Jeans Fashion & Care : How to Make Distressed Jeans

Jeans Fashion & Care : How to Make Distressed Jeans

Hi, my name is Mitra Chester, and I’m at Deluxe
Resale Shop in Eugene, Oregon, and I’m going to show you some techniques you can do at
home that will accomplish different sorts of distress on your jeans. These are some
examples of both home-done and factory-done distressing techniques on denim. There is
the slashes with the frayed edges, some basically fade marks or snagging, there is patching
over a hole and under, there’s various types of creasing and whiskering, faded areas, and
fading and fraying along the edge of seams. So to accomplish these techniques the first
thing you need to do is put the jeans that you’re planning on doing this with on your
body and take a piece of chalk and mark the areas that you want to do them. So basically
if you want some whiskers you’re going to crease your pants at the natural whisker spot
and mark the edges. If you want slashes, mark the length and placement of the slash. Holes,
you want to mark the hole on your body so that once this is all finished it won’t look
really awkward and fake when you’re wearing them. Once you’ve done that, take the jeans
off, lay them on a flat surface. Some tools that you might need would be some fabric scissors,
maybe a bleach pen, an Exacto knife or pocket knife, and sandpaper or a pumice stone, and
then you take your jeans. The first effect we’ll explain is this kind of hole or slash.
To achieve the fraying on the edges, and basically to finalize any of these techniques, you are
going to want to wash and dry your jeans when you’re through applying these techniques.
So I have a pair here that on one side has the effect and on this side I’ve actually
done the thing. So this is a hole, so basically what I did was I marked a hole, you’re going
to cut within the perimeters of the hole with your fabric scissors, and then wash and dry
them and it will fray out to this original line. For slashes you’re going to basically
start a cut by pinching them, and you can either cut along, but again, keep within,
if you want your cut to ultimately be this big, you might want to cut it that much because
it will fray out a little bit. Now to achieve kind of this snagging or fading, you can use
an Exacto knife. If you apply the blade vertically, you’re going to just achieve kind of a…this
is what it’s going to look like once it’s washed and dried, just a kind of a fade spot.
You have a little bit more control when you’re using a knife or a blade than, say, if you’re
using sandpaper. If you’re wanting to go in a larger area, maybe on a knee or thigh, you
can use your sandpaper and basically scrape across the denim within the perimeters of
the area that you want to have faded. And once you do that for a while it will start
to remove certain areas of color, and again, you can kind of blend the edges to make it
look a little bit more natural. And once that’s washed, it will basically look like that.
So maybe for the whiskers, or any kind of lines that you might want to achieve down
the front of your jeans, you’ve marked them with chalk, you’re going to take your bleach
pen and basically trace along the chalk lines with the bleach pen. Some bleach pens need
to be activated with warm water, so you might spray it with warm water ahead of time or
just throw it directly in the washing machine afterwards. If you want a crease down the
front you can basically iron a crease equidistant between the two side hems, and once you’ve
done that you’re going to apply a bead of bleach pen to that seam. In order to achieve
kind of a fraying or a lightening along the edges of a seam, again you can use your Exacto
knife and scrape it along the edge. Here, let’s find a spot that’s still dark, scrape
it along the edge exposing some of the whites, reds, and also just kind of chopping it up,
and that’s basically what happens to your jeans after you wear them for a while on the
edges. And you can do that along the bottom or along the belt loops or the waistband.
And again, try to avoid any kind of ill-placement or overdoing of certain types of techniques
that can make it look a little bit fake which is where some of the factory-done distress
kind of falls short. Keep in mind, when you’re distressing your jeans, the distress is real
and they will wear as really distressed jeans, holes will spread and rip further, so if you
want to have a long life for your jeans you may take it easy with the holes and slashes
and that type of thing. But have fun experimenting and good luck!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. cool! i've always wanted to do my own ripped jeans. oh well. fell down a week ago and got myself a hole on my denim. guess i can use some of the methods to distress the hole even more so it'll look cooler 😎

  2. I did my original jeans and my friends loved how i did mine so now there making me do theres lol! I have a lot of busy time doing this!

  3. @brandy15o3 the fibres that run horizontally? basically i use the "slash" technique and use a pin to pull out the horizontal fibres from the interwoven vertical ones. and to make it seem more realistic, cut a few so you have some connecting and some just hanging there…. they do wear out at some point and its kinda tedious after some fibres but by god it looks pretty cool.
    hope that helped.

  4. Can you do a distress for claw marks on jeans? Those look really hot and I would like to learn how to do it..thanks.

  5. oh my gosh. i love youuu. first i was going to do what @brandy15o3 was talking about then i saw the slashes and they are cayyute 🙂

  6. @brandy15o3 the easiest way to do that, for me, is to use scissors (or exact-o knife) and cut a vertical line going left to right (since thats the way the white lines go) and one under it/ontop of it, and pick out the blue fabric.. Sorry if you dont understand, it's hard to explain.. lol.

  7. @brandy15o3 i've just found that they way to getting that lines is to rub slowly with a sandpaper or something like that, so you dont cut the fabric beneath.. hope it helps!

