Darn it!

Squeak 'helping' with the laundry

Squeak likes to “help” me with the laundry, usually by lounging on the lid of my laundry suitcase and supervising.

My favorite brand of jeans went from $36 per pair to $48 per pair since the last time I bought them.  The alternative that I can get locally for $15 per pair don’t fit as well.  So when the two pairs of jeans I own developed tears in the crotch, I decided to learn how to darn patches on for repairs.  Due to the location of the tears and the material (denim), I decided that thread, even embroidery thread, would not last well, and I had 100% cotton yarn on hand that reasonably matched the colors of the denim.

I looked up how to darn tears.  On the surface, it looked a lot like weaving, which is something I have enjoyed for years.  However, I did not pick up on the importance of the shape*.  My first patch, I stitched the warp threads in a rectangle along the length of the tear, and I used a single thread.  After finishing the patch, I thought it looked thin and a little flimsy.  The second patch, I stitched the warp threads in a square diamond shape over the tear and used double thread.  It came out much sturdier.

My first and second patches

Top left: The warp threads of my first patch.
Top right: The warp threads of my second patch.
Bottom: The completed patches (first patch on the left, second patch on the right).

On the remaining two tears, I used a piece of graph paper to mark the points where the warp threads needed secured in the denim in order to get a nice, symmetrical patch.

* The diamond shape is important because it secures the tear: it prevents the tear from being stretched open, which lengthens the tear, and it reinforces the ends of the tear.  This reduces the rate at which further damage will occur.  This isn’t a permanent solution, but it should increase the lifespan of the jeans by several months, and it can be redone as often as needed, so long as there is undamaged material to stitch the warp threads through.  I suspect I’ll have to replace the first patch with a symmetrical, diamond-shaped patch sooner than the other patches will need replaced.

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