Fraying Jeans: How to Do It? Update 06/2022

For example, you may have a hard time finding a pair of denim pants that aren’t overly long or that have more holes than denim in them. Frayed jeans can be readily achieved at home with a few simple tools in a casual, mod style. A pair of scissors or even a cheese grater will do the trick to fray your jeans.

For a delicately frayed effect, use scissors and rip holes in the denim, or place the jeans in the washing machine after they’ve been ripped with them. A cheese grater, razor, or sandpaper can be used to create a frayed effect on denim. Plumping out threads with tweezers is another an option for a controlled fray.

You’ll discover nine straightforward methods for fraying jeans in this post. Stretch jeans and other specialty denims are no match for the techniques you’ll learn here. In the end, you’ll learn how to turn frayed jeans into a fashion statement!

How to Fray Jeans

What Are Frayed Jeans?

In frayed jeans, there are places where the denim strands have come undone or have been rubbed raw. Frayed hems with dangling threads are still trendy. Legs with ragged rips and worn knees are in style.

As a fan of denim-clad jeans, you may find yourself squinting at this new fashion trend that seems to be taking over the fashion world. According to the latest fashion trends and trends, frayed jeans have been a constant presence since the 70s!

As a result of the 1970s punk rock music movement, which first popularized the ripped jeans trend, the aesthetic has evolved over time. Ripped jeans were a key part of the anti-establishment grunge movement of the 1990s. This fashion style, however, swiftly caught on with teenagers and celebrities around the world, and by early 2000s, it had become a worldwide phenomenon.

Frayed denim fashions have evolved over the past few decades. Frayed hems and ripped-and-slashed knees remain hot trends. Jeans with faded-looking spots on the thighs and knees can be found in less distressed styles. Then there’s the upper leg slash style, which leaves almost as much air in the jeans as the fabric itself!

Fashion retailers like Target and Belk carry frayed jeans, as do several well-known jean labels. Even if you don’t want to shell out extra cash for holes in your jeans, you can easily learn how to fray your own pants!

How to Fray Jeans: 10 Methods

What Are Frayed Jeans

Some of the simplest and fastest ways to fray jeans are to tear, grate, and distress them using sandpaper, all of which can be done at home.

A inexpensive pair of jeans from your local Goodwill may be a good place to start your fraying practice before tackling your favorite pair of luxury jeans. These strategies don’t necessitate any specific training, but the more you use them, the better you get!

Additionally, the type of denim in your jeans is an important consideration for the greatest results. Denim in classic blue and white looks great when the white threads are pulled out to give it a characteristic ragged edge. Since the elastic fibers in the thread curl up and create poofy edges where the jeans have been ripped, slashed, or torn, stretch denim does not respond well to many of these procedures.

Before deciding on a technique, think about the aesthetic you’re going for: distressed or frayed? With that in mind, do you want to add some fraying around the ankle of your jeans to make them shorter? Slim-fit or thin jeans can make a statement with slashes along the length of the legs.

If you already have an idea of the look you’re going for, you can use any of the ways described below to achieve it.

1. By Hand

The iconic gaping knee effect can be achieved by ripping holes in the knees of your pants. Jeans’ wider holes are most commonly found at the knee, although this method can be used to other parts of the leg if you desire larger holes.

While this style is most commonly seen in loose-fitting pants like boyfriend jeans, you can also experiment with thin or slim jeans if you want!

  1. First, put on your pants and bend your knees so that the fabric at your knee folds inward. Make a mark over the front of the knee with chalk or a pen. Keep in mind that your kneecap could catch on the line if you mark it too high up on your knee, making it difficult to sit down while wearing these pants!
  2. Use a pair of scissors to cut a small hole at the beginning of your chalk line while you’re undressed.
  3. Use your fingers to rip the hole open as far as possible along the line. When the kneecap is ripped or torn, a huge, ragged hole is left behind.
  4. See the “at the knee” portion below if you prefer a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing cut.
  5. It’s easy to get a good frayed edge around the hole by using your fingers to remove some vertical threads and teasing out the ragged white ends that are left in place.
  6. Make a circle of tiny hand stitches just inside the frayed edge to protect it from unraveling further, and you’ll have a stronger denim that will last longer.

