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The dye in my jeans keeps bleeding – how do I make it stop?

The question

I love my designer jeans, but even after several washes, they leave a trail of blue dye wherever I go – on my purse, my couch, even my hands! Is there any way to seal in the dye so it doesn't bleed all over?

The answer

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Your question prompted me to reach out to someone with the denim equivalent of an MD: Joel Carman, founder of Over the Rainbow in Toronto.

For the past 38 years, he has lived and breathed the jeans business. Carman told me that unlike synthetic dyes, real indigo dye is not colourfast. This is why your jeans will ultimately get that wonderfully worn-in look but will also bleed a little.

To help set the dye, he suggests soaking them in a light solution of vinegar and water, or adding salt to your wash. "What you love about your jeans also happens to be what makes them so annoying," Carman explains. "They wouldn't be good blue jeans if they didn't do that." Should they continue to make you and your furniture blue, I would suggest showing them (along with your stained purse) to the store manager; such a serious denim-dye disorder would be legitimate grounds for an exchange.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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