What Is Whiskering On Jeans

Do you ever wonder what those faded lines on your favorite jeans are called? They’re called whiskers, and they’re a popular trend in denim fashion.

Whiskering is a technique used to create a worn-in look on jeans that mimics the natural creases that form around the crotch and hips with frequent wear. Whiskering first became popular in the 1980s, when designers began to experiment with ways to make new jeans look old.

The technique involves washing the jeans, then sanding them in specific areas to create the distinctive lines. Over time, whiskering has evolved to include different types of patterns and intensities, making it a versatile addition to any denim collection.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at whiskering and explore its history, different types, and how to wear and care for whiskered jeans.

Definition and Origin of Whiskering on Jeans

Whiskering, a popular distressing technique on jeans, originated in the 1980s and involves creating faded lines and creases around the pockets and thighs. This technique was inspired by the natural wear and tear that occurs on denim over time. The idea was to create a vintage look by mimicking the fading and creasing that would naturally occur after years of wear.

Whiskering is achieved by using a process called sandblasting. Sandblasting involves blasting sand or other abrasive materials onto the denim to wear away the fabric’s surface. This process creates the faded lines and creases that give the jeans their unique, distressed look. However, sandblasting is a controversial technique because it can be dangerous for workers who inhale the dust created by the process.

Today, many brands have moved away from sandblasting and instead use alternative techniques, such as laser technology or hand sanding. These techniques are safer for workers and still achieve the desired whiskering effect.

Whiskering has become a popular trend in the world of fashion and is often used to give jeans a vintage, lived-in look.

The Washing Process

After the denim has been soaked and agitated in the washing machine, the fabric begins to loosen and fade in certain areas. This is where the art of whiskering comes in.

To create whiskers on jeans, the fabric is folded in specific areas where creases would naturally form when worn. Once folded, the jeans are washed and dried, causing the creases to set into the fabric and create the desired whisker effect.

The washing process is crucial in achieving the perfect whiskering effect. The denim needs to be washed with a special enzyme wash that breaks down the fabric in certain areas. This allows the fabric to fade and create the desired light and dark areas that give the jeans their unique, worn-in look.

The wash time and temperature are also important factors to consider in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Whiskering on jeans adds a vintage, distressed look that many people love. It’s a popular trend that has been around for decades and continues to evolve. By understanding the washing process, you can appreciate the artistry and skill that goes into creating the perfect pair of whiskered jeans.

So next time you put on a pair of your favorite whiskered jeans, take a moment to appreciate the time and effort that went into creating that perfect look.

Different Types of Whiskering

You may be interested to learn more about the different types of whiskering on jeans.

Horizontal whiskers are created by folding the jeans and rubbing them together to create a natural crease.

Vertical whiskers are made by running the fabric through a machine that creates parallel lines.

Finally, honeycombs are formed behind the knees after repeated wear and tear.

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Horizontal Whiskers

When wearing jeans with horizontal whiskers, it looks like the fabric has been naturally worn and faded over time. This type of whiskering is created by folding the jeans horizontally and then rubbing them with sandpaper or a wire brush. The result is a faded, horizontal line that resembles the natural wear and tear of jeans.

Horizontal whiskers can be found on various styles of jeans, including skinny, straight-leg, and bootcut. They add a vintage touch to any outfit and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Pair them with a graphic tee and sneakers for a casual look or dress them up with a blouse and heels for a night out. Either way, jeans with horizontal whiskers are a timeless addition to any wardrobe.

Vertical Whiskers

Vertical whiskers create a sleek and elongating effect on the legs, making you feel confident and stylish in your denim. These whiskers are formed by folding the jeans vertically and then running the creased fabric through a machine, creating a permanent crease that resembles a whisker.

This style of whisker is commonly found on the front of the thighs and down the back of the legs. If you’re looking for a pair of jeans that will flatter your figure, vertical whiskers are a great option. They give the illusion of longer, leaner legs, making you look taller and more put together.

Plus, they add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. So next time you’re shopping for denim, keep an eye out for jeans with this unique and stylish detail.


Honeycombs, formed by the creases that develop behind the knee after extended wear, add a unique and natural detail to denim. These are a popular feature among denim enthusiasts as they’re a visual representation of the jeans’ journey with the wearer.

The honeycombs are created when the fabric behind the knee is pulled and stretched, causing the creases to form. The more the jeans are worn, the deeper and more defined the honeycombs become. The honeycomb pattern is not just a result of wear and tear, but also a reflection of the wearer’s movement and lifestyle.

