Distressed Denim

So naturally you'll need a pair of jeans for this, as well as scissors, a pencil and decent tweezers (a pair with pointed edges will help). Decorative plants for are optional but always good for the #aesthetic since we know you'll be instagramming.

Start by marking the jeans where you intend to distress them. It's a lot easier to do this with them on. If you plan to cut at the knees make sure you're standing up when you mark them, otherwise the cuts will end up slightly off. Trust us on this one.


Next you're gonna start cutting. We wanted a fairly significant, frayed hole at the knee so we started by cutting a little horizontal opening, and then ripping (slowly! carefully!) across until we got it to the right width. Repeat about an inch underneath to create a strip of denim to work with.


If you look closely, you'll see that the denim is made up of horizontal threads and vertical threads. The horizontal ones are the the white threads usually left hanging on distressed denim. So to get that effect, we have to remove the vertical ones. 

There's no two ways around this: it's gonna take a while.

Start by pulling on them individually (this is where good tweezers will come in handy), and then once they start to loosen up you can pull out a bunch at a time. Some of the horizontal threads will probably rip while you're doing this, but that's ok - they're meant to be distressed, not perfect. The heavier your denim the rougher you can be without worrying about the horizontal threads ripping too much.


Next, we wanted to add a smaller distressed patch higher up on the leg. For this we made 4 parallel, horizontal cuts. They're about the same width, but again - we're not aiming for perfection here. Once you're done cutting, pull out the vertical threads just like you did with the knee.

And that's basically it! Cut, rip, pull, repeat until you're happy. It helps to keep trying them on throughout the process as it can be a little hard to judge when they're not actually on you. It's also probably best to err on the side of caution, because you can always make holes bigger but you can't really make them smaller if you overdo it.


So get to it! And be sure to tag @ShopSmokeAsh in all the ensuing Instagram photos so we can see what you end up with!