DIY Denim Distressing: Here’s How To Do It
We love a good recipe. But our favorite kind is less stirring and sautéing, more ripping and repairing. Yep, we’re talking denim distressing recipes, aka how to get that loved and lived-in look you want (and play denim designer at the same time). Below, you’ll find three of our tried-and-true denim distressing formulas, for right-now details like raw hems and artful tears. You’ll need: scissors, a seam ripper, a Dremel rotary tool (not as scary as it sounds, Google it), elbow grease and confidence. You got this.
IF YOU WANT: RAW HEMS
Mark your cut with a piece of chalk—it should be slightly longer than you anticipate wanting your seam length. You can always go shorter but you’ll never get back length.
Alternate cutting and tearing along your marked line.
Toss them in the wash—these require a spin cycle to get those perfectly imperfect hems you want.
IF YOU WANT: DISTRESSING THROUGHOUT
Use chalk to draw the shape of the hole you want.
Skim the surface of the jeans with a Dremel tool (found at hardware stores). Never used one? Start slowly (!) until you get the hang of it.
Continue running your tool over this area until you expose the natural yarns; if you want holes, tear these with your fingers.
Once you’ve finished, wash ’em. A trip through the washing machine will get those frayed edges to look authentically lived in (aka just the way you want them to look).
IF YOU WANT: DROPPED HEMS
Rip the hem stitch with a seam ripper. You might get lucky and release a thread that allows the whole hem to pull down, but if not, alternate between ripping the seam and pulling.
Once your hem has been released, run an iron over it a few times to help it lie flat.
Ready to get distressed (in the best possible way)? Shop our newest denim and find a pair that’s perfect for whatever your DIY heart desires.