Video: How To Distress Your Denim

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When it comes to denim, nothing beats that perfectly broken in, rugged and ripped pair of jeans that look like they’ve been lived in. But sometimes it’s hard to get them just right – especially if you’re trying to do it yourself. I know I’ve ruined a couple of pairs of jeans trying to cut holes in them that don’t look fake. We asked our senior designer for washed wovens (which includes denim) to show us how to get that perfectly distressed look!


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Other related posts: DIY: Update Your CutoffsDIY Studded Shorts

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I never understood why anyone would want to do this to their jeans..

Great DIY! I’ve always wanted to try this but didn’t know the best approach. All I need is a cheap pair of jeans to practice on. :)


thank you for this tutorial! this is so much easier than how i’ve done it before

I destroy my denim and make jeans into shorts all of the time. However, I have found that using a blade like that creates a look that is to precise and “intentional.” My tip:- cut off the pant leg at the VERY bottom, right against the seam, and use a fork!! Pull the strings away from the jean. It creates an INCREDIBLE frayed look that is fast and requires no washer!

Maggie Rose


Love the distressed denim look, although I am still loathe to take a razor to my jeans…I’ll practice with an old pair! How do you do the hair of the gorgeous model in the picture? I think my hair is of a similar texture so I’d be keen to see a tutorial on how to get the defined but natural looking waves.

perfectly broken in,This style I very like it! And dressing them up with a sexy top and heels for a night out! pls tell me how to get it.I want to have it!


Love it? How would you distress High waisted Jean shorts I cut from pants?


I meant Love it!!!!

we love it!!

DIY and more:


I love this vest so much!


Love this; thank you!
Would it work on jeans that have stretch?….like, 73% cotton, 25%polyester & 2% spandex?
I have some skinnies that need some destruction!

Alexandra J.

I just started finished ripping them and cutting everything… cant wait til i toss them in the washer!!!!!!


@autumn totally, i’ve already done it


After you have worn these several times and want to wash them, will they fray more each time you wash? I want to be able to wash them, but not have them be completely destroyed more and more!

Ron H

Bailey– In my experience, it will fray a little each washing depending on additional wear that occurs between washings that may add more damage. But it shouldn’t be much, especially if you wash them on a gentle cycle, and only run them through the dryer for perhaps 10 minutes at most until they’re damp dry, and then hang them to dry the rest of the way. (I throw mine over a shower rod or across the top of an open sliding shower door in the spare bathroom to dry.) The heat from the dryer is where the real damage gets… Read more »


Love this – can’t wait to do it to my boyfriend jeans this weekend.

Any idea what the song is playing at the end?


Mine usually does it the natural way. ;)


I love the distressed look and always wondered how to do it so thanks.

Alexandra J.

I tried doing this, and it honestly didn’t come out very well… I thought it would work, but was very disappointed. Oh well!

distressing the jeans is the new way of fasion now a days so try it because its makes the jeans look different


…I have destroyed sooo many jeans,but i have a pair,that barely fit,and I am gonna give them to the thrift store,or salvation army soon,so ID mind destroying them. gonna try it!! will post results after!!


The video is not working :(


Can I ask what jeans you are wearing in the first photo? The denim is gorgeous!


This video was very helpful! However, the videography made it very difficult to watch – it kept going in an out of focus which was really distracting :(


I have a pair of very long jeans and I am planning to destroy them as you showed in the video, but I need advice here: Can I trim the length just with a scissors and not sew them? or should I take them to the tailor to fix the hem first before destroy them?