How to Repair Denim

Written by sue stepp
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How to Repair Denim
Repair old denim easily, so your old, comfy jeans last longer. (Jeans image by Francis Bourgouin from Fotolia.com)

People wear denim jeans for doing hard work, and hard work is damaging to clothing. Denim holds up well in most situations, but when it tears or frays repairs are simple. Repairs in denim jeans vary in appearance after the repair, but the goal is making the jeans look new again. Some damage leaves jeans looking rough even after a repair, but your jeans will be functional and free of holes and rips. Even that old comfy pair of worn-out jeans is salvageable. Repairing jeans takes a little bit of time, but anyone is capable doing basic repairs.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Iron on denim patch
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread matching the jeans
  • Denim patch (preferably a scrap piece of denim from a matching old pair of jeans)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn the denim jeans inside out, and flatten the material on the ironing board. Find the damaged portion of the denim material.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of the iron-on denim patch 2 inches longer and wider than the damaged portion. The extra material keeps edges from splitting, keeping the denim strong.

  3. 3

    Find the instructions for the iron-on patch, and set the iron to the temperature stated on the manufacturer's instructions. Heat the iron to the required temperature.

  4. 4

    Place the patch over the damaged area with the adhesive side of the patch facing down toward the damaged portion. If the damaged area is a split or tear, push the edges of the split or tear together before placing the patch on top. Iron the patch in place for several minutes.

  5. 5

    Let the patched area cool and turn the trousers right-side out. Once it cools, it's done.

  1. 1

    Find the damaged portion of the denim material. Cut off any badly damaged or frayed areas. Turn the denim jeans inside out and flatten the material.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of denim that matches the denim material for a patch 2 inches longer and wider than the damaged portion. The extra material keeps edges from splitting, keeping the denim strong.

  3. 3

    Lay the patch over the damaged area and pin in place with stick pins. Sew the damaged area with the sewing machine. Make sure you don't sew the back and front of trousers together. Turn the trousers right-side out.

  4. 4

    Thread the needle so you have at least 20 inches of thread. Tie a knot in the end of the thread furthest from the needle. It doesn't matter what type of knot you use.

  5. 5

    Sew the edges of the damaged area to the patch underneath it using a thread that closely matches the denim. Make sure that all of the edges are neatly sewn to the patch. After sewing the edges, the repair is complete.

  1. 1

    Thread the needle so you have at least 20 inches of thread. Tie a knot in the end of the thread furthest from the needle. It doesn't matter what type of knot you use.

  2. 2

    Push the edges of the damaged area together. Make sure you push any frayed material inside the jeans.

  3. 3

    Sew the split or tear together with a thread that closely matches the denim material. If the thread is a close match, the damaged area isn't noticeable when the repair is done. Once you reach the end of the tear, restitch the split or tear again. You want the split or tear just as strong as the original denim, so it needs the second layer of stitching for strength.

Tips and warnings

  • Repair other denim material following the same instructions above. Repair denim shirts, purses, quilts and other items using the same techniques used for repairing denim jeans in this article.

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