If you have a denim skirt that looks a little too clean around the ends, you can fray it to give it the kind of worn appearance that many young women prefer. To fray a denim skirt, you’ll need to undo any hem that’s sealing the material and then roughen up the loose ends of the denim fabric.

Things You'll Need

Use a seam ripper to cut away the hem that keeps the bottom edge of your denim skirt intact. This will expose the white fibers that lay underneath the finish of the denim fabric. As an alternative, you can slice along the length of the seam using a sharp pair of sewing scissors.

Use a pair of nail scissors to poke up into the open seam and loosen some of the coiled bunches of white fibers. Take advantage of the precision that using nail scissors offers you to reach and unfurl the desired amount of fibers. Continue until you have gone all the way around the length of the skirt.

Take a steak knife and grate its serrated edge up against the loosened white denim fibers, as an alternative. This will create a uniform look the whole way around, but won’t curl fibers down as long as you also use nail scissors to pull them out one by one will. Be sure you don’t grate too eagerly and cut into the actual edge of the denim as you work your way around.

Rub the exposed white fibers vigorously with an emery board for a flatter, fuzzier look. The emery board is just rough enough to alter the ends of the fibers, but not so rough that it creates the kind of flyaway, curly look you’ll achieve by using scissors or a steak knife.

Trim away any lengths of fiber that are uncurled too long with the nail scissors or sewing scissors. Expect that washing your denim skirt in a machine, particularly on a rougher cycle, will fray the ends of your skirt even more, and that you may need to trim them again in the future.


  • If you decide that you’re not pleased with the frayed look of your denim skirt, you can simply choose to create a new bottom by turning the frayed end inward and sewing a new seam. However, you’ll lose about half an inch in length.