Denim Weaving




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Do you have jeans that are too small, too big, too worn out, or jeans that you just don't like anymore lying somewhere in your closet?

Don't throw them away! Use this instructable to weave something new out of a useless pair of jeans (or three)!

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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

- 3 pairs of different-colored jeans

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Chalk or fabric marker

- Pins (a lot)

- Piece of cardboard or cork board big enough to hold you project

- Heat n Bond® or any other permanent fabric adhesive

- Piece of fabric big enough to cover your project (does not have to be something nice and new - I used an old pillow case)

- Iron

- Iron board

- Fabric weaving needle (or piece of sturdy plastic, utility knife, scissors, marker and ruler to make one yourself).

Step 2: Fabric Weaving Needle

Some craft stores sell fabric weaving needles, but apparently not mine. So, I decided to make one myself.

You will need a piece of sturdy plastic (I used a container from a cleaning product), a utility knife, scissors, a marker and a ruler. My "yarn" (in this situation, it is actually not yarn, but I will refer to it as such to simplify things) is going to be 1 inch wide, so I made a 7 1/2 inch long needle with a 1 inch eyelet. Simply cut it from plastic and you are ready to go!

Step 3: Making Denim "yarn"

Now let's make denim "yarn"!

Cut away hems of jeans, then cut along inner seams.

Mark a line every 1 inch along the hem (pic.3).

Incise fabric on marks.

Now just tear stripes along the jeans leg!

When you run into an obstacle (such as a pocket or seam) as shown in picture six, stop tearing and cut the stripe.

Some parts of the leftover denim will be triangular. You can make some more "yarn" using the same process as above with pieces that are more than 1 inch wide (pics. 8-10).

Step 4: "Yarn": Cleaned and Ironed

For my project I used 1 leg of each pair of jeans.

You will get stripes 1 inch wide in three different colors (don't mix them!).

This stripes will have a lot of loose threads. Clean them away with your hand.

Then iron them - this will make weaving process easier (the upper "yarn" on picture 5 is unironed, the lower one is complete).

Step 5: "Loom" Preparation-first Color

Lay a fabric adhesive of appropriate size onto a piece of cardboard. Note: place it paper side down and glue side facing you.

Now pin first color stripes to cardboard (pic.3).

Step 6: Weaving Second Color Fabric in to Base

Thread the weaving needle with a strip of the second color.

Begin by weaving it into the first color strips at a slight upward angle (approximately 30 degrees) beginning from the left side in the following pattern: over 1 strip, under 2 strips.

Then continue to weave. I found it easier to weave from the top right moving down to the left, but you may feel differently. Try out both ways and settle for the one that you find more convenient. The result must be exactly as shown on picture 6.

Step 7: Weaving Third Color Fabric

Take your third color and weave into work, starting from the right side and angling upwards, following the pattern: over 2 triangles, under 4 triangles. Check Pic 5 for schematic: black - 4 triangles, green - 2 triangles.

Step 8: Oops...

Check your work often! I completely missed one row... Can you spot it? :)

Step 9: Ironing

When you finished weaving take your work to the iron board. Do not unpin it yet!

Iron it, then remove pins and cardboard.

Step 10: Trimming and Ironing

Gently flip it over and trim excess fabric.

Remove paper layer of fabric adhesive and iron your piece of prepared fabric on top (it was the pillowcase for me).

Step 11: Finished Weaving

You are done weaving with denim "Yarn"!

I've got a piece 17 by 17 inches.

Step 12: Uses of Woven Denim

If you make a bigger piece, finish the edges and you get a nice floor rug.

You could weave different fabrics into your jeans or denim jacket.

You could trim it and put in in a frame as piece of art.

Or make a pillow from it! Cuddle up and enjoy!

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    23 Discussions


    6 months ago

    This is FABULOUS! I love using old jeans for projects - so much character in the fabric! If you want more inspiration on weaving - check out weftyneedle , SHE has the weaving needle you want! You did a great job with the materials you had on hand to make your own! :-)

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you very much for compliments and tips! I love working with denim - there are endless color shades and a constant supply of it.


    6 months ago

    Voted! Great idea and it looks lovely - thanks for sharing.

    1 reply
    Nancy JG

    6 months ago on Step 12

    Sorry to be a Grammar Nazi, but the past tense of weave is "woven," not weaved. Not critical to the project (which looks really interesting), but it diminishes the quality of the Instructable, IMO.

    2 replies
    TatianaO2Nancy JG

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you for pointing this out. It was a mistake on my part and English is not my native language. However, "weaved" is actually the past tense of "to weave". "Woven" is the past participle. In the current context, "woven" is the correct one though.

    Nancy JGTatianaO2

    Reply 6 months ago

    You are absolutely correct about the parts-of-speech assignment; however, "wove" is the generally accepted past-tense verb for weave.


    6 months ago

    This is so awesome! Do you think it could be used for clothing -like a skirt for instance- with the addition of stabilizer or something??

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you! Theoretically, it is possible, but if you made it out of jeans the clothing would be very heavy. You could try to use thinner jean fabric or a different fabric altogether. Maybe you could try making a part of a piece of clothing rather than a complete garment? I haven't made any clothing myself so I'm unsure how it will turn out.