How to Repair a Tear in Jeans

Updated February 21, 2017

With the high cost of jeans today, you should try to make them last as long as possible before buying new ones. When your child comes home with a tear in the knees or the rear end of his otherwise-decent jeans, try repairing them instead of throwing them away. With a few supplies and a little creativity, your child may like his repaired jeans better than the old ones.

Repair small tears in denim jeans with the old standby--a needle and thread. This works well for tears under 1-inch in length. Use a thimble on your index or middle finger to assist in pushing the needle through the thick material and turn the jeans inside out to access the tear. Carefully, stitch the seam together with thread that matches the colour of the jeans.

Try a popular trick to make your child’s torn jeans look fashionably shabby-chic. Cut a square of thick fabric slightly larger than the size of the tear and turn the jeans inside out. Locate the tear and cut a piece of heat pressure seam fabric the same size as the square cloth. Lay the seam fabric over the tear and carefully trace the tear outline onto the fabric.

Cut the centre of the seam fabric out, following the traced line and cutting about ¼-inch on the outside of the line. By making the hole in the seam fabric larger than the tear, you allow only the coloured fabric to show.

Place seam fabric back on the tear, carefully aligning the hole so that the tear shows through clearly. Put the coloured fabric square evenly on top and press carefully with a hot iron, taking care not to move the fabric as you press.

Patch small tears in girl’s jeans by sewing on a decorative applique over the hole. Some appliques come with an iron-on backing and you can use an iron to stick them into place. However, you will still need to stitch around the outside of the appliqué to secure it.

Use denim patches for tears in work jeans. Buy the denim patches in any sewing centre and iron them, on the topside of the jeans, sticky side down. As a bonus, denim patches make a good a tear preventer if you iron them on the knees of work jeans before use.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Thimble
  • Cloth
  • Iron-on seam fabric (double-sided)
  • Hot iron
  • Denim patch
  • Applique
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About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.