to class wearing everything from her Dad’s old T-shirts, to the bright orange lace curtains that once hung in her kitchen.
In her honour and in memory of countless hours at her Mum’s sewing machine, I offer the DIY Instant Vintage treatment for Tees…
¼ c Sodium bicarbonate washing soda (like Arm & Hammer)
2 c Table salt
1 pack fine-grit sandpaper
1 new T-shirt
Step 1: Mix it up
Mix together the washing soda and salt. The salt acts as an abrasive, and will make the fabric look aged. The alkaline washing soda breaks down the new shirt’s built in coating (put on there to keep it looking newer longer).
(my favourite use of this DIY was on my boyfriend’s shirts, to make em super soft n comfy for sleepovers)
Step 2: It’s washing time
Throw the shirt into the washing machine, using the highest heat setting. (If you’re aging more than one shirt, you can wash em all together.) The heat will help to further break down the fabric, by weakening the fibers. Allow the water to fill up, before dumping in the soda/salt mixture, plus your usual detergent. Next dry your shirt on high heat (Yes! Do all the things you usually avoid!)
Then, it’s simply a case of “Rinse. Repeat.” Three to five times, complete from start to finish (mix, wash, high heat dry).
Step 3: Rough it up
Most printed shirts have a coating on them to prevent fading or breaking up with wear. You can wash the hell outta them, but that printing probably won’t budge. Time to use some elbow grease… Using the sandpaper, lightly scratch it up, with circular but irregular strokes.
The finished result should look “well loved”*.
*A look that in my case, out lived the love I had for said boyfriend