Realizing that one of your favorite jeans no longer fits has got to be one of the most annoying experiences. But not to worry, this condition is not permanent. You can stretch the jeans to increase their size.
In today’s article, we will look at how to stretch jeans like a pro. Arm yourself with this information, and your jeans problems will be a thing of the past.
Why is Stretching Jeans Important?
Below are some reasons why you need to stretch your jeans:
It Provides Extra Comfort
Stretching jeans increases their size by a certain degree and makes them more comfortable. When your jeans are too tight, especially in the knee and waist areas, it can make you uncomfortable and ruin your mood. Hence, the need for stretching.
Boosts Flexibility and Versatility
Stretched jeans are more flexible than unstretched ones. If you are wearing stretched jeans, you can easily bend, walk, or run in them. But I cannot say the same for unstretched jeans. Also, stretching jeans increases their versatility. You can wear your stretched jeans at home or to work, and even out on dates.
It Makes Them More Durable
Normally, jeans last longer than most fabric. But when you stretch them, you add a few more months to their lifespan. Here is the thing: denim materials are elastic, so stretching them will increase their sizes and reduce the possibility of sudden snaps. Also, reading and abiding by the instructions on the jeans label will increase the durability of your jeans.
How to Stretch Jeans: 5 Methods You Shouldn’t Sleep On
There are different methods of stretching jeans. But the ones discussed below are the most effective.
1. Spray with Warm Water and Pull
This is one of the most common stretching methods. Use this method if you want to obtain a maximum stretch. The items needed for this procedure include a spray bottle, water, and detergent or softener.
- Mix water and a small amount of detergent or softener in a spray bottle and shake vigorously.
- Dampen the jeans by spraying the water-detergent/softener mixture on them.
- Once the jeans are damp enough, place them on the floor, stand on them, and pull them with your hands.
- You can spray extra water on the jeans to make them softer.
- After stretching, dry them in the open air.
2. Use a Waistband Stretcher and Adjust Accordingly
A waistband stretcher is most suitable if you want to stretch only the waist of a pair of jeans. It is effective and has the exact working mechanism as a shoe stretcher. The only downside of this method is that you can not use it to stretch the whole jeans.
- Dampen the waist area with water and detergent or softener.
- Next, put the stretcher in place and turn the handle.
- Leave the stretcher to remain in that position for a few hours.
- This procedure increases the size of the Jean by 2 or 3 inches.
- Once you finish stretching, allow it to dry in the open air. Do not apply heat or toss it into the dryer.
3. Soak in Lukewarm Water and Wear
This procedure allows you to stretch your jeans while wearing them. Many prefer this method because it molds the jeans into perfect shape.
- Fill the bathtub with water and soak your jeans entirely in it for a few minutes.
- Once it is completely wet, take it out and wear them.
- Move around the house with the jeans on. Try bending over, squatting, or sitting. These movements help to loosen the threads of the wet jeans.
- After stretching the jeans, allow them to dry on you.
It is best to use this method in summer so the sun can quickly dry up the jeans. Not everyone would be comfortable in wet clothes for several hours.
4. Heat with a Hot Dryer and Stretch
Heating and drying are for moderate stretches. Unlike other methods, you don’t have to wet or soak the jeans in water.
- Spread the jeans nicely on the floor or your bed.
- Heat the area you want to stretch by holding a hair dryer over it. You should not hold the dryer too close to the jeans.
- Once the area gets hot enough, use both hands to stretch the jeans outwards.
- After stretching, wear the jeans and zip to see if it fits. If you try to zip and it doesn’t do a few squats to make them stretch further.
5. Do Some Exercise
This method is most suitable for slight stretches. Stretch any part of the jeans, the hips, thighs, waist, or butts. If the jeans you want to stretch are too small, combine this with the heating method.
- Put on the jeans and bottom them properly.
- Squat for a few minutes to stretch out the jeans. 3-5 minutes is acceptable, but the longer you squat, the more the jeans stretch.
- Sit, stand, and walk around to see if the jeans have stretched to your taste. If it hasn’t, you can try exercising more.
