An Idea That I Hope Will Work–What Do You Think?

A week or two ago I ordered these black jeggings during an awesome sale. I loved them the moment I noticed the beautiful button detail on the side near the bottom of each leg.


I’ve never seen jeggings with a decorative button detail like this and I love it! (Jeggings with jewel button detail are available here on sale: Bejeweled Jeggings. All jeans and jeggings currently on sale can be found here: Jeans/Jeggings Sale.)


After they arrived, I wanted to give them a quick wash before I wore them but I was a bit worried about the buttons. I normally turn my jeans inside-out when washing them to help preserve the color a bit better, but I was worried about what the jewel buttons would do to the denim fabric, scrubbing up against it during the wash. Even if I didn’t turn them inside out, the buttons would still be rubbing against some part of the jeans during the wash process. Ummm, what to do?

How to Protect Decorative or Gemstone Buttons During Washing


I considered using these button covers that I use on all of my jeans/pants waist buttons to protect my shirts. They are great for regular buttons but can be a struggle to get on since they fit very snuggly. I compared the covers to the jewel buttons and realized very quickly that they were never going to fit over the jewel buttons–the jewel buttons are way too big for that. Even if I could have figured out a way to force them on over the top of the jewel buttons, they would probably have pulled out the little stones when I tried to remove them after washing the jeans. Regular button covers were definitely not going to work. (Button covers below are available here: Button Covers to Protect Shirts and Prevent Holes.)


I tried researching ways to protect buttons while washing clothes and saw a suggestion that mentioned covering them with velcro. It suggested cutting a slit in the velcro, placing the piece of velcro under the button (via the slit), then placing the other connecting velcro on top. That would create a little pocket that would hopefully encase and protect the button. Umm, I like that idea!

I decided to give that a try. A lot of the velcro I found online has adhesive on one side so you can mount it to a wall or some other surface. I definitely didn’t want velcro with adhesive on one side. After a bit of looking, I finally managed to find this velcro shown below that does not have an adhesive side. It comes in different widths and I went for the 2-inch wide size, thinking that should fully cover the button since the button is around 3/4 inch in size. Hopefully, the velcro pieces I cut to go over the buttons will be reusable, so I’ll save the pieces I cut to reuse each time I wash these pants. (This non-adhesive Velcro is available here: Non-Adhesive Velcro.)

Velcro for Sewing


The Velcro I ordered should be arriving today so I’ll let you know in a future post how this worked. Fortunately, these black jeans won’t need washing very often since they won’t show dirt easily. Also, they won’t be worn every day since I’m pretty much living these days in my super warm and favorite corduroy jeggings (currently on sale HERE) and my new bow-covered jeggings (on sale HERE).

What do you think? Do you think this idea will work for protecting the fabric of my black jeggings? Have you ever used this velcro idea over buttons when washing a garment? Love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. Hi Susan, You can also cover fancy buttons with a piece of aluminum foil.

    • Would that scrub up against the fabric during washing? Thanks, Dotti!

      • In addition, to reduce friction, you should still definitely turn them inside out.

      • Susan, It should not scrub up against the fabric because it is just a thin piece of foil wrapped tightly around the button. Not bunched up. I learned this from my father who was the owner/operator of a drycleaners for many years. His customers adored him for his ability to spot out stains and to handle fancy evening clothes.

  2. Talbot’s should have an answer for washing these jeggings or hand wash, ugh.

  3. Years ago when I was still working and getting most of my clothes regularly dry-cleaned, my dry cleaners covered my jeweled buttons on a jade green silk dress with aluminum foil (using at least two layers, maybe three), to cover the buttons. Also, when I am washing my clothing (not sheets) at home, I have always washed them on the delicate setting. They are not really dirty (as I’m not gardening or picking cotton in them!)

    • lol Exactly! Mine aren’t normally very dirty unless I’ve spilled something on them. I just wonder if aluminum works when the item is inside a washing machine, as opposed to dry cleaning.

  4. I would hand wash…just soak a little and rinse, not that hard really. Boy, we have all gotten so spoiled. You would likely not wear constantly and also they do not need to be washed every time you wear them. I have pants like this in black and denim but found them at Soft Surroundings a few years ago.

