How To Fray Jeans & Tips To Stop Frayed Jeans From Fraying

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Sarah Keene

Fray jeans have been around for a long time. The fashion style was welcome by most youngsters and fashion icons alike. The fabric’s denim material is tough and durable and can withstand time. But are they ideal from fraying?

We will show you how to fray jeans in the effortless ways possible. You can even use the tools lying around your home. In this article, we got just six easy steps to have the trendy fray jeans!

If you’d also like to add some holes for a great distressed jeans look, check out our article about how to make jeans with holes.


What Does It Mean To Fray Jeans?

Ripped jeans have been around since the 70s during the Punk-rock era. Its close resemblance is the distressed jeans, which also became popular in the 1970s. Distressed and ripped jeans are still flourishing today, especially for the young ones.

The ripped jeans have a worn-out look, fraying of legs edges, and have distinct ripped spaces (mainly at the knees) where the skin is visible. The ‘rip’ look occurs when the jeans are overused. However, you can do the fraying at home in a do-it-yourself (DIY) fashion, using everyday objects.

The distressed jeans are denim purposely faded and aged by the manufacturer to give them vintage looks. The worn-out look is made possible through sandblasting, acid washing, stone washing, and other harsh methods. But some distressed jeans fanatics do it at home through methods they seen on YouTube and other social media channels.

How about the fray jeans? Well, the fraying only focuses on the wearing out of the jeans’ bottom hem.

Fraying jeans means unraveling or wearing out the denim’s bottom edge by rubbing or straining with rough/sharp object/s. Moreover, the process may be similar to cutting old jeans to make them as shorts.


How To Fray Jeans? A Fork is all you need! 

Fraying jeans is easier than distressing and ripping them. You can do it in the comfort of home. Moreover, utilize old jeans or the ones that you rarely wear that still fit your lower body. You can fray brand-new jeans, but they may cost you a lot.

So, here are the six (6) easy steps to fray jeans using a fork:

1. Decide where to cut

Fraying or shredding jeans may be a fashion art form for some. It brings a lot of enthusiasm to the younger generation. To keep your fray jeans more customized, make sure that you cut the bottom edge of the jeans the way you like them.

Try the jeans on while looking on a full-body mirror and determine the correct length you want the jeans to be. Remember that once you cut, there is no turning back!

2. Make the mark

Once you decide where to cut, get chalk or a pencil with a ruler to mark the spot. But do the marking longer than your target (say, make the mark lower by ½ or ¾ inches). As we told you before, you cannot do anything if you make the wrong cut!

3. Cut with ease

After you mark the right spot, get ready to cut the jeans. Lay the jeans on a flat surface. Ensure that the hems of the front and back of the legs are properly lined up. Also, make sure that there are no bumps. Then, grab a pair of scissors and cut the hems of the jeans on the two sides of the legs.

Make the cut-off below the cutting mark one leg at a time to make a smooth slash. If you want the best results in cutting, use fabric scissors, like the SINGER Fabric Scissors with Comfort Grip.

4. Start fraying the hems.

After cutting the jeans the way they should be, it is now time to make a fray. You can use your fingers and a fork to make great fray jeans! Here is where the fun part begins!

In starting the fraying process, let your fingers trace and pull out the blue strings off the jeans cut hems.

5. Use a fork to enhance the frayed look.

When some of the blue threads slide out: get a fork and flickers it across the hem. The motion will free more string fibers. Then, flip the bottom of the jeans inside out, and pull out more threads. Once the threads are out of the hem, do more flicking motion of the fork across the bottom of the jeans.

Continue flicking the fork and picking the threads out across the cut hem until you get your desired look. You can make the frame edge long or short, depending on your taste. Do the same thing with the other leg.

6. Wear the jeans and see how they fit.

Once you are satisfied with the outcome, try on the jeans again and see if they look good. You can stand again in front of the mirror and see how the frayed jeans look on you.

Here’s how to do it in video:

More tips for Jeans: Do you have jeans that have been lying in your closet for a long time due to broken or bad zippers? Check out this article to know how to fix them at home in just five easy steps!


How To Stop Frayed Jeans From Fraying?

Once you frayed your jeans, the process of fraying itself will continue as long as you wear and wash the denim. It is because the frayed part is not sewn, making the threads loosen over time. So, how do you stop the frayed jeans from continuously fraying?

Denim jeans with low quality usually have the tendency to fray more over time. You can stop frayed jeans from further fraying or prolong their life by not letting the fray touch the ground. Ensure that the legs are not too long.

When the jeans have too long legs, the edges will make friction dragging against the ground. It will shorten the life of the jeans.

Some people also sew the hem to prevent fraying but most of the time you can visually see it.


But How Do You Stop You Jeans From Fraying Without Sewing?

One of the best techniques to stop frayed jeans from fraying without sewing is to use nail polish, like the Ruby Wing Carpe Denim Distressed Nail Polish. You can apply this type of nail polish as instructed.

Another product that can stop further fraying on jeans is the June Tailor JT377 Fray Block. This wonder product works well in stopping the fraying of jeans if you strictly follow the instructions in its application.


What Tool Do You Use to Fray Jeans?

You do not have to use specialized tools to fray your jeans. Just like what we used above: scissors, chalk, and fork (plus our hands). But some people want to use some other tools (partnered with the hands) because they think it will enhance the look.

Some fray denim enthusiasts use sandpaper, tweezers, a cheese grater, safety pin, plastic comb, a loofah, and other tools to fray jeans.

Watch Another Way of Fraying Jeans in a Matter of Minutes Using a Safety Pin:

How Long Should Frayed Jeans Last?

According to fashion experts, an average pair of jeans may last five to ten years or longer with proper care. The jeans might last longer when hand-washed and sun-dried. However, when your jeans are frayed, extra care is advisable.

Frayed jeans may last more than five years if you do not let the fray touch or drag on the ground. Consequently, it is better not to machine wash and dry the jeans if you want them to last longer. But some people like the nicer look of the fray when the jeans are washed and dried in the machine.

If you like the enhanced fray of the bottom of the jeans, you can do a 15-minute quick machine washing.


Are Frayed Jeans Still In Style?

The frayed jeans became a fashion trend back in the 1990s as a niche derivative of distressed jeans. The shredded jeans were made popular by Hollywood star River Phoenix in the 90s. The trend got soften up over the years. But Zayn Malik and Jaden Smith made the trend hot stuff again in the late 2000s.

However, most fashion gurus are expecting the fashion craze (fray jeans) to soften up again in 2022. But you have all the freedom to fray your jeans no matter what!


Can You Fray Stretch Jeans?

Stretch jeans have Lycra or Spandex (stretchy materials) that do not fray. You should only fray  cotton denim.



Nobody could stop you from fraying your jeans even if the trend does slow down in 2022. At least you now know how to fray jeans the way you want them to be. You can do it in the comfort of home and without particular tools to use.

Additionally, the fashion comes back without you noticing it. Fraying jeans are also the most sensible way of recycling your old jeans and making them more fashionable to fit your lifestyle.

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