How to Distress Clothing and Baseball Caps

by Mary Corbin

Distress your baseball cap to give you an edgy look.

Baerbel Schmidt/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Distressing refers to various methods for making items have a worn out appearance. While it might seem silly to distress clothes that still look fairly new, some people think the effect gives them an edgier and rugged style that they seek. You can distress T-shirts, jackets, jeans and baseball caps. When distressing clothing and baseball caps yourself, try a series of processes until you find one that gives you the results you're after.

Items you will need

  • Gravel
  • Dirt
  • Old paintbrush
  • Bleach
  • Craft knife
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cheese grater (optional)
  • Razor blade

Distress Clothing

Step 1

Wash and dry your clothing items several times to cause them to wear down and distress. Wash your clothes in warm water and set the dryer to a high heat setting to help speed up the process. Add a 1/4-cup of bleach to the water in the washing machine to give your clothes a lighter, more washed-out look. Alternatively, to bleach specific areas, dip the fabric directly into 1-cup of bleach in a bowl before placing it into the washing machine. Dispose of the bowl when finished.

Step 2

Grate or sand the areas on your clothing where you want to show some wear and tear. Use a cheese grater for shredding large areas and sandpaper for a more subtle distressed appearance. Use a cheese grater to shred the knees in jeans and the sandpaper to wear down the edges of collars and hems on shirts, for example.

Step 3

Cut holes in your clothing with a knife or razor blade. Slice through the fabric slowly to tear long strips of holes. Use the knife to pick apart the seams to make tears and holes. Put holes in your pockets and elbows of jackets.

Distress Baseball Caps

Step 1

Take your baseball cap outside and rub dirt and gravel on the brim. Shake off any access.

Step 2

Dip a paintbrush into a cup of bleach. Tap the brush gently to randomly splatter the bleach on the cap.

Step 3

Run a razor across the seams in the brim of the cap. Yank and poke at the fabric until you achieve a distressing look.

Step 4

Run a piece of sandpaper over the brim and edges of the baseball camp. Continue to sand the whole hat until you create worn marks and holes.

Tips

  • Go for gradual results, so you don't distress your clothes or cap to the point that you can't wear them.

Warnings

  • Wear rubber gloves with working with bleach.

Photo Credits

  • Baerbel Schmidt/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Mary Corbin began her career writing for online and print media in Indianapolis. Since 2004, she has covered subjects such as home and family, technology and legal issues. Working in the broadcast industry, Corbin created articles for marketing, public relations and business matters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.