The word Distressed has two meanings. One of them is going through extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain, and the other is intentionally treating your cloth to give them a vintage look.
Distressed Jeans are a style of denim where the jeans are treated chemically to give a worn-out old look. During the era of heavy metal and industrial growth in the late 1980s, this style of distressed jeans was made popular. After that, the punk culture again revived the fashion of distressed denim during the 1990s and 2000s with the modernization and combination of distressed jeans with ribs.
What is Distressed denim?
The distressed jeans are intentionally damaged to give an aged, worn-out, and vintage look. They are ripped from knees, thighs, front of the calf, back pockets, etc., to add to the vintage look. A pair of distressed jeans can be mechanically manufactured or can be easily created at home. What needs to be done is treating the fabric with bleach to get the faded color that gives a pair of jeans an aged look. There are a variety of jeans and styles available or can be created for both men and women.
By distressing jeans, it means eroding the fabric of your jeans with chemical, bleach, or by applying friction to give an aged look. Many times, to highlight the look of old jeans, only some parts of the legs and seats are faded to a lighter color. Distress jeans top the trending list these days, and many actors and actresses adore the look.
6 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Pair of Distressed jeans
Rather than breaking your bank balance to get a pair of distressed denim, you can create your own worn-out jean look at your home using some of the basic tools that are easily available. These are few methods that will rejuvenate your old pair of jeans to a new fashionable and trendy look.
Tips before you start distressing your pant leg
Here are few tips you can do before you start cutting or distressing your jeans:-
- Always put on your jeans before you start to distress them. Then, you can easily mark the part and forecast the look you want to have if you are wearing it.
- Do not forget to use a washable marker or chalk to mark the areas you want to rib. Generally, the preferred area to mark and rib a pair of jeans is the knees, over the front and back pockets, and the upper thigh.
- Do not distress your denim jeans while wearing them. This will eventually lead you to hurt yourself. Instead, always place your jeans on the flat surface to work effectively further.
- It is highly recommended that you put thick cardboard inside the jeans just under the area you will work on. Cardboard will ensure a smooth cut and prevent you from accidentally rib the other side of the jeans.
Here are some of the easy ways if you want to distress your jeans:-
1. Distressing With Tweezers
Tweezers can be the best equipment to be used to distress your jeans among other tools available. With tweezers, you can manually pull out the strings and threads to create frayed jeans. Then, cut the horizontal strips as long as you want the hole to be, around half an inch apart.
Mostly in all denim jeans, there are mainly two threads involved i.e. blue threads and white threads. Blue threads run vertically, and the white threads run horizontally all across the jeans. So you will have to look carefully for the blue thread in the jeans and then start pulling them out with the help of tweezers to create a horizontal white thread look.
Tweezers can help to save a lot of your money which would have been spent on white threads rip in stores.
2. Distressed Denim With Scissors
It is one of the easiest and the most used methods to give your jeans a new look. All you need to do is find a perfect spot where you want your jeans to be ribbed. A super-sharp scissors or an X-Acto knife, or a box cutter with sharp edges is highly recommended for a clean and natural cut. But, first, draw a line where you want your jeans to be ribbed.
Next, cut tiny holes at the end with your scissors or box cutter along the line drawn. Then pull them apart using your hand to give them a natural look.
After it is done, you can take your scissors or box cutter to scrape the area you want your rips to be horizontal. This will give a frayed and distressed look to your jeans.
3. Cheese Grater Distress
To give a classic distressed look to your pair of old jeans, the cheese grater technique is the best fit. First, cut a few parallel lines in your denim, and then start by rubbing the surface of your parallel lines using a grater to give the fabric a natural frayed look.
If your jeans are already old, then this process won’t take much time to display results. However, you will see the better results of the grater and friction created once your denim goes in for multiple washes.
Well, now you know the multiple usages of your cheese grater, so grab a pair of old jeans and start to distress your jeans, which you can wear and flaunt.
