Did you know that all your jeans start off from a rigid raw denim fabric? The soft, lived-in and worn-out look did not come from a pair that’s seen a lifetime of wear but recreated through a series of industrial processes that you can recreate in your shop or garage.
If you’re comfortable with power tools, roll up your sleeves and try out these industry insider methods to come up with a pair of jeans unlike any other.
Add Texture and Interest on the Hems
Use a power grinder to wear down bits and parts of the hem of your jeans or jacket to create some subtle fraying after a few washes. Don’t worry about damaging the denim too much or too little. More significant damages will give your jeans an edgier look while smaller nicks will give some subtle character that improves after every wash.
Create a Three-Dimensional Fade Effect
Don’t wait for a lifetime of wear to result in that fade on the pant legs. Inflate a bladder inside each pant leg of your denim jeans, secure vertically and use a sandblaster to create that worn in faded look. Try not to overdo the blasting. A little goes a long way, after all, denim, rigid and strong as it may be, it is still a cotton woven fabric.
Simulate Front Panel Whiskers
Put on your jeans and sit down. Mark the raised folds on the front panel using chalk or any washable markers. This pattern is called whiskers – horizontal lines drawn out much like cat whiskers. Create a template on a flat surface of this pattern using a foam board. Raise the areas where you want your pattern to appear by sanding down and depressing the surrounding areas. Once the template is ready, insert it under the jeans and position it where you want your whiskers to appear. Use a handheld power sander over the raised areas to wear down the denim and reveal a whisker pattern.
If you’re handy in the shop or garage, try out this quick project and breathe new life to your boring denim fashion.