How to Repair Ripped Jeans

Jeans image by Francis Bourgouin from

Even though distressed jeans come in and out of style, a rip in the wrong place is never in style. Fixing an unwanted tear is simple, and with some jeans costing upwards of $100, it's necessary. There are several ways to repair a rip, and choosing the right method depends entirely on the size and location of the tear. Another factor to consider is the type of denim. The stretch denim often used in women's jeans is more delicate than thick, dark denim, for example.

Figure out how long, wide and deep the rip is. If it is torn thanks to rubbing, such as in the inside of the thighs, then a simple stitch works best. If it is a straight tear in through thick material, a patch is the best fix.

Turn your jeans inside out. Cut any excess fray off from around the tear. Line up the sides of the tear and pin them together without overlapping the pieces.

Thread your needle by inserting the edge of your thread into the needle's hole. Pull it all the way through and cut the thread once it is around a foot long, doubled up. Tie the two ends together. If you are using a sewing machine, thread your sewing machine and bobbin and set your machine onto a zigzag stitch setting. Lay your jeans under the sewing machine.

Insert the needle at one end of the rip and make a wide zigzag stitch. Do this by basting back and forth across the rip. Your wide stitches, which should be done close together, will make a strong fix that won't fray. Sew to the end of rip and tie the end of your thread off. Snip excess thread.

Lay the jeans on your ironing board, rip facing up. If your rip is in an area where the denim is not thin, you can add an iron-on patch to the inside of the rip for extra strength. Place the shiny side of the iron-on patch onto the rip and iron over it until it sticks. Allow it to cool for several minutes. Wash the jeans if the patch instructions call for it.