4. Sandpaper Distressed Denim
This hack is for those who want the feel of old jeans in a pair of new ones. Rubbing off sandpaper in your denim jeans will soften the fabric and give you the warmth and comfort of old jeans.
However, the coarseness of the sandpaper will weaken the threads of the jeans, making them easy to distress. Advisable is 30 – 60 grit sandpaper to soften the top layer of threads. In addition, sandpaper loosens the fabric and makes them easier to rib.
5. Razor Ripped Jeans look.
You can skillfully use razor blades to make slits in the area you want to distress. Make your first slit using a razor at the bottom of your hole and then carefully move upward by adding horizontal slits at a distance of about half an inch to reach the top of the hole.
Using a razor is the easiest way to fray the pockets, waistband area, and zipper area of the jeans. The beauty of this method is that this has multiple advantages. First, it gives your jeans a worn-out look while sharping your razor.
6. Bleach to distress your jeans
By bleaching your jeans, you can get a fade to look in your new pair of jeans without going through multiple washes. In addition, bleaching lightens the color of the denim, making it less intense.
You can bleach only in few spots like the ankles, knees, and thigh area, or you can bleach the whole jeans according to your desire. You can mix bleach and water in the ratio of 1:1 to get the desired fade look.
For smaller bleach spots, use the solution and spray it over the jeans and let it sit overnight to really lighten the areas. Bleach adds color variation to your jeans and gives them a frayed look.
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How to maintain Distressed Jeans?
To keep ripped jeans in good condition for a longer time, one needs to pay keen attention to them in daily use and wash as the set of distressed jeans is more delicate than regular jeans.
We need to understand how to maintain our ripped jeans with care to prevent them from ripping them beyond the purposeful rips. To achieve the results all we need to do is follow some of the basic steps which include:
Daily care routine
When you put on the jeans
It would help if you were extra careful while putting on your ribbed jeans as this is when you can lose all your efforts to make them at once. Be cautious that your jeans do not get stuck in your feet or toes while wearing them. Avoid putting on your jeans with your shoes on.
Treat your ripped jeans with care
While wearing ripped jeans, be careful that any of your accessories do not get stuck in them as they can create unwanted strips. Also, while sitting under the desk or table, be aware of its surface as sometimes items under desks can catch on the cloth.
Plan your day for ripped jeans
Wear your distressed jeans only on the days of casual meet and parties. Avoid wearing it on the days where you are expected to stretch a lot. For example, please do not wear it during your sports sessions or gym classes to stretch a lot.
How to Wash Ripped Jeans?
Frequency of washing
Repetitive wash can destroy the ribs made. So carefully decide whether the jeans really need to be washed or airing out by hanging can do the job. Jeans are manufactured to be washed infrequently, so use this as your advantage to keep your new ripped jeans intact.
Mode of washing
Using a Washing Machine
If using the washing machine, then use the gentlest cycle available. Wash it using cold water. Do not forget to turn them inside out to protect distressed areas and prevent further fading out.
Take the jeans out of your washing machine as soon as the cycle has ended and after that, hang them out to dry. The safest way available is to clip the ribbed portion of your jeans using a sock clip before throwing your jeans into the machine to prevent them from losing their fashion. Most distressed jeans should retain their rips without losing their shape.
Washing using hands
If possible, the safest way to wash your jeans is with your hands. Always use the mild laundry detergent and, with gentle hands to wash it. Do not scrub or rub your jeans as that can destroy the rip produced. Do ensure that you are not wearing any hand accessories to get stuck in rips during the process.
To sum up on- how to distress jeans
The most trending and fashionable look going on these days for casual looks is with distressed bottoms. Distressed jeans are types of denim that are treated intentionally to give them more of a vintage and old fray look. Distressed jeans give a great cool look but simultaneously can eat away half of your pockets if you shop in stores. However, you can create one of the distressed trousers all on your own and wear them to save your hard-earned money with some easy process.
Just distressing your jeans is not enough if you do not maintain them. All of you should take proper care of the newly formed rips while wearing and washing them, not to extend the intentional rips formed.