Here’s a great video that depicts how I squat to stretch my jeans:
How to Store Stretched Jeans
After stretching your jeans, you must store them properly to keep them stretched.
Fold Rather than Hang
Folding is one of the best ways to store jeans. It not only helps you keep them organized, but it saves space too. And the best thing about this method is that jeans hardly wrinkle, so you don’t have to worry about that.
To fold a pair of jeans, place them on a flat surface and smoothen all the rough edges with your hands. Next, fold it vertically once, and fold horizontally as much as possible until you can’t fold it anymore. Alternatively, you can roll it into a bundle and secure it with a band to ensure that the rolled bundle stays in place. Always fold from the hem and work your way up toward the waist.
Always fold or roll your jeans instead of hanging them. Hanging occupies more space and may introduce unpleasant lines on the jeans.
Stack in a Drawer
If you want your jeans to take up less space when folded, you can stack them up in a drawer. But before doing this, arrange the jeans using a filing method so they will look more organized.
To fold jeans this way, place them on a surface top and smoothen every wrinkle. Fold vertically once and horizontally twice or thrice until you get a rectangular shape. After folding, carefully arrange them in the drawer like you arrange files.
You can choose to arrange them by colors, styles, or sizes. This filing system lets you easily spot any Jean you want to wear without scattering the whole closet.
Ensure They’re Clean Before Storing
Although washing your jeans every day is unadvisable, you shouldn’t store them dirty either. Before you fold or box your jeans, make sure they are clean. If not, that one pair can pollute the entire drawer.
To keep your Jeans clean, always wash them after prolonged use or once you notice they have begun to smell. But if they are not so dirty, you can clean only the isolated stains and dry them with a hair dryer.
On a few occasions you have to wash your jeans, hand wash them. Not every Jean can withstand the washing machine’s rough rumbling and tumbling. But if you must use a washing machine, use it correctly. Always sort before washing and read labels to familiarize yourself with the maintenance requirements of each fabric.
Tips to Maintain Your Jeans’ Stretch
Don’t Wet Jeans on Towels or Carpets
For most stretching techniques, you are required to make the jeans damp before stretching. While trying to wet the fabric, always hold it out with one hand while you hold the spray bottle on the other hand. Never place the jeans on a towel when you want to wet it. Doing this might cause the towel to decolorize and ruin the color of your jeans.
Check the Care Label Before Washing
Checking care labels is a crucial maintenance step, and here is why.
Every fabric has its specific maintenance requirements. In other words, what is suitable for Jean A might not be ideal for Jean B. Checking the care label will provide adequate information on maintaining a pair of jeans.
Don’t Excessively Pull or Tug Your Jeans
We primarily stretch jeans to increase their sizes and make them fit better. But over-stretching will make them too big. Stretching should be done little by little. If you finish the first procedure, try them on before going over the procedure again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can one stretch a jeans’ waist permanently?
There are several methods of stretching jeans permanently. Some of them include the use of heat, waistband stretcher, foam roller, or pants extender. In most cases, you are expected to wet the jeans first with water or a jean softener before stretching. After stretching, allow them to dry.
How do you stretch a pair of jeans with conditioner?
To stretch a pair of jeans with conditioner,
- Add a cup of conditioner into a bucket of water and soak your jeans in it.
- After 30 minutes, take the jeans out and try stretching them with your hands.
- If soaking the jeans in a bucket of water is not conducive for you, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray until the jeans are soft enough to be stretched.
Does hot water stretch jeans?
YWhile hot water can initially make jeans more pliable, it may also cause them to shrink once they cool and dry. It’s generally best to use warm or cold water when trying to stretch jeans to avoid potential shrinkage. If you want the jeans to mold into your exact shape, consider wearing the jeans while they are damp and moving around in them until they dry.
Now that you know how to stretch jeans, you’ve realized that it’s not rocket science; it is as easy as every other laundry routine. However, it is not something you should handle carelessly. Instructions on stretching jeans might not be the same for every type of jeans. Therefore, it is important that you read the instructions labels first before handling them.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.