How to Make Your Jeans Last Longer

In 1860, Levi Strauss & Co created denim, primarily used as work pants by farmers and industrial workers. Elvis Presley and actor James Dean bought denim into the limelight in the 1950s. Today denim is one of the most popular fabrics, and almost every person in the world indeed owns a pair of jeans that they love! 

Denim is a tough fabric and can last for decades. You might have seen your mom reminiscing about her old college jeans that aren’t entirely pulling up anymore. Nevertheless, the pants would have maintained their shape and integrity. 

For the love of jeans 

Denim jeans are unique for their yarn, weaving process, and technical finishes. The indigo dyestuff gives it the quintessential blue color. The type of yarn used in production will determine your jeans’ strength, texture, and softness. 

You can make your favorite denim outfits last a lifetime with a few laundering tips and tricks. However, you would have to visit another blog to figure out how to fit in those jeans after decades. 

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Related: How to Style Blue Jeans

What can damage your jeans

  • Friction. Although denim is a tough fabric, continuous friction can cause rips, especially near the crotch area. Accumulated dirt can also cause friction and lead to holes in awkward places. 
  • Damaged button holes. Denim jeans mostly come with thick metal buttons. Over time the button holes can become stretched or damaged. A professional tailor can fix it with a process called darning. 
  • Damage due to cuffs. Many of us are guilty of folding the bottom parts of our denim jeans. Over time the cuffs can get damaged due to dirt and friction. Unfold your denim pants and clean them with a soft brush now and then. 

How to wash denim jeans

Denim can be worn 3-5 times between washes. Most denim garments can be washed in the washing machine with good-quality detergent. Let’s break the washing process into three easy-to-remember steps! 

  1. Turn your denim inside out. The indigo dyestuff that gives denim its blue color will fade over time. You can reduce color fading by turning your denim jeans inside out before you toss them into the washing machine. 
  2. Gentle wash cycle. Denim requires only a gentle wash cycle with a mild temperature. Use cold water to wash your denim garments to reduce color fading and shrinkage. 
  3. Air-dry. Heat can damage your denim garments, so avoiding a dryer cycle is best. Instead, hang your denim to air dry. 

Pro tips for laundering denim

Denim is made to be tough, and it is one of those rare fabrics that will last a lifetime with a bit of care and maintenance. Once you have the basics of washing denim down, you can dive into more laundering hacks that will extend the lifespan of your favorite denim pieces. Here are a few:

  • Remove your denim garments as soon as your wash cycle ends. Do not leave denim lying around in the wet, as this will cause wrinkles and fading. 
  • Denim should be washed when needed and not as frequently as other fabrics. 
  • Hand-wash denim with patches and embellishments. 
  • Spot treat stains and dirt to reduce washing cycles for your denim garments. 
  • Read the washing label clearly for any special instructions. 

How to store your jeans

Denim is a versatile fabric and relatively easier to store.

  • Fold your denim jeans in half. 
  • Hold the bottom hem, then fold it up to the waistband. 
  • Repeat the process twice

You may also fold and hang your denim on sturdy hangers. Dip a few cotton balls in lavender and keep them in your closet to keep your denim smelling fresh and pleasant. Lavender is a non-toxic insect repellent and will keep moths at bay. Never keep the lavender balls directly on any fabric, as that may cause stains. 

Restore your old denim jeans

Finding the perfect pair of denim jeans is like finding your best friend. A few rips and tears shouldn’t ruin your friendship, right? You can always restore your old denim to prolong its lifespan. 

  • Fix rips and tears. You can sew small holes in your denim with a needle and some tough thread. You can always visit your local tailor if you need help with your sewing skills. They are not that expensive and can quickly repair small rips and tears. 
  • Get creative. You can always use creativity to create something out of your old denim garments. Add a patch to a more visible hole or tear to create a new look. 
  • Give it a distressed look. Distressed or torn jeans are back in style. Had they ever left? Use scissors and a tweezer to create the distressed look. 
  • Dye. You can always restore your denim with a quick dye session. Add your high-quality indigo dye and hot water in a large bucket, and let your denim soak in it for an hour or two. 

Denim is a love affair. With a little TLC, you can keep your denim fresh and stylish! 

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