How to Create a Pattern on Jeans

comments (2) November 12th, 2016     

Pin It

SLMiller Stephani Miller, associate editor
Love it! 6 users recommend
Create a design on your favorite jeans.
Choose a denim garment carefully. All-cotton fabric is ideal, but cotton blended with some polyester or Spandex content wont negatively affect the outcome
For high contrast, try dark-colored denim and plain discharge paste or pastel deColourant Plus, or light-wash denim and neon- or primary-colored deColourant Plus.
Create a design on your favorite jeans.

Create a design on your favorite jeans.

Photo: Jack Deutsch
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 > View all

This article was originally featured in the Sewstylish Spring 2014 issue. The dragonfly template seen in the article can be printed here.

Reverse printing and color printing are fun, easy ways to spruce up an old pair of jeans. Try patterns that are whimsical, tribal, geometric, or naturalistic. Place them all over or in just a few spots, such as along a side seam or on the back pockets. You can add printed designs to your denim jeans, skirts, and jackets with very little e ort and a lot of creativity.

All you need are paintbrushes, stencils, or stamps, and a discharge paste such as deColourant or deColourant Plus. When applied to fabric, plain discharge paste removes color from the fibers it touches, creating a unique reverse- printed surface pattern in a paler shade of the fabric's dyed color. Colored discharge paste, such as deColourant Plus, works in one step by exchanging the fabric's dyed color for another color carried in the solution-anything from pastel to neon to metallic.

Why not just use bleach to remove fabric color and create a reverse-print design? Bleach damages and eventually degrades fibers, but discharge paste does not. You could also use fabric paints to create a colorful printed design, but paint sits on the fabric surface and eventually cracks or peels with wear and washing. Colored discharge paste soaks into the fibers and replaces the original color with a new color.


Add or Remove Color

Choose a denim garment carefully. All-cotton fabric is ideal, but cotton blended with some polyester or Spandex content won't negatively affect the outcome. Get creative with your printed design. Cover the jeans' entire surface with printed motifs, or limit the design to a smaller area.

Before using discharge paste on the jeans, make test samples on several swatches of scrap denim in the same color as the jeans. Heat-activate each sample to see the finished results.

1 Prepare the jeans. Slip the jeans onto pant stretchers, if desired, to keep the fabric taut as you work. Cut cardboard or poster board into pieces small enough to fit inside the jeans' legs. Slip the cardboard inside the leg you are working on. This prevents the discharge paste from seeping through the top layer and affecting the bottom layer.


Choose Your Tools

Apply discharge paste
(; just as you
would apply fabric paints.
You can use:
• Foam applicator
• Paintbrush
• Squeeze bottle
with applicator tip
• Stamp
• Stencil
You'll also need:
• 1⁄4 yard denim fabric
(same color as the denim
• Cardboard or poster board
• Iron
• Jeans or other denim
• Work surface
• Pant stretchers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 > View all
Did you make this?
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
posted in: , SewStylish, jeans

Comments (2)

Margaret67 writes: This will absolutely change my wardrobe. I have 2 pair of jeans I didn't wear!
Posted: 6:36 am on November 23rd
hashim786 writes: please tell me from where can I purchase decolourant and decolourant plus in kolkata/india

Posted: 2:32 pm on February 17th
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.