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Waxed jeans, also known as waterproof jeans, painted jeans, or black-coated jeans, are denim trousers coated with paint, beeswax, or a wax glaze to create a shiny finish. The jeans were introduced in 2007 and became a popular trend in many spring and summer 2008 collections offered by most designer labels and denim brands. The style can be replicated at home using acrylic paint or beeswax on an existing pair of jeans.
This variety of jeans starts out as a pair of raw denim jeans, which are coated in a thin layer of wax glaze called a cire. After the cire is applied to the fabric, the jeans get heat-pressed with a roller, allowing the denim to absorb the wax. The dried cire creates the stiff texture, the oily feel, and the gleaming finish that characterize the trend.
As the trend became popular among consumers and fashion critics, many denim brands started adding a waxy finish to classic-cut jeans for men and women. The shimmer from the original designs was toned down to make the waxed jeans suitable for casual occasions. Though many wear them to enjoy the trend itself, the jeans are also a popular alternative to leather pants because they share the same slick aesthetic. The difference is that these jeans are more affordable and allow skin to breathe easier.
Waxed jeans can be bought at various price points, from expensive designer labels to accessible high-street brands. Despite their availability, many people choose to create their own pair at home using an ordinary pair of denim jeans. One common way to accomplish the project is by painting jeans with a layer of acrylic paint. Since acrylic paint dries quickly, this is the fastest way to get a do-it-yourself pair, but it is important that the jeans come a size or two larger than the usual because the acrylic can make the fabric shrink, creating a tighter fit.
Another way to wax jeans is to use a mixture of beeswax and raw linseed oil. Caution must be exercised while using this method because the resulting mateiral is very flammable. Beeswax should be melted with linseed oil in a double-boiler, with turpentine added to the melted solution to thin it. The solution is then brushed onto the jeans with the mixture and left to dry with a heat gun so the fabric can absorb the wax.