Denim Therapy Shop Tour and Repair – Review

denim therapy

In the few years since its inception, Denim Therapy has established itself as one of the premiere denim repair shops in the United States, if not the world. They have the uncanny ability to perform almost any alteration possible on a pair of jeans, from crotch blow-outs and hems to maternity inserts. Inside the shop jeans are stacked waiting to be received and appraised by the staff before being repaired by the two talented seamstresses Denim Therapy employs.

Recently, we were invited to tour their small studio located appropriately in New York City’s Garment District to see the shop and experience the repair process first hand. It is one thing to see the before and after photos of denim repairs, but after witnessing the amount of work and talent that is required to repair even the smallest rip, I have a new appreciation for what Denim Therapy does.

The Shop

Denim Therapy

Denim Therapy Studio

Stacks of Denim at Denim Therapy

One Of The Denim Therapy WorkstationsUnion Special Machine

Denim Repair One – Pocket Tear

I have had this pair of Left Field NYC White Oak Chelsea jeans for about six months and have worn them about 6-7 times a week since purchasing. As a result of a sharp corner in my wallet, the back right pocket has developed two holes. The photos below illustrate the repair process and steps required to complete a pocket repair like this one.

Left Field NYC Denim After 6 Months

The first step in the process is removing the pocket in order to access the entire back of the pocket.

Removing denim pocket

After the pocket is removed, a thick iron-on patch is applied to the backside of the hole. This is to give the repair extra strength and insure the longevity of the repair far beyond the three-month warranty that Denim Therapy provides.

Applying thick iron-on patch

After applying the patch, the jeans are taken to the darning machine where the denim fibers will be reconstructed using Denim Therapy‘s “MatchPerfect Cotton Thread Selection”. What this essentially means is that the seamstress will look at the fade patterns as well as the denim color and find an appropriate color of thread that blends in with the existing wear patterns, to make the repair even more discrete.

Denim Therapy's MatchPerfect Cotton Thread Selection Denim Therapy Darning Denim Therapy Darning Close-up

After fully reconstructing the denim surrounding the holes, the pocket is ready to be sewn back in place. Once this step is complete the jeans are finished and ready for many more wears.

Pocket sewn back to the jeans

The end result was better than I had expected. The repair was hardly noticeable and the area that was repaired is now stronger than it ever was. I have confidence that this repair will last well into the life of these jeans.

Left Field NYC Denim Post-repair Left Field NYC Denim Post-repair

Denim Repair Two – Chain stitch Hem

I recently acquired this pair of unsanfordized Helmut Lang selvedge denim and after soaking they were ready to be hemmed. I opted for a chain stitch hem out of preference and to ensure maximum durability.

The process of hemming jeans is obviously much less involved than repairing a hole, but nonetheless I was surprised at the amount of steps and care that were involved in what I considered to be a small repair.

The first step in this process was getting the jeans measured, following which they were marked for proper seam allowances and prepared to be cut.

Hemming Measurement

Denim Therapy Chain Stitch Hem

After the jeans were cut, the hem was folded over and ironed into place.

Hem folded over and ironed into place

After that they were brought to the chain stitching machine, an old Union Special, which made quick work of the hem and produced a beautiful chain stitch. After being sewn, the hem was finished and the jeans were ready to wear.

Union Special Machine - Denim Therapy Hemming On A Union Special Machine

Special thanks to Denim Therapy for allowing me to come in to tour shop and have my jeans repaired on such short notice. It was really a pleasure to see the evolution of a jean repair and witness the incredible amount skill of craftsmanship that is involved in any repair.

Everyone I spoke to was extremely enthusiastic about denim and was very helpful, creating a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I will return with any other denim repairs that I have in the future.

For more information on the denim repair company, visit their official site.

Darius Lalier

Darius is currently a student living in New York City, attending New York University. Darius has a strong interest in all things raw denim and a specific interest in American manufacturing. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @dlalier.

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