How To Waterproof Jeans

Jeans are versatile, rugged and hardwearing, however they are not waterproof.

While they may seem like the perfect outdoor garment they are not.

Sure, they are fine in warm weather but in cold, wet weather they can be lethal.

Jeans are not waterproof and they take a very long time to dry out.

Once wet they lose almost all their insulation properties, in harsh conditions wearing jeans can lead to hypothermia.

If you are very keen to wear jeans in all weather conditions then taking the time to waterproof them could potentially save your life!

Here are a few couple of ways you could waterproof your jeans:

Wax Them

Wax is a very effective waterproofing method that has been used for centuries.

wax your jeans to make them waterproof

To wax your jeans you will need:

  • A heat gun or hairdryer
  • Wax – something like Greenland wax

Make sure your jeans are have been washed and are completely dry before you start waxing them, then follow these steps:

1. Gently Heat The Jeans & Wax

Lightly warming both the wax and the jeans will make the application much easier.

Use your hairdryer to warm up the jeans on a medium warmth setting.

use a hairdryer to soften wax

Do the same with the wax for a few seconds prior to application, this will make it softer and make the application process far quicker.

2. Rub The Wax Onto The Jeans

Take the bar of wax and rub it across the jeans.

Depending on how abrasive the denim is you may need to apply more pressure to get a good coat on.

Providing the wax has been gently warmed prior to use it should be fairly easy to do without applying much pressure.

Wax a small area at a time, once you have covered 6 inches or so use your finger to rub the wax evenly into the denim.

3. Reheat It

Once you have finished waxing all of the fabric then take the hairdryer again and warm up the jeans rubbing the wax in again with your fingers to smooth out the wax and ensure that the application is even across the denim.

4. Give It Time To Cure

Once completed you then need to give your newly waxed jeans at least 24 hours for the wax to dry and cure.

Cure them somewhere which is warm and dry such as an airing cupboard.

Curing is the processes where the wax sets and binds with the denim.

5. After Care

Now your jeans are waxed, waterproofed and ready to wear.

To remain waterproof your jeans will need to be rewaxed, how often this need sto be done will depend on how frequently you wear and wash your jeans.

Typically once a year is recommended however pay close attention to how waterproof they are and if you notice any water leaking through then re-wax.

Be careful when washing your waxed jeans:

  • If possible you should hand wash them in cold water using a mild soap.
  • If you machine wash them then do not wash them with other clothes and ensure that it is a cold wash.

Add Waterproof Inner Lining

A less conventional method of waterproofing jeans is to add a waterproof lining inside them.

This means that the overall appearance of your jeans isn’t impacted at all (wax can slightly change the tone of your jeans) and, if you get soaked the outer denim layer will absorb water however the inner later will prevent your legs from getting wet and losing heat.

To add waterproof lining to your jeans you will need:

  • Jeans
  • Waterproof trousers
  • A waterproof sealant
  • Scissors
  • Needle & Thread

Then follow these steps:

1. Turn The Jeans Inside Out

Turn the jeans inside out, do the same with the waterproof trousers and pull them over the inside out jeans.

2. Cut The Waterproof Lining If Needed

With the lining over the jeans you will be able to see if the lining sizing needs adjusting at all.

If the lining leg is longer than then jean leg then use the scissors to cut it down so that it is slightly shorter than the jean leg.

3. Spray Waterproof Sealant On Seams

Take the waterproof trousers off the jeans and spray your waterproof sealant on every seam you can find.

Cheaper waterproof trousers often don’t use a proper sealant so doing this will help ensure that seans remain watertight for longer.

4. Sew Lining Into Jeans Waistband

Turn the waterproof trousers inside out again and put them back over the inside out jeans.

Take your needle and thread and stitch them into the jeans.

Stitch them in at the hem and the waistband of the jeans.

Use a thread which matches the colour of the jeans so that it is not visible.

5. Try Them Out

Now you’re ready to get soaked!

The denim of the jean will of course absorb water however it shouldn’t get through to your legs, this means that you will be far better insulated should you get caught in a rainstorm.

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