The jobs should take no more than a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the type of material and style you intend to use while hemming your jeans. Jeans hems may be completed in as little as 10 minutes by an experienced sewer. Creating a custom-fit pant that doesn't require any buttoning or zipping requires more time.
Hemming jeans is easy work for a sewing machine. The most difficult part of the job is deciding what length to make the hem. If you go too far, the pants will not fit properly. If you don't go far enough, the threads will show through the fabric later when the leg bends down. Most people prefer to err on the side of caution and make the hem about 1/4 inch longer than desired, just in case they want to wear the pants a second time before they get washed. This gives them some wiggle room if they decide they like the look of the faded jeans better than usual.
Once you have chosen a length, mark it with a pin or tape measure and cut along these marks. Be careful not to cut all the way through the denim; instead, only cut halfway so you can turn the hem right-side out without ruining the garment.
Now comes the fun part: putting a new finish on your old jeans! There are several ways to do this.
If you are not doing any dirty work, jeans can be worn for maybe 7 days or longer, providing you keep yourself clean. Jeans do need to be washed from time to time. I would recommend washing them at least once a month in a hot water wash with some gentle detergent.
Also, make sure to dry them properly. Air-drying is okay but they will look better if they are also put in the freezer for a few hours before putting them in the drawer.
Here are some tips for keeping your jeans looking new:
1. Wash them regularly. Washing your jeans regularly helps remove stains and dirt that may have gotten stuck in the fabric. Also, washing them less frequently (once a week vs. every 3 months) will help maintain their color over time.
2. Use cold water. Cold water washes are better for denim because it breaks down the pigment in the fiber, making it more transparent. Hot water can soften the denim, causing it to fade faster.
3. Use mild detergents. Using a heavy hand on the soap or fabric softener will leave your jeans feeling scratchy after they dry.
4. Avoid chlorine.
Denim fibers are dense and absorb a lot of color. This makes it difficult to remove the color while bleaching denim. The procedure should take 50 minutes if you use 1 part water and 1 part bleach. Higher concentrations increase the speed at which the process will work.
The best way to bleach jeans is in a washing machine with a fabric conditioner. Add some white vinegar to boost the cleaning power of the wash. Repeat this process until the color comes out of the jeans.
There are several types of dyes used in clothing manufacturing that can't be removed easily with conventional methods. These include acid dyes, basic dyes, disperse dyes, and direct dyes. Acid dyes are made from vat dyes that contain either sulfuric or hydrochloric acids. They require pretreatment with soda ash or sodium carbonate to soften the fiber before they can be washed away.
Basic dyes are colored with salts of basic colors such as magenta, cyan, yellow, and black. They need to be separated from acidic ingredients in the laundry detergent before they can be dissolved. Disperse dyes are used for coloring polyester fibers, and they can only be removed with strong oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide. Direct dyes are used for dyeing cellulose fibers like cotton.
If you intend to wash and dry these jeans later, do so before hemming. Some people dry clean them, but if you intend to wash your jeans with water, do so before hemming them. If you're going to put them in the dryer, put them in there as well. This is important because heat will cause the denim to shrink and therefore alter the fit of the garment.
Hemming jeans means cutting the bottom out of the leg opening. You can get different looks by varying the height of the hem you cut. At one end of the spectrum, a flat hem is completely straight down the side of the leg, while at the other end of the spectrum, a high-waisted jean would have hems that go almost to the crotch. Most people choose either a flat or a low-rise jean, depending on their preference for a dressy look vs. comfort. Of course, you can also combine the two types of hems if you'd like.
People usually say that you shouldn't wash clothes before hemming them because this will cause the fabric to shrink after washing. However, since most people don't wash their jeans until they've cut them up into pieces that can be put in the washer, this warning isn't very useful. If you decide to wash your jeans before hemming them, be sure to wash them in cold water and hang them to dry afterwards.