  8. she doesnt know wtf shes talking about
    cut them horizintally wiz a razor very lightly, or use sandpaper
    use sp for fraying, and razors for cuts, then wash and dry after

  9. @FreshDaKiidx how was i supposed to know whether i was gonna like the video without watching it? and theres a comment space to share my opinion, fuck off you hippie

  10. @brandy15o3 thats wuh i wanna know did u ever find a video on how to make thiese kind of distress on ur jeans where you can still see the fabric lines conecting

  11. This is just horrible…. just buy some raw, dry selvage denim jeans, wear them for at least 6months straight every day with no washing, then when u do wash them, you will have your very own personalized worn out pair of jeans. trust me, it is so worth the wait.

  12. @AkeelahCross lol,all people who are really into denim do it, plus you can alwasy air them out, but in the end they look 20 times better than fake holes and stuff

  13. she looks like sandra bullock…
    cool vid tho…i tried it with the scissor thing and they came out reallly good! thanks soo much!

  14. I don't know where else to post this, so I'll probably cut & paste and try to find someone who could help. If anyone here is a fan of Next Top Model,…tonight in Morocco, Miss J is wearing this really cool shirt. It looks like a jersey material, one piece, no seams, but the back gets pulled up to create a hood, and the front is this beautiful draping effect. Anyone seen these before? They're gorgeous, even if I have to make it.

  15. I tried to do this, with little snips in the jeans to leave just the white horizontal stripes, and I'm doing everything right, pulling the blue threads out. But if I want a hole in jeans, like over the knees, that means I have to make several of those little cuts. Where I make them, it's like I can't cut straight on a single thread, and my white shows but also has gaps where they were accidentally cut. How do I make the cuts wide & clean enough to avoid looking like I made four small cuts?

  16. she's the cool version of sandra bullock,look at her nose.nice video anyway,helpful in many ways 🙂

  17. @Merrida100 If you want a hole with white stuff take a blade and make a hole until you see the white stuff and take a cheese grinder thing and rub it on the whole

  18. How many times would you actually have to wash and dry them to where they're at least wear-able?

    please answer….anyone 😀

  19. Thanks for this video, I have lots of jeans that arnt as faded as I like so I dont wear them. The tip with using sandpaper to lighten up areas is so simple….once you know how! So glad I found out how to do this! 🙂

  20. friend i agree tht u need to shell out big bucks to buy a ready made branded distressed denim. But then that's how it is.Look at the end result.The denim doesn't look naturally distressed, it looks much like an effort put in to make it tht way.Its definitely not something most people with taste would want to wear.Its like buying a Honda and redoing it to make it look like a Ferrari.I really appreciate the effort taken to try out somethg new & I mean no offence, but fact remains it hasn't worked.

  21. No point debating MsxRiddle. Bottom line = Those who can afford to buy a diesel or any other brand distressed denim go buy it off the shelf. Those who can't, can sit at home and give it this effect. Each to their own. One can decide what category they fall under!!

  22. woah, she just ruined a perfectly good pair of jeans with fake distressing. any distressing on a jean should be from your own wear and tear over time. not with a pair of scissors and sandpaper.
    look, don't listen to this lady, buy your jeans dark blue or black, with no fading and wear them daily. don't wash them for about 6 months. if they smell put em in the freezer for a day, or spray em with febreeze. if you do this right then after 6 months you will have a beautiful faded pair of jeans.

  23. Nice video, I tried using a wire brush to soften my jeans and fade them out a little, kinda like your exacto knife, but on a broader scale. Plus, it's easy to brush in different directions and brush the inside of the pant leg for a softer feel.

  24. "don't wash them for about 6 months"

    U wot m8? I work in a 100°F factory. Wearing them for 6 months without washing would be disgusting. And the aforementioned factory work doesn't even get the amount of distress I'd like. I agree that natural distress looks great, but sometimes you want that look without having to wait that long. I don't go through many pairs of jeans anyway so it's whatever for me. Anyway, different strokes for different folks.

  25. One of the jeans you have I have holes with string through them . I baught them like that and I put them in the laundry with hot water and I took it out and my strings were all wrinkle how do I make them un wrinkle help!

  26. Not sure who posted it, but she said why spend $40 on a pair of distressed jeans when you could buy them for half that and do the work yourself.  $40 for jeans?  What rock are you crawling out from under?  Have you ever heard of Deisel, True Religion, Dsquared2, Hudson.  You can easily spend $450 on a pair of distressed jeans.  Buy a pair of $150 Diesel's on Ebay – and distress away.  You'll save hundreds of dollars.   I have about 20 pair of jeans- they are the man's version of collecting hand bags.  And they are an expression of my personality, my mood and my sense of style.  You can let your creativity flow and save thousands of dollars.

  27. this video is so much more useful than other videos, creative with many great ideas! prefer this much more to the other method simply pinching out the blue threads…

  28. so it turns out my doughter spilled out the bleech and desided it would be a good idea to clean it out with a pair of old socks witch she placed on the dinning room chair where i sit, so you can imagine what happened to my favorite levis jeans, what can i do to fix'em pleaase?!!! by the way i love your style, and your confidence in camara,props way up.

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