    • I wash a lot of my shirts by hand but I want these to go through a strong wash in the washing machine since they are heavily dyed, as most denim jeans are these days. So hand washing wouldn’t accomplish that goal.
      This is the hand wash detergent I use and have recommended in previous posts for shirts and delicates:
      And this is the hand wash detergent I always use (and have recommended in previous posts) when handwashing my wool sweaters:
      But I don’t want to hand wash jeans, especially the first few washes when the dye is still so strong.
      I’ll check out the Soft Surrounding jeans, thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Would Press and Seal work? Or plastic wrap with a rubber band? What about finger cots?

  6. Is there a question and answer area on the site where you purchased the pants? Review section? Why not wash by hand?

    • The reviews look good at the website, but noone mentioned washing them in the reviews. I may do that in the future but would love to put them through a good machine wash initially to remove some of the dye that most new jeans have. Thanks, Kathleen!

  7. Celeste Breen says

    I had button covers that were Velcro on one side and a soft thin foam for the other side. There was a slit in the Velcro part that went around the thread of the button and the soft foam piece covered the button and then stuck to the Velcro

    • Oh, that sounds perfect! Celeste, do you know what those are called or where I could possibly buy them? I would love to find those!

  8. Lois Doble says

    I worked at a dry cleaners. We covered jeweled buttons with aluminum foil. It worked very well. Lois

    • Lois, did that work for clothes that were being washed/laundered or was that just for those being dry cleaned? Thanks!

      • Both. We used it on sweater buttons.

        • I was thinking it would scrap against the fabric and be rough, but I guess if it was wrapped down really tight over the button, it wouldn’t snag against the fabric but would be smooth. I may just try that since I always have aluminum foil on hand. Thanks!

  9. Hmmm, I don’t know. I think it will protect your fabric but I’d be worried about the prolonged time of the buttons themselves being in water. That and the agitation could dislodge a stone. I think I would give them the initial wash to see what happens. And then after that only wash when absolutely filthy. Ha! BTW, they are very cute!

  10. I admit to being old-school. I would wash them by hand with Woolite Dark.

  11. Susan, here’s a link to buy the Velcro covers that dry cleaners use.
    I don’t believe that any covering will be enough to prevent those tiny stones from coming unglued, unfortunately. I had several cardigans with stone buttons from Talbots & was told the only way to prevent them from falling out was dry cleaning

    • Thanks for that link, MerriJo. Really, thanks for that info. I hadn’t thought about them falling out. I have some incredibly strong glue for gems but I doubt I’d find the little stone if it fell out in the wash. I may end up having to wash these by hand. I hate the way clothes feel and look after they’ve been drycleaned. I never dryclean anything, not even cashmere or wool sweaters.

    • Wow MerriJo – that’s a great link. They have all kinds of useful things I need for my laundry and sewing room. I’ve never heard of the velcro button covers, but am ordering some now! Plus they acid-free tissue in bulk.

      Susan – I have a Talbots blouse with similar buttons and I put it wrong-side out in a laundry bag and wash it on the hand-wash cycle. In my newish (but old style) top-load Maytag machine this cycle keeps the items laying on the bottom of the washer, nothing gets tumbled or stretched. The buttons have come through many washes fine. It’s a great cycle – even underwire bras come out perfect without being in laundry bags.

  12. What about dry cleaning the jeans instead? Since you won’t be wearing to often, this might save you some trouble. I do like some of the other suggestions of covering with foil but it may come off in the wash.

  13. Could you make the buttons removable for washing – sort of like a tuxedo shirt? I found a link in Threads magazine but you have to pay to see the content. You can find other links.

  14. After the buttons are covered, I would also place them in a larger lingerie bag to launder them. Those jeggings are awesome and I’d be heartbroken if I ruined them in the wash.

  15. I would remove the buttons (like they used to do long ago at the dry cleaners for shirts), wash the jeans as well as you need, air dry them, iron them, then sew the buttons on again. Only this once for a really good wash in the washer. Then, next time, just wash by hand, and don’t even get the button area wet, just in case they are delicate. Good luck!!

  16. Sara Grant says

    You could just put them in a large lingerie bag.

  17. I think I would be more concerned about the velcro snagging on the fabric that I would the buttons. Things like that I usually just put into a large lingerie bag and use the hand wash setting on my machine.

  18. Cyndi Raines says

    Well, they sure are cute and it sounds like you have already washed them. I was going to suggest wrapping them in saran wrap since you are nervous about the tin foil or removing them for the first washing to remove the dye and then sew them on again as another suggested. What did you finally decide to do? Hope all went well.

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