How to Fray a Shirt

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Shirts made of any type of fabric can be frayed for an aged look.

Aging fabric lends a unique touch to jeans, shirts and accessories. Fraying is an essential element of the fabric aging process. This style can be created with any type of fabric and only requires a few household items to complete. Satins and chiffon will fray much quicker than a cotton blend, so experimenting with different shirt fabrics will yield a wide variety of results.


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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors

  • Sandpaper

  • Wash machine

Step 1

Cut away the hems or finished edges on the shirt, using a pair of scissors. Cut anywhere on the shirt that you want to fray, such as the bottom of the shirt, the ends of the sleeves or the neckline, leaving a raw edge in place.

Step 2

Use a small piece of sandpaper to slightly rough up the edges of the shirt fabric. The sandpaper will catch the fabric strands and pull out the unfinished threads to begin the fraying process.

Step 3

Wash the shirt in a washing machine several times to allow the fabric to fray further. You can also leave the shirt to hang outside in the elements for a few days.


Trim frayed edges that get too long once a month. Practice the fraying technique on a spare piece of cloth before deconstructing a treasured shirt.