The way a person moves and walks affects the location and shape of the honeycombs. Therefore, each pair of jeans has its own distinct honeycomb pattern, making them truly one-of-a-kind. Honeycombs are a testament to the authenticity and character of denim, and they’re a feature that many denim enthusiasts seek out when purchasing jeans.

The Popularity of Whiskers

The widespread appeal of whiskers on jeans can be attributed to their ability to add a rugged, vintage look to any outfit. Here are four reasons why whiskers have become so popular:

  1. They give jeans character – Whiskers are created by creases and folds in the fabric that occur naturally from movement and wear. The resulting pattern adds depth and texture to the denim, making it look more interesting and unique.

  2. They evoke nostalgia – Whiskers are often associated with vintage denim, which is highly sought after by fashion enthusiasts. By adding whiskers to a pair of jeans, designers are able to tap into this nostalgia and appeal to those who long for the classic styles of the past.

  3. They’re versatile – Whiskers can be added to any style of jeans, from skinny to bootcut, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. This versatility makes them a popular choice for both casual and formal wear.

  4. They’re easy to care for – Unlike some other types of distressing, whiskers don’t require any special care or maintenance. They can be washed and dried like any other pair of jeans, making them a low-maintenance option for those who want to add some character to their wardrobe without a lot of fuss.

How to Style Whiskered Jeans

So you’ve got a pair of whiskered jeans, but now you’re wondering how to style them.

Well, the good news is that they’re versatile enough to work for both casual and dressy occasions.

For a casual look, pair them with a simple t-shirt and sneakers.

If you want to dress them up, try a button-down shirt and dress shoes.

And don’t forget to accessorize – a belt and watch can make all the difference.

Casual Attire

If you’re going for a casual look, jeans with whiskering can add some texture and character to your outfit. Choose a pair of medium-wash jeans with light whiskering for a laid-back vibe. Pair them with a simple white t-shirt and sneakers for a classic look.

You can also add a denim jacket or plaid shirt for an extra layer of style. For a more edgy look, opt for black or dark-wash jeans with heavy whiskering. Pair them with a graphic tee and leather jacket for a rocker-inspired outfit.

Finish the look with some ankle boots or high-top sneakers. Remember to keep the rest of your outfit simple to allow the whiskering on your jeans to be the focal point of your look.

Dressy Attire

To achieve a more formal look, you should consider opting for tailored trousers paired with a crisp button-down shirt and polished dress shoes. This dressy attire is perfect for business meetings, weddings, and other formal events.

Make sure your trousers fit well and aren’t too long or too short. Your shirt should be tucked in and ironed to perfection. And don’t forget to polish your shoes to complete the polished look.

When it comes to dressy attire, it’s important to pay attention to the details. Add a tie and a blazer to elevate your outfit even further. Choose a tie that complements your shirt and suit, and make sure it’s tied properly.

The blazer should fit well and not be too tight or too loose. And remember, a pocket square can add a touch of elegance to your look.

With the right dressy attire, you’ll be sure to make a great impression at any formal event.


Accessorizing can really bring your outfit to life and make you feel confident and stylish. Here are three ways to take your outfit to the next level:

  1. Jewelry: Adding a necklace, bracelet, or earrings can instantly elevate your look. Choose pieces that complement your outfit and personal style. Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals or add a statement piece to make a bold statement.

  2. Scarves: Scarves are a versatile accessory that can be worn in many different ways. They can add color, texture, and dimension to your outfit, while also keeping you warm on chilly days. Experiment with different prints and fabrics to find the perfect scarf for your look.

  3. Hats: Hats are a fun and trendy accessory that can add personality to your outfit. From fedoras to beanies, there are many different styles to choose from. Wear a hat to add a touch of glamour to your outfit or to protect your hair from the elements.

Caring for Whiskered Jeans

Taking care of whiskered jeans is easy and can help you keep them looking great for years to come. First, make sure to read the care label on your jeans before washing them. Some whiskered jeans may require special care, such as washing on a delicate cycle or avoiding the use of bleach.

Secondly, when washing your whiskered jeans, turn them inside out. This will help protect the whiskering from fading or getting damaged during the wash cycle. You may also want to wash your jeans separately from other clothing items to avoid any potential color bleeding.

Lastly, avoid drying your whiskered jeans in a dryer. The heat and tumbling action of the dryer can cause the whiskers to lose their shape or even disappear completely. Instead, hang your jeans to air dry or lay them flat to dry. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your whiskered jeans stay looking stylish for years to come.

Do’s Don’ts
Read the care label Don’t use bleach
Turn jeans inside out when