How Do You Distress? DIY Vintage Denim Tips From 7 For All Mankind

By  April 12, 2013

Inspired by the Vintage 7 Collection, 7 For All Mankind gives us the DL on how to DIY your denim. Creating a perfect pair of distressed jeans is only a home style project away, but before you get started, keep in mind that destroyed denim should never be loud and overdone. Rather, the distressing should be thoughtfully placed and carefully designed, focusing on spots where jeans would naturally wear over time. The result? Your new favorite pair of pants, looking authentically worn in and like they’ve been loved for years.

1. Begin by anchoring down your jeans securely to the table where you’ll be working. Use something heavy, like a brick, to make sure the fabric stays taut and in place while you work on it.

2. Use a dremel sander power tool to create small holes and nicks on the top of the pockets and along the bottom hem. You can also use a pumice stone or nail file to create these subtle distress marks.

3. To get the worn through kneehole, first measure exactly where the abrasion will go by running a tape measure down the inseam of your jeans, starting from the rise to 11 1/2 inches down. This will be the center of the hole. Mark this point with a piece of chalk. Use the dremel to slowly scrape away at the top layer of the denim until the yarns underneath beginto show through. Fun fact, the top layer of the denim is called the “warp” and the under layer the “weft.”

4. Wash and dry the jeans to rid of the fuzz that the dremel has formed. This will also make the denim look more worn in as well.

5. Finally, it’s time to whisker. Start on the upper thigh area and make three small accordian style pleats. Keep them in place with binder clips. Mark the top of each fold with a piece of chalk to identify where you will be distressing. Then, sand away until the you’ve whiskered the denim to your desired shade.