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How to Distress Your Denim

Step 1

You need to pick the right Denim. This is because denim naturally becomes distressed with wear and tear. So the best denim to choose is pieces with a bit of wear in. This would make it easier and less time consuming as the denim will be softer. Therefore I would recommend you buy a new pair which will replace your old pair and it will provide back up just in case you don’t quite master it straight away.

Step 2

Put the jeans on and mark the area which you want to distress. The reason you put them on is that when the jean is lying flat you can imagine how it is going to look put when you put them on you are full of regret and have one less pair of jeans. So whilst you have them on using a pencil or washable pen mark the areas that you want to distress for a visual guideline.

Step 3

To get the best effect you need a solid surface. This need to be an item that you don’t mind getting damaged, something like a block of wood or if you don’t have anything then you can use a thick magazine just make sure you have read it. Place this under the area that you’re going to distress and away you go.

Step 4

Choose the right tool for the job! Sandpaper is the most popular option however it is the most time consuming option as well. So some other options are a shaving razor, cheese grater and scissors (similar items).

Step 5

Soften or add fraying to the denim. This would be best achieved by using sandpaper or a nail file. To get the quickest result and a large amount of frails you need to rub vertically, up towards the pocket, whilst pressing down hard! Never go downwards unless you have a spare 12 hours.

Step 6

Add holes if fraying just isn’t enough. You have two ways depending on the tools you have. You could either cut the hole using scissors but this leaves a clean cut so you then use tweezers to pull out the single thread of fibre to achieve the distressed look and then finish it off with sandpaper. Option two is use a serrated knife and with a saw action, produce a hole. Then finish of the look by using sandpaper on the edges of the hole.

Step 7

Wash the denim. Once the above steps have been completed, you need to wash them to increase the fraying so that people will be able to really notice. Also if you wanted to bleach the denim with a sponge the wash will allow it to get embedded in the fabric.

If you feel short of inspiration, take a look at some of our favourites below.

drink while you think

kesha drinking game

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roxanne drinking game

All images sourced from

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