Distressed denim is almost always in fashion, probably because beat up, broken in jeans are usually more comfortable than a brand new pair. But distressed denim
But distressed denim can also be incredibly expensive, and the factory process isn’t that healthy for its workers; when denim is being distressed on a large scale, it’s done with a sandblasting technique that can lead to a deadly lung disease.
Luckily, you can avoid all that and take things into your own hand since it’s actually pretty easy to distress your own jeans at home. Here’s how.
Start With Used Denim
Secondhand jeans that already have some life experience are going to be softer and more worn-in than brand new jeans, which in this case is a very good thing. It means less work for you in the distressing process. It’s really easy to come by used denim in any sort of thrift shop since they generally have a ton on hand.
You might have to spend some time searching, but when you do find the perfect pair they’re probably going to be super cheap.
Gather Your Supplies
To distress your own denim at home you will need the following: chalk or a fabric pencil to mark up the denim, some sharp stuff like scissors, rocks, and tweezers for the actual distressing, and a washing machine to finish up the process. You can really use anything sharp to do the distressing, so use your imagination and look around. You might already have all the tools that you could need right in your home, probably in your kitchen or the tool box.
Mark Your Distressing Zones
Once you’ve found the perfect pair of jeans and gathered your supplies, you’ll want to mark up on the jeans where you want the distressing to happen. You can distress at random if you want, but you’ll probably get a better result if you design with some intention. This is particularly true if you’re trying to create a nice rip over a kneecap or something. You might need to mark the jeans while you’re wearing them to make sure that the distressing flatters your body shape. You can always look at some professionally distressed denim for inspiration.
To actually distress the denim, all you have to do is rub the sharp stuff on them. How hard you have to do this will depend on the thickness of the denim. The thicker the denim is, the more of those strings it will have as well which makes it easier to distress without ripping all the way through if that’s a look that you like. You can use tools like tweezers or files to distress in small areas. Larger areas work well with a pumice stone, sandpaper, grater, etc.
After you’re done with the distressing phase, you’ll want to throw those jeans into the washing machine to prepare them to be worn. Washing and drying the denim will start to fray any holes and make the distressing look more authentic. Then, enjoy!