Wearing frayed jeans is a great and simple way to achieve a more grungy or vintage chic look. 

Frayed jeans can be styled in a number of different ways, and are easily paired with a wide range of casual apparel. 

In order to fray your tall jeans properly you should have a pair of scissors, as well as a pair of tweezers. Using these two tools will enhance the finished product and will make fraying your jeans a whole lot easier. 

You may also wish to use sandpaper or a shaving razor to put distress marks on your jeans if you are feeling really ambitious. 

Fraying is a great way to save your jeans when the bottom of the pants are becoming worn and damaged from too much use. Cutting and fraying a new hem will add to the lifespan of your jeans.

how to fray jeans

Supplies you'll need

Depending on your style preference, you may need some or all of the following supplies to fray and distress your denim jeans. 

  • Fabric Scissors 
  • Tweezers
  • Shaving Razor (optional)
  • Cheese Grater (optional)
  • Sandpaper (Optional)
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer

How To Fray Jeans

Read our detailed instructions below to learn how to fray jeans quickly and properly!

If your looking to make some alterations first, turning them into the summer loving jean shorts then this article is for you: How to fray jean shorts.

Follow the steps below to learn how to properly fray jeans

  1. Choose the jeans that you want to fray.
  2. Put them on and make a chalk mark or pin the jeans where you want the new bottom to be. 
  3. Lay your jeans evenly on a flat surface. 
  4. Use a pair of fabric scissors to cut your jeans where the new bottom will be. Make sure you measure and mark your jeans accurately so that you get a precise and straight cut. Make sure to cut against the grain of the denim. 
  5. Once you are finished cutting your jeans, use your hands to begin to pull threads. Tugging at the bottom of the hem will allow the threads to come undone which will lead to the frayed denim look you desire. 
  6. Use needle nose pliers or tweezers to continue to fray the bottom of the jeans by more decisively pulling on the loose threads. 
  7. Once finished, place the jeans into the washing machine and run a rinse cycle with cold water.
  8. Once the wash cycle is complete, place the jeans into the drier for 10 to 15 minutes on tumble dry low setting. The washer and the dryer are both effective methods for helping to further fray your jeans.

Finish drying your jeans by  line drying, drying flat or dig a little deeper into ways to dry your jeans without a dryer.

How to fray jeans: quick tips

  • In addition to fraying the hem of your jeans, you may also wish to distress your denim in other areas, or perhaps rip your jeans. If you would like to distress areas around your knees, thighs, or pockets, you can use a cheese grater or shaving razor to alter the look of your jeans.
  • You may also use sandpaper to add more distress features by rubbing the sandpaper along the surface of the jeans.
  • Use your scissors, shaver, sandpaper, and cheese grater to make your jeans look vintage chic!
  • Make sure your jeans are worn in before you start fraying. If you want to fray new jeans, follow our guide on how to break in your jeans.

How to Style Frayed Jeans

Frayed jeans are quite versatile and work well with most casual, vintage, grungy, and punk type outfits. 

For a casual outfit, pair your frayed jeans with some black and white converse high tops, a white t-shirt, and a hoodie. 

If you are looking for a grunge look you may want to wear your frayed jeans with a tight undershirt, a black leather jacket, and high top black leather boots.


Scissors and a pair of tweezers are the two best things to use when trying to fray your jeans. Use scissors to cut a new hem in the bottom of your jeans, and then use the tweezers to pull on the loose threads to eventually give your jeans a frayed look. 

Using the washing machine and the dryer is the best way to rip and fray your jeans. If you want frayed rips in your knee area, simply use scissors to cut a line straight across the knee where you want the rip to be, and place your jeans in the washing machine. Wash your jeans with cold water and then place them into the dryer and dry on tumble dry low. 

First try the pants on and make a mark where you want the new bottom of the pants to be. Use scissors to cut a new hem and then use tweezers to tug on loose threads. Pull the white threads around the entire circumference of the hem until you have reached your desired amount of fray.