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How can I manually distress my raw denim?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of levis stretch to fit. I dont want to wear them for 6 months, or put time into them (I'd get a pair of nudies if I wanted to do that). I just want to experiment with them by distressing them manually. What should I do?
post #2 of 35
post #3 of 35
wear them on long bike rides or hikes.
post #4 of 35
get a wolf shirt to pair it with is step 1.
post #5 of 35
some guy on here tried dog vomit and said it worked well.
post #6 of 35
I think the most natural looking fades are gonna come from starching them and then sanding the creases that a week or two of wear sets in. The whiskers might look okay, I think trying to get any sort of combs this way is iffy.

post pics of your results plz.

kodiak-- its only popcorn time when you post.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Using Technology View Post
some guy on here tried dog vomit and said it worked well.


I thought I might take this to the next level and try human vomit.
post #8 of 35
still too previous level.. human shit is the way to go.
post #9 of 35
keep soaking them in warm water, then wear them while they are stil damp, this should speed up tthe process, do this like 10 times.
post #10 of 35
maybe roll them a lot, unroll, step and move your feet around on them. close doors on them. crazy stuff like that should work.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
I think the most natural looking fades are gonna come from starching them and then sanding the creases that a week or two of wear sets in. The whiskers might look okay, I think trying to get any sort of combs this way is iffy. post pics of your results plz. kodiak-- its only popcorn time when you post.
what are you trying to say, robbie?
post #12 of 35
guy don't forget step 1 before doing any of the other suggestions.
post #13 of 35
First, get BOILING water, and soak them for a good two hours, adding/replacing the water as frequently as you can to get it as hot as possible. This should get them nice and tight. Then, hang them up to dry. Either let them dry overnight, or wait till they stop dripping and get in them. Either way, do a bunch of squats, or go for a bike ride, or sit cross-legged for a while to get the whiskers and honeycombs set in.

If you want, you can try starching them. A lot of people will be pissed at you for doing this cause you're damaging your denim but if you want quick fades you're going to end up damaging them one way or another.

Anyway, take some sandpaper and sand the creases you formed earlier. You can also sand the front of the thighs. If you're looking for a high contrast look, just do this a lot. If you're looking for a more gradual fade, simply wash/soak the hell out of them repeatedly.
post #14 of 35
You will learn a lot about denim by experimenting the effects of abrasion and washing on indigo loss. It will give you a better eye for appreciating both industrial wash techniques and real worn jeans.

You will not be able to achieve light coloured washes quickly unless you use chemicals (and stone washing). However, you do have an advantage over commercial laundries - time, and perhaps more love. If you take your time, you can achieve a look that would be indistinguishable to real worn jeans. However, this may take several pairs of jeans to achieve the necessary experience.

There are 4 phases basic to this process : Shrink. Creasing. Abrasion. Wash.

Jhdas & Robbie have both posted this already, and I hope they will pardon me for elaborating on their suggestions.

First step: Get them shrunk. You can do it various ways, depending on how much shrinkage you want to achieve - at this stage you want to keep the indigo on the jeans so, you could just lie them in a bath of warm-hot water for a few hours. Change the water a few times so that the starch is allowed to be rinsed away.

Second step: Hang or spin until the jeans have almost dried. Wear them whilst they are still damp until they are dry. This will give you the creases. If you do this sitting, then the creases you get on your lap and behind the knees will be more exaggerated.

Third step: Abrasion - this is the removal of the indigo molecules that are sitting on the cotton fibres. In a professional denim laundry this would be known as 'dry processing'.
You can achieve the abrasion by using many different items, for example, a fine grade sandpaper, a smooth beach pebble or even a damp rag. The key is to go easy . Don't use fresh sandpaper, but start with some 'used' paper that has lost some of it's bite.
Whilst wearing the jeans, lightly brush across all the places that would naturally receive more wear. The front fly, lap, hips, back yoke & pockets, seat, inseam, honeycombs, belt loops, pocket edges and hems.
You'll see the change quickly as the areas that have received the abrasion will turn a brighter blue.

Forth Step : Wash - the aim here is to lose indigo, so stick it on a long warm machine wash. You could throw in other jeans if you wish. Use any detergent you like. If you turn your jeans inside out before washing you will avoid getting vertical wash lines along the legs. However you may not mind this effect, (I don't mind it at all), so in that case just chuck them in.

You can repeat steps 3 & 4 to achieve a lighter base colour. You could even lightly sand the whole leg (laying them on a flat surface) to achieve an all-over lightening in colour after you have done the work with the whiskers. Best thing to do is just wear them a lot.

Mistakes are inevitable, so just have fun.
post #15 of 35
Most of these suggestions are probably going to end up badly for you.

You bought raw denim. The purpose of raw denim is to wear them in GRADUALLY (yes, as in OVER TIME) and in most cases any attempts to speed up or manually alter the process winds up with inferior fading and disappointment.

If you can't be patient and wear the jeans as intended you should probably return them and buy a pair of pre-washed, pre-faded jeans.
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