How To Fade Desert Cami's
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  1. #1

    How To Fade Desert Cami's

    I just bought a new set of desert cami's, at the time being the were an exact match but after washing them for the first time the trousers are now like a dirty color and the blouse is nice and bright... anyone know of any ways to get them back to the same color whether its bleaching one or both of them or setting them in the sun or what... any help is well appreciated and thanks ahead of time!


  2. #2
    did you wash them at the same time? I don't know why the trousers would change color but not the blouse.

    you could try bleaching them but whenever I've done it they've never looked much different than before the wash

    edit: although the care label does say not to use bleach


  3. #3
    the very first time yes I washed them together, as I said they were the same exact color to start out with, I made sure of that when I purchased them... after that the trousers were not faded but had kind of that dirty look, like they have been rolled around in the dirt a time or two, the blouse is just nice and bright like its new, thats the best way I can describe it... I usually do wash my desert cami's with a little bleach, as far as the desert ones it doesn't harm them! I read that if I leave it in the sun it will fade it so right now I have the blouse outside hoping it'll soon turn out like the trousers... its worked a little but its still a ways to go!!!


  4. #4
    the blouse seems like its got a very small red tint to it... strangly enough everytime i get new desert cami's the blouse always turns out like that... idk if its got to do with the dye they use and it wearing off or what...


  5. #5
    what kind of detergent are you using?


  6. #6
    Let them be you "field cammies"

    If you leave it out in the sun for awhile, it will fade.


  7. #7
    I'm using gain laundry detergent... I put the blouse outside in the sun for an hour or so, it seems like it did fade a little bit, I put it back in the wash a couple more times as well... I just don't understand how it goes from the exact match to change like this!


  8. #8
    Sounds like the 2 articles were made from different dye batches of fabric. I wonder if you couldn't return them to the PX.


  9. #9
    Marine Free Member ecom's Avatar
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    Don't use Gain laundry detergent. It does not follow the care instructions of the garments because it contains optical brighteners. You will light up like a candle when viewed with night vision devices.

    It is also possible that the optical brighteners are discoloring your uniform, but if you aren't washing them separately, it should not come out different colors. As devildame suggested, the garments are likely made with different dye batches or formulations.


  10. #10
    My cammies are exactly the same. Someone always has to point it out to me that my trousers look dirtier than the blouse. I thought that maybe it's because I do a lot of boots and Ut's PT. But I heard that the red tint that's on the uniform is supposed to be the retardant they coat the cammies in.


  11. #11
    the problem happens to be the manufacturing of them.

    they are different batches and with different batches you get different contractors and though the cammies are tri-color those colors are not set in stone, so you will get different types of dyes... both color and fade resistance.

    I'm sorry to say this, but you're gonna have to deal with it... if you fade them too much you're screwed. your uniform allowance doesn't allow for intentionally damaged uniforms in your first 4 years.


    so what devildame is saying is correct, however the PX will not take them back for the reason I added.


  12. #12
    Marine Free Member ecom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecom View Post
    Don't use Gain laundry detergent. It does not follow the care instructions of the garments because it contains optical brighteners. You will light up like a candle when viewed with night vision devices.

    It is also possible that the optical brighteners are discoloring your uniform, but if you aren't washing them separately, it should not come out different colors. As devildame suggested, the garments are likely made with different dye batches or formulations.
    The cammies have anti night vision coating, but I dunno if that reflects any color in the visible spectrum. The reason the instructions say not to use detergents with optical brighteners is because optical brighteners are chemicals added to detergents to make them reflect more light and thus appear brighter. Great for white clothes and such, not so much for camouflage gear.


  13. #13
    anti night vision coating... do you have literature on this?

    normal cloths don't reflect light, any detergent and starch reflect IR spectrum so much that you light up if the detergent isn't washed completely out (don't know anything about optical brighteners, so no comment on that... you're probably correct).

    the different color is because of the dyes and lot numbers... it's made from who ever can produce it the cheapest and dyes get put on sale just like everything else in the world... so which ever one is cheap.

    also they are treated with a bug repellent which adds some color changes to it.


  14. #14
    Marine Free Member ecom's Avatar
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    Do they not have anti-IR properties? CADPAT has anti-IR, I assumed MCCUU would be similar. But as I just found out, CADPAT uses anti-IR material in the dyes. It is not a coating. Furthermore, it is unlawful to buy/sell/trade CADPAT, I've been told because of anti-IR properties. But I dunno how true that is since Canadian government holds copyright to the CADPAT pattern - even the manufacturers are prohibited from selling these items. Canadian military are held accountable for their issue and can be jailed for buying/selling/trading their gear.

    Unlike detergent, optical brighteners are designed to stay in the material rather than rinse out. Plus they are designed to reflect light which contradicts having any anti-IR properties. What you might be seeing with night vision devices might be a result of these optical brighteners. I only know of three detergents that don't have them: Woolite, Cheer (most formulations), and Seventh Generation (plant based detergent).


  15. #15
    well, we're not wearing CADPAT, we're wearing MARPAT. Our mentality is that we will not go up against a developed country that has readily available NVG technology so we don't deter IR footprints as we use reflective patches so we can be identified at night by our own.


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