These tips are essential especially after adding a bit of weight from all the holiday food. Denim jeans are often sold as “dry denim,” meaning the person who buys the jeans will break down the rough, stiff nature of the thick denim through normal wear and tear. If you have recently gained some weight, you have had a growth spurt or you have noticed that your jeans are shrinking in the dryer, there are a few methods you can use to stretch the jeans about an inch (2.54 cm) to a comfortable width or length. It is not necessary to try both the spot and bath methods, but you may want to try both to see which works better with your jeans.
Method One of Three: Spray and pull
Identify the part of the jeans you want to stretch. The area in the seat, thighs and hips is the most common place that feels tight, and the place that’s easiest to stretch. You can also make your jeans a little longer by stretching them lengthwise.
If you want to stretch the waist or hips, identify a band across the front and back of the seat of the jeans that you will stretch. Choose the waistband or a lower spot, depending on what feels too tight.
If you want to stretch the jeans lengthwise along the inseam, choose a spot extending from the knee to the bottom of the jeans. Plan to stretch an area that doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear; for example, you wouldn’t want to stretch directly over a hole in the knee. Stretching areas that are already very thin may result in tears. Usually the areas near the calves or ankles are a good place to stretch the inseam.
Measure the jeans. Use a measuring tape to measure their length or width – depending on which way you want to stretch them – before you begin. Measure across the exact place you intend to stretch. This way you’ll be able to tell if the stretching technique worked by measuring them again when you’re finished.
Spray the jeans. Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water. Spray the areas that you want to stretch with plenty of water. Make sure the water seeps in to cover both the outside and inside of the denim.
Stand on the fabric. Place your jeans on the floor. If you’re stretching the waistband or seat of the jeans, stand on one side of the jeans with both feet on the same pocket. If you’re stretching the jeans lengthwise, stand on the dry part of the jeans just above the knee.
Pull the fabric. Keeping your feet in place, pick up the side of the fabric opposite to where you are standing. Pull the fabric firmly toward your body. You should be pulling the fabric in the direction you want it to stretch. Repeat this 10 times, then do the same on the opposite leg, or the opposite side of the waist band.
If you’re stretching the waistband, leave the jeans unbuttoned. Buttoning them before pulling the fabric can cause it to rip.
Don’t pull on the pockets or loops of the jeans. Pulling on these weaker areas can cause rips to occur.
Measure the jeans. Determine whether they have stretched at least an inch (2.54 cm) to make them more comfortable. If they have not, try another method.
Method Two of Three: Warm bath and stretch
Put your jeans on.
Run a bath with warm water.
Get into the water and let the water seep into the fabric. After about 15 minutes, you should feel it relax and loosen around you.
Tug the jeans. Pull on areas that you would like to loosen while you are in the bath, such as the waist band or inseam. Use your hands to keep stretching the fabric for about 10 minutes.
Drain the tub and allow yourself to drip dry a little. This will prevent you from splashing blue-tinted water all over the bathroom floor.
Do some exercises. Get out of the bathtub, place a towel on the floor and do some stretching exercises, such as squats, lunges and forward bends to loosen the seat of the pants. You could also do some yoga positions.
Relax and let the jeans dry. Lie on the towel and read a book, or go outside and air out in the backyard, while you allow the jeans to dry on your body for at least 30 minutes. As the jeans dry, they’ll conform to your body, stretching to fit your curves and bends.
Remove the jeans and allow them to finish air drying. Do not put your jeans in the clothes dryer, or they will shrink again.
Put the jeans on again when they are dry. Repeat your squats, lunges and other exercises for at least 5 minutes after putting them on, and they should get even looser.