2. With a Cheese Grater

If you put some effort into it, a cheese grater from your kitchen drawer will quickly tear pants!

One of the quickest and easiest ways to distress or fray jeans is with a cheese grater. Because it’s so easy to overdo the grating motion and wind up with more holes than you intended, it’s recommended that you practice on a pair of throwaway jeans first.

  1. You should always begin by noting the places where you intend to fray. Destroyed patches or holes can be found at various places on the thigh, such as in front of a knee or towards the shin. On these areas, a washable fabric marker or chalk can be used.
  2. The next step is to insert a barrier behind the designated area inside your jeans. It’s possible to make this out of a folded magazine or a piece of cardboard.
  3. You can use a cheese grater from the kitchen to grate vertically over the area you’ve designated with a piece of paper.
  4. Check for fraying after every few up-and-down motions. Some of the weave’s top threads should begin to unravel very rapidly.
  5. A rubbed look can be achieved by stopping short of creating a hole that goes all the way through the denim.
  6. The more denim you remove, the more horizontal threads you’ll have in your hole.
  7. You have a few options for finishing the hole once you’ve grated it to your desired depth. Remove the remaining vertical threads with your fingers or tweezers, leaving the horizontal threads stretched over the hole. Alternatively, you can use sandpaper to create a tattered white edge around the hole.

3. With a Razor

A disposable razor can also be used to create a frayed look in your denim jeans. A bit more time and patience is required to use this method, but it also provides greater control and precision.

  1. Before you start fraying, like always, choose a region on the body where you want to cut yourself. If you want to achieve a truly frayed, faded look on little locations like zippers or the tops of pockets, try this method.
  2. To further prevent fraying, place padding behind the area you intend to work on. Anything that will fit inside your jeans works, even a crumpled up newspaper or a crushed cereal box.
  3. Get a cheap, disposable razor and use it to scuff up the fabric. At first, you softly scrape to gauge the razorblade’s impact on the denim. Repeat this motion until you achieve the desired fraying effect.
  4. To make a frayed hole, lightly scrape the desired location, then press down harder as you go closer to the center. It’s also possible to use small, delicate scraping strokes to penetrate the denim.

Using razor blades or sandpaper on the denim’s surface will soften and smooth it down even further.

4. With Tweezers

If you use tweezers to remove threads from the cut edge of your jeans, you may achieve a perfectly styled tattered look. Aside from accurate fraying at the bottom of your jeans, you may use this approach to make frayed holes wherever on your pants, from the ankle to the front pockets!

  1. Once you’ve settled on a location, cut a clean swath through the denim using a pair of sharp scissors. If you want multiple frayed slices up the leg, you can either make a clean horizontal cut across the leg or a small snip. However, be careful not to cut through the jeans’ side seams!
  2. Tweezers can be used to remove threads that have been clipped from the edge of a slice or snipped piece. This will give the hole or slice a delicate, white edge.
  3. Using tweezers, carefully remove the vertical threads from an area of the jeans to create a larger ragged hole with retaining artistic horizontal threads. Snip the vertical threads loose as you work with a pair of tiny embroidery scissors.
  4. Instead of focusing on the vertical threads, pull threads loose from all over the patch to create a fuzzy mat with threads popping out all over.

5. With Sandpaper

Using sandpaper, you can get any level of distressing on your jeans, from a small white spot to a large hole torn through the fabric. Fine-grit sandpaper can be used for subtle distressing. Sanding blocks from your local hardware shop are an easy-to-grasp tool for filling in larger holes with sandpaper.

  1. You must first choose which areas of the jeans you want to fray before you begin sanding. Most people do this on their pockets, knees, and thighs’ front edges.
  2. To be safe, insert a piece of cardboard or cardstock behind the fraying location in the denim leg. This will protect the rear of your leg from injury while you’re working.
  3. Be quick with your movements as you go over the regions you’ve chosen. Keep an eye on the threads as you work with sandpaper because they wear away quickly.
  4. If you want a more authentically worn look, lightly sand the denim until you see some white showing through the blue. In the long run, the jeans will gradually fade and fray if you keep this light distressing in place.
  5. Keep sanding until you see the main vertical and horizontal threads if you want true holes in the denim. It’s up to you whether or not you want to snip some of the vertical threads and pull them out, or sand right through to create a larger hole!

6. In Wash

Several methods exist for achieving a frayed look in your jeans after they’ve been washed.

  • When you wash your jeans, they will fade and soften a little bit each time they are washed. Due to continual agitation, the cotton fibers in denim are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. A natural frayed hole or edge on your jeans may be simply achieved by starting with a small hole and then washing the pants to allow water take over.
  • This is a common method of fraying jeans by using a washing machine to apply bleach to the edges of holes and the hems, making the bleached area stand out more. Wash the jeans right away after bleaching them to stop the bleaching process from eating into the denim too much.
  • Finally, using a seam ripper to cut through a few stitches at the seams will give your jeans’ hems and pockets a natural-looking frayed edge. When you wash the jeans, the friction in the machine will abrade the picked-out seam, resulting in a ragged patch! Washing jeans

7. At the Ankle

Fraying your jeans around the ankle is the most common spot to do so! Some people prefer to use the sandpaper technique, but this method is the fastest and most accurate. You’ll also need many instruments, including tweezers and scissors.

  1. To begin, take measurements of the length of the legs of your jeans.
  2. Mark this line with a measuring tape and chalk on the hem’s outer edge.
  3. In order to achieve a high-low hem, be sure to measure the rear of your jean leg just below where you would like it to be on the front. When measuring the rear of the leg, you can start measuring one inch above the hem, and then go up 1.5 inches to get the measurement for the front of the leg.
  4. Using a pair of scissors with a sharp blade, follow the lines you drew on the paper.
  5. Stitching on both sides of the garment can be removed with a seam ripper, so proceed with caution. About half an inch above the newly cut hem, remove the stitches. If you prefer a thicker ragged edge, you can choose out 1 inch or more.
  6. Depending on how deep you want your frayed edge, cut a small horizontal slit down the middle of the leg, about half an inch from the new hem.
  7. Use tweezers to remove some vertical threads if you want a ragged edge or simply pluck and pull the loose threads to produce a distressed hem with the fabric.
  8. After you’ve finished tweezing the frayed edge of your jeans, run them through the washing machine to soften and fluff them up.

8. The Edges

The belt loops, pockets, inseams, and knees of jeans naturally wear out with time. It is possible to achieve a natural look at the hems of jeans by following the instructions in this article.

  • Try using a razor blade to fray belt loops, zippers, and the edges of pockets. A naturally distressed effect can be achieved by carefully abrading the smaller areas.
  • Try using a seam ripper to fray the hem’s edge! The part under “how to fray the bottom of jeans” later in this text provides step-by-step directions for this.
  • Sandpaper is the quickest and easiest way to fray the side seams or the pant leg edges. As a rule of thumb, don’t cut through the side seams of your jeans.

9. At the Knee

Exacto or craft knife slicing through the denim is another classic at-the-knee fraying technique.

  1. The knee of your jeans is a good place to start. Observe how the denim folds at your knee bend when you put them on.
  2. Make a note of it in chalk. Take the jeans off and use a ruler to draw additional lines above and below your original chalk markings to find the knee. Rather than drawing these lines vertically across the knee, you should draw them horizontally.
  3. Placing the thick cardboard beneath your chalk markings is next. Cutting into your work table or the back of the jean leg is not something you want to happen, so make sure you have this buffer handy.
  4. Using a very sharp knife, cut over your chalk lines. The denim should be slashed neatly as a result.
  5. It’s possible to achieve a rough edge by using either sandpaper or your fingertips to loosen up any loose threads that may have been caught in the cuts.

10. How to Fray Stretch Jeans

Following a few simple procedures will allow you to fray stretch jeans, spandex jeans, or Lycra jeans. Non-stretch jeans, in general, lend themselves more readily to the creation of attractive ragged edges.

You can also attempt this procedure if you really want to make holes in your jeggings or slim jeans.

  1. Use chalk to outline the area where you want to rip or fray your stretchy pants before you begin.
  2. Use scissors to cut a horizontal sliver out of the jeans at this place. Cut the slice longer if you want a hole at your knee or across the breadth of your leg. You may get away with just one inch of fraying if you’re looking for a little area elsewhere in the jeans.
  3. The next step is to use a nail file to smooth out the edges of the cut. The sliced edge will begin to show loose threads.
  4. Use your thumb and forefinger to separate these threads by tugging and rubbing them together. This is going to take forever! A “thready”-looking edge surrounding the hole should be achieved.
  5. It’s also a good idea to wash the jeans a few times to soften the frayed edges.

How to Fray the Bottom of Jeans

Using a sewing machine and a seam ripper is an excellent method for fraying the bottoms of jeans.

  1. Measure from where you want the hem of the jeans to terminate to the new starting point. Make a note of it in chalk.
  2. All the way around the leg opening, sew a line of stitches in thread that matches the jeans. Use a thin line of fabric adhesive on the inner of the pant leg instead, if you don’t have a sewing machine.
  3. Then, remove the hem from the jeans. Keep in mind that you should only cut above the stitching, not below it.
  4. Work your way down the threads using a seam ripper, starting at the stitching line and working your way back up. Pull the vertical threads from the leg of the pant while cutting and removing the horizontal threads.
  5. Remove the horizontal threads and fluff the vertical threads in a frayed hem with your seam ripper as you make your way around the circle.

What Tools Do You Use to Fray Jeans?

In order to fray jeans, you can use a variety of instruments, including sandpaper and scissors.

  • Sandpaper can be used to achieve a worn, worn-in look on denim. The fibers of the fabric will be less damaged by using fine-grit paper. Removing surface threads with coarse-grit paper makes it simple to produce holes or frayed edges.
  • A pair of scissors can be used to cut a hole in your pants or to start a hole that you can widen with your fingers, tweezers, or a nail file later on.
  • Stitching can be removed from jeans with a seam ripper, which results in frayed edges at the bottom of the garments.
  • Denim can be roughed up by using a cheese grater, resulting in quickly torn holes or worn-out patches.
  • This can also be accomplished with a razor blade, but it works more slowly and sensitively, making it an ideal instrument for removing minor stains from small places like belt loops or pockets.

How to Fringe Jeans Fast

Using a cheese grater or sandpaper is the easiest way to quickly fray jeans. A more natural look can be achieved by using a washing machine, but it will take longer to do so.

Fraying stretch jeans will require you to work more slowly, so keep that in mind when attempting the task. To achieve a frayed look, you’ll need to carefully rub the hole’s edges with your fingers.

Are Frayed Jeans Still in Style?

In spite of this, you can find frayed jeans in almost any fashion publication, on Pinterest, or even in the teen area of most clothing stores!

If you wear heels or ankle boots with your tattered jeans, they will appear chic. Ripped jeans, a leather jacket, and some great boots may give a guy’s night out a casual but hardcore feel.

Both men and women can pull off a laid-back style with frayed jeans and t-shirts!


A pair of scissors and your hands are all you need to fray jeans by hand, but if you want, you may spend hours picking out the fraying threads one by one with a pair of tweezers. Your denim pants can be roughed up with a grater or sandpaper, or you can use a nail file to smooth things out. In fact, you can even sew the frayed hem of your jeans using an iron and a sewing machine!

In most circumstances, blue-and-white non-stretch denim is the finest choice. It’s easy to make a fluffy white edge with this type of cotton fabric when it’s frayed. When fraying stretch denim, go slowly so that you don’t mess with the elastic strands.

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