So we’ve all been there, you want a pair of ripped jeans but don’t want to pay over £40 when the material is just going to rip more after a few wears. Last year I (Lauren) bought a pair of jeans in the Topshop sale that were far too long for me (I’m a 30 inch leg these were 32 inch!) so as you can imagine they looked ridiculous. I’d never worn them due to this so I decided I would alter the legs and make them into turn ups, at the same time I thought “Why not rip the knees too while we’re at it?”. So we spent AGES searching for a good guide on how to create the specific look we were looking for and still to this day I can’t find one that I think explains it well step by step. So here is a present from us to you, a step by step simple guide on how to create the ripped knee look:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Jeans! Old or new, it’s completely up to you!
- Fabric Scissors
- A pen (any that will draw onto the jeans easily without bleeding into the material)
- A ruler
- Sandpaper (a nail file works just as well too, and you probably have some laying about somewhere!)
Other optional equipment includes:
- A needle
- Some pins
(This is if you want to alter the length of your jeans like we did.)
STEP ONE- Mark where you want your rips
The first thing to do is put on the jeans (it makes it much easier) and measure across both the knees where you want the rips to be. We used a ruler to make sure they were both in line and drew a dot on each knee. After you have made the mark you want to take the jeans off and lie them flat on the floor. This will then allow you to draw a line across the knee (where you made the dot) but make sure that the line does not go all the way to the edge.
STEP TWO- Cutting the rips
The next step is to take the fabric scissors and cut along the line you drew. Make sure you don’t cut all the way to the end if you want your rips to be quite neat!
STEP THREE- Fray the rips
The final thing to do is use your sandpaper or emery board to rub the ends of the rips to give them that distressed, grunge look! This step can be done whilst wearing the jeans or whilst the jeans are on the floor. You can do this step for as long as you like until you feel that you have achieved the look you want.
Rachel- Black Topshop Jeans
Lauren- Blue Topshop Jeans
This photo shows the first pair of jeans that we both worked on (Lauren’s Topshop sale jeans). One thing we have realised from using two different types of material is that any jeans that are or feel like real denim are better to use as the fabric frays a lot easier. Also, the thinner material jeans felt like they were weaker and the holes gaped more. So to recreate the perfect ripped jeans look, we do suggest using real denim or just thicker jeans in general!