Purpose: In the denim industry, enzyme washing and its combination with stone washing are generally used to get the desired worn-out look. However, these conventional methods include high water, energy and time consumption. Nowadays, laser fading, which is a computer-controlled, dry, ecological finishing method, is preferred in the denim fading process. The purpose of this study is to observe the effects of chemical pretreatment applications on laser-faded denim fabric in terms of color and mechanical properties. To eliminate the enzyme washing process in denim fading and to minimize the disadvantages of laser fading, such as decreased mechanical properties and increased fabric yellowness, various chemical pretreatment applications were applied to the denim fabric before laser fading, followed by simple rinsing instead of enzyme washing. Design/methodology/approach: Two different indigo-dyed, organic cotton denim fabrics with different unit weights were exposed to pretreatment processes and then laser treatment, followed by simple rinsing. Polysilicic acid, boric acid, borax and bicarbonate were used for pretreatment processes, and laser treatment was carried out under optimized laser parameters (40 dpi resolution and 300 µs pixel time). Tensile strength was tested, and color values (CIE L*, a*, b*, ΔE*, C* and h), color yield (K/S), yellowness and whiteness indexes were measured to identify the color differences. Findings: Before laser fading, 30 g/L and 40 g/L polysilicic acid pretreatments for sulfur-indigo-dyed fabric and a mixture of 10 g/L boric acid and 10 g/L borax pretreatments for the fabric only indigo-dyed were recommended for the laser fading with sufficient mechanical properties and good color values. Originality/value: With the chemical pretreatments defined in this study, it was possible to reduce yellowness and maintain the mechanical properties after laser fading, thus minimizing the disadvantages of laser treatment and also eliminating enzyme washing.