The Origin of Distressed Jeans

By Bex
6 Min Read

Distressed denim jeans have a complicated history. First, they were called ripped jeans, but in 2010, they were rebranded as distressed denim. In addition to ripping by hand, denim manufacturers use lasers and different tools to create rips. Hand ripping can take several hours and requires individual workers. Sandblasting was also a process used, but this was discontinued in 2010.

British punks were influential in fashion

Distressed jeans are jeans that have been distressed, but they are still functional and fashionable. Many commercially-sold pairs of jeans undergo pre-sale distressing, a process that aims to give jeans a worn and vintage look. However, the process is not without risk: workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals during the process.

In the late 1970s, British punks made their mark on fashion. The distorted customisation of clothing became a popular way to make a political statement and carry slogans and logos. The movement was centered around a band called Sex Pistols, who released the album ‘Anarchy’ in the UK. The ‘anarchy shirt’ that Westwood and McLaren created embodies this moment in time. It features prison stripes, Karl Marx, and red armband accents.

Jacob Davis

The origins of distressed jeans go back to a tailor from Reno, Nevada named Jacob Davis. He bought Levi’s denim fabric and used it to make rugged pants. Then, he partnered with Levi Strauss to mass produce his jeans. They are also extremely comfortable to wear and offer great support for your legs. You can also wear these jeans for going for an interview.

The jeans were influenced by the styles of the period and the needs of the people who were wearing them. Davis also reinforced pockets with copper rivets and strengthened the button fly. He then began selling them in the United States and later patented his design. Initially, he made them out of brown cotton duck, but he later chose denim for durability.

Stone Washing

Distressed jeans get their name from the process of stonewashing. This process involves rubbing the denim fabric with pumice stones. This gives the jeans their cool worn out appearance. The process was first developed by Donald Freeland in 1950. Later, Claude Blankiet and Edwin claimed to have invented the technique.

These jeans have an aged look and are often more lightweight than traditional jeans. Although they use the same denim material, the manufacturing process is very different. This process also results in a softer texture and lighter color than traditional jeans. Stonewashed jeans can be purchased in a variety of styles and colors.

In order to create authentic distressed jeans, the jeans must undergo a number of processes. The first step is applying a vintage tint to the denim. Afterwards, the designers will splatter the finished product with paint. The process is relatively easy and does not require a lot of time. In fact, the process can be done at home by using instant coffee crystals. However, the more concentrated the solution, the darker the result.

Hand Scraping

The process of hand scraping jeans creates a distressed finish by removing colour from the denim. It is a labor-intensive process that requires great skill and attention to detail. The process is not a quick fix, though, as trained craftsmen often use sandpaper, sanding blocks, and other tools to rip and scratch the denim. This process is also more expensive than machine scraping, since molds must be made for each wash.

The process of hand scraping denim can be dangerous and can lead to serious health problems. However, investigations found that the demand for ripped denim was fueling a black market. The process is also associated with silicosis, a serious disease that can lead to death.

Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans are one of the popular types of men’s vintage jeans. These jeans have been ripped or have holes in them from frequent use. Originally, these jeans were associated with the working class. People in poverty often wore one pair of jeans for years without buying new ones. They were also associated with social anarchy and protest.

The history of ripped and distressed jeans dates back to the 1800s and Lucky Brand Jeans was one of the first companies to intentionally create them. However, they’ve morphed over the years. Today, these jeans are often priced much higher than their original price. Ripped jeans were made by workers as a means of self-expression.


The concept of distressed jeans dates back to the 1800s, when the denim was ripped or dented by use. This look was not considered a fashion statement, but rather a sign of manual labor and poverty. In the years after the industrial revolution, this trend was revived by designers like Balmain and Diesel. Eventually, stores followed suit.

By Bex
Bex is a technical and non-technical writer, he is into the content marketing industry since 2015 and also contributed to many top news sources in the world