How To Repair Raw Denim Holes & Blowouts via Darning

Repairing Raw Denim - The Darning Technique

Repairing Raw Denim – The Darning Technique (source: ajchen.com)

Without a doubt, one of the biggest annoyances one has to endure in their raw denim journey is the multitude of rips, tears, holes, and all-encompassing blowouts. What may first seem like a negligible knick gradually grows into a minor hole (or large hole, in some cases), before reaching the final stage of a fully fledged blowout.

Darning Raw Denim Before

Pre-Darning Raw Denim (source: ajchen.com)

How should one deal with this inevitable situation? Among many repairing methods, the best option is to have your denim darned. Compared to hand stitching a patch over the hole, darning involves weaving (and blending) in new threads.

Torn Jeans No More. Repair Now.
As a result, not only will your denim be left strongly secured, but the hole will also be masked so well that any once prominent damage will be unnoticeable.

Darning Raw Denim After

Post-Darning Raw Denim (source: ajchen.com)

Unfortunately, as a special darning machine is required for this type of repair, you will need to seek out a specialist. We won’t walk through the entire process itself, but Andrew Chen, co-owner of 3sixteen and Self Edge NYC, gave an excellent and complete run-down below:

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Stay Raw!

-Nick
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Nick Coe

Nick is the Founding Editor of RawrDenim.com.

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  • Arieberg

    Great way to repair your beloved jeans and let it last forever.
    Also used by myself on my old 501´s, but for bigger holes, patching with denim is a better option for me.

  • Arieberg

    Great way to repair your beloved jeans and let it last forever.
    Also used by myself on my old 501´s, but for bigger holes, patching with denim is a better option for me.

  • http://twitter.com/thed0c Igor

    Not entirely true: This can be done without a darning machine as well.

    • http://twitter.com/SelfEdge Self Edge – Kiya

      Yes, you can fix jeans without a darning machine.  But you cannot DARN without  a darning machine.

      • Arieberg

        It is not really darning what I do when I repair my 501´s in the crotch-area.
        I sew a patch inside and stitch it over and over outside and it looks like it has been darned, but it only is stitched through and through. The result is very strong and solid.

      • Cameron Walker

        oh snap

      • thebrik

        Well to be technical about it you can darn with anything as long as it actually fixes the the article of clothing by weaving. So if I wanted to I could take a set of headphones and use them to darn a hole as long as they were ”
        to mend, as torn clothing, with rows of stitches, sometimesby crossing and interweaving rows to span a gap.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679999674 Justin Ross

        Is there something about denim that prevents you from darning by hand? Cuz I know other things can be darned by hand.

      • Mr. Buie

        Isn’t it true that Self Edge only likes to darn the jeans after they have been washed?… That makes me almost want to wait til its absolutely necessary rather than as soon a hole appears.

      • Benjericho

        You could darn by hand if you’re happy for the look you get to be personal. Use the same technique that every boy scout got taught for darning socks. Make sure you use a thimble though or you’ll get very sore fingers.

  • http://twitter.com/thed0c Igor

    Not entirely true: This can be done without a darning machine as well.

    • http://twitter.com/SelfEdge Self Edge – Kiya

      Yes, you can fix jeans without a darning machine.  But you cannot DARN without  a darning machine.

      • Arieberg

        It is not really darning what I do when I repair my 501´s in the crotch-area.
        I sew a patch inside and stitch it over and over outside and it looks like it has been darned, but it only is stitched through and through. The result is very strong and solid.

      • Cameron Walker

        oh snap

      • thebrik

        Well to be technical about it you can darn with anything as long as it actually fixes the the article of clothing by weaving. So if I wanted to I could take a set of headphones and use them to darn a hole as long as they were ”
        to mend, as torn clothing, with rows of stitches, sometimesby crossing and interweaving rows to span a gap.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679999674 Justin Ross

        Is there something about denim that prevents you from darning by hand? Cuz I know other things can be darned by hand.

      • Mr. Buie

        Isn’t it true that Self Edge only likes to darn the jeans after they have been washed?… That makes me almost want to wait til its absolutely necessary rather than as soon a hole appears.

  • Dom

    does anyone know which machine he uses?

    • Anonymous

      I believe it’s a Singer Darning Machine from the 1950′s.

      • Dom

        right, I googled a little, it’s a singer 47w70 darning mashine.

  • Dom

    does anyone know which machine he uses?

    • Anonymous

      I believe it’s a Singer Darning Machine from the 1950′s.

      • Dom

        right, I googled a little, it’s a singer 47w70 darning mashine.

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  • Joseph Higgins

    This was a good post!  I’m going to take a few pieces of denim that I have with holes in them to Self Edge.  They happen to be right down the block from my office. 

    • http://www.rawrdenim.com Rawr Denim

      Good call - @twitter-15148205:disqus is the place to go!

  • Matthewrbird

    you can darn with a regular machine, you just need to adjust it.  set the thread tension high, reduce presser foot tension and use a darning foot.  I typically will use a white thread on the bobbin and a light or darker blue on the top thread.  You will find that a free arm machine is pretty essential though.  A machine darning hoop can help if you have to work next to pockets or seams.  I use a denim patch on the inside in those cases.  Oh and turn off the feed for your machine.   remember you want a 16 or 18 needle due to stresses during the process.

  • jus shilling

    all this crotch blowing out reminds me what id do to all of my (fairly new) 511 skinnies from boosting 40′s or sneaking in booze into places! def not like the 90s when you could shove just about anything down your pants..

  • http://twitter.com/VerityDenim Verity Denim

    I feel you can get very similar results with a normal machine if you just use similar colored thin threads and many stitches per inch.

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