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


  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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 done–heat weakens the thread structure and makes it susceptible to break and tear much more easily. My jeans last much longer and don’t shrink since I started hang-drying them.

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

    Any idea what the song is playing at the end?

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

  10. …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!!

  11. 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 :(

  12. 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?

  13. WOW!…that’s amazing!…can I send you my denim pants from Italy and you destroyed it for me???:-))). ;-)))

  14. This is a GREAT video-Thanks! I have seen other ways to do it but this is by far the easiest & the way I want my jeans to look. Love the sand paper look-Thanks a Mil

  15. To answer Angelique – i just distressed some jeans that were 99% cotton, 1% spandex and they came out just like this. I bet yours will too!

  16. Hola Abby,

    hope you remember me from Global Jeans in Acapulco, looks like you are doing great, it was nice to see you.

    Great job with that destroy jean!!!

    Carlos Garate

  17. Hot dressing is questionable. There is by all accounts a bounty of unwritten guidelines about how ladies can and ought to dress attractive, when we can do it, how frequently we can do it, and how we ought to look when we do. Extra unwritten principles touch upon how old we can be and still dress attractive, how much or little we can weigh and still dress provocative, what number of characteristics or capacities we can have that vary from the apparent standards and still dress hot, without any end in sight and on. It’s staggering and incensing and these rundowns linger so vast that large portions of us have selected right out. Hot dressing is excessively loaded, excessively dangerous, excessively weighed down with the potential for judgment and error to considerably trouble. Numerous ladies are simply not intrigued by the investigation – positive or negative – that accompanies provocative dressing.

  18. would love someone to show how to do this on stretch jeans–that have polyester or spandex in them. When I try to distress them, the little cross pieces that are left are stretchy and the blue color of the jean, not white. so, if someone has done this please tell me how to do this!

  19. This is how I became a distress master lol jk. I found this DIY Distress kit on Amazon
    And then went soul searching and collaborated ideas I’ve seen in quite a few blogs and this particular thread had some nifty ideas.hmmmm.. anyhoo gave it a shot, and it came out quite nice, looks organic! Shorts, shirts, jeans, I’m staying with the season, I even tried on some faux jean leggings (handle with more care)

  20. Ripped jeans are a chic always, specifically for fashionistas.Youth can be easily seen sporting them.I have even tried many kinds of distressed jeans.Today I strive to make one of my kind.Custom suits, tweed suits, and leather jackets are in demand too.

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