How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

Fixing a pair of blue jeans is the right project for a beginning mender. Let's just assume your jeans are more in the Levi or Lee class than the top-tier Joe's Jeans or 7 for All Mankind class. Unlike with a filmy nightgown, or silk shirt, repairs in jeans are fairly forgiving. Even if they're not perfect, they'll still be wearable. There are many types of tears: tri-corner tears, holes, frays, punctures, and rips. And these bad things happen to good fabrics.

There's no "one size fits all" way to tackle these heartaches, but here's some advice to help you deal with common denim boo-boos:

Fusible Tricot Reinforcement

To repair a heavy fabric like jeans, an iron-on patch coupled with stitching may be your best bet. This works especially well with a three-corner (Lshaped) tear. Fusible tricot interfacing works best on 100 percent cotton fabrics like denim. You can purchase fusible tricot by the yard at sewing and craft stores, but beware! It must be preshrunk before you use it, or it will later buckle and bunch when you wash your jeans. To preshrink, simply soak the whole piece in warm water, then hang it to dry before using it. There is also tricot marked "preshrunk" available, so buy that if possible.

1 Once the tricot is dry, turn your jeans inside out, and cut a piece of tricot about twice as large as the tear or the hole so that there will be a solid square or rectangle over the ripped area. Preheat the iron to the highest setting.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

2 Place a press cloth over the tricot, lightly spray it with water, and then hold the iron down firmly for about 15 seconds. Lift the iron, move it to the next area, slightly overlapping where you have already fused the interfacing (like mowing a lawn), and repeat, until the whole sheet of tricot has been fused.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

3 Next, turn the jeans right side out, keeping the press cloth in place, and repeat the process. Use a stamping motion with the iron, instead of a gliding motion, when applying the fusible tricot.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

4 Let the whole project cool completely before taking the jeans off your ironing board. This will take only a few moments, but the freshly ironed synthetic material is very hot, so be careful.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

5 Once the tricot is cool, thread a needle with dark thread. Working from the inside to the outside of the fabric, pull the thread until the knot is firmly in place on the inside of your jeans. Make evenly spaced X stitches all around the perimeter of the tear. True, this won't be as dainty as a machine-sewn repair, but for work jeans, it will do the job and also make sure the torn section isn't vulnerable or weak.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

Simple and Secure Hand Stitching

If you don't have access to an iron-on patch for reinforcement, hand sewing is a fine alternative. The doubled-over thread will hold up well, and hand stitching allows for freedom of movement as you work.

1 Take 24 inches of thread and double it by bringing the ends together. Push the ends through a quilting needle, so that you have a double string of thread for extra reinforcement.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

2 Working from the inside of the jeans, push the needle through the fabric at one end of the tear. Using your finger, hold about an inch of the thread on the underside of the fabric. Go back through the fabric with the needle, making sure to pass it through the loop of thread you're holding secure on the inside of the jeans. This will secure the thread without a knot.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

3 Holding the torn fabric in place, stitch along the edges of the tear by passing the needle up and down through the fabric, in a looping motion.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

4 If you start to run out of thread, tie a knot on one of your "down" passes. To do this, pass the needle under a couple of stitches four or five times, then tie off the thread and cut it with scissors.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

5 Thread the needle and repeat the process until you've stitched around the entire tear.

How to Fix a Rip in Your Jeans

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