“Oh, beloved jeans, I barely wore ye. But now you have unsightly holes and worn-through patches, so I must toss you onto the trash heap like last summer’s tangerine lipstick. Le sigh.” Does this sound familiar? If you automatically toss your denim when it develops problems like tears, holes, and other jankiness, never fear—it turns out that these denim disasters can actually be fixed. “People aren’t aware that denim can be repaired in a professional, almost seamless way,” says Francine Rabinovich, whose company Denim Therapy specializes in repairing jeans with these minor issues. If your favorite jeans are exhibiting one of these signs, a denim repair service may be able to come to your rescue.
Disaster #1: “My jeans have holes in the crotch!”
If your denim is a little tight in the thighs, you’re not alone—crotch and inner thigh wear-through is the most common repair that Denim Therapy performs. “It’s the area that experiences the most rub off and strain,” Francine says. “Especially if denim is tight in that area.” Another culprit is the heat from the clothes dryer, which can weaken fabric and make it more susceptible to damage. Whether rips occur along seams or on the fabric itself, they can be mended to like-new condition. If the area is rubbing thin but not actually torn yet, it can be reinforced to prevent further wear.
Disaster #2: “My zipper’s busted!”
If your zipper has lost a few teeth or the pull’s been lost, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your jeans. “Depending on where the damage on the zipper is, it may need to be replaced,” says Francine. Simple zipper repairs or replacements can be done at any tailor or alterations shop, although for more complicated zipper issues, a specialist may be in order. Denim Therapy can transform button-fly denim into zip-fly denim.
Disaster #3: “I’ve walked on my hems too much!”
The next time you buy a pair of jeans, make sure to get them altered before wearing them. But for this pair, save them by having them re-hemmed. “There are two solutions,” Francine says. “You can either do a hem reconstruction (which sometimes can be expensive), or you can create a new hem just above the tear.” The right solution depends on how extensive the damage to the original hem is—the bigger the hole, the more likely that the only way to fix it is to create a hem above the damaged part, which results in jeans that are shorter than they were before.