If you don't want to wait the time it takes for your new jeans to get worn out, you can speed up the process and distress your denim yourself without spending much money at all.
Protect the other side of your jeans by inserting a solid surface into the pant leg that you want to distress. You can use an old ironing board, a block of wood, a piece of cardboard or some other surface that you don't mind damaging.
An easy way to distress your jeans is with a cheese grater. If your jeans are already old, you won't need to rub hard before you start to create the holes, tears and rips that you are aiming for. You can also use a knife or the blade of scissors, but we find that an ordinary handheld cheese grater works the best. The more vigorously you grate the fabric, the more visible the distressing will be.
Once you have created some holes and tears, you can make them look older by applying bleach. Use a sponge with a little bit of bleach or household cleaner. Rub around the edges of the holes for the most authentic distressing. Don't apply too much bleach -- and be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves.
To get that softly worn look on the knees, hemlines and pockets of your jeans, you just need a piece of coarse sandpaper. By rubbing sandpaper in these areas, you can gently fray denim to create a naturally-worn appearance. No one will even know you didn't pay the big bucks for a pair of designer distressed jeans. A nail file can also be useful to create fraying.
Use a seam ripper to loosen the stitching along the edge of one of the back pockets. Don't tear the pocket all the way off -- just remove a couple inches of one of the side seams.
To enhance the tearing and fraying that you have just created, you will need to wash your jeans. Wash them two or three times and then your distressed jeans will be ready to go.
Watch this video tutorial on how to create edgy, distressed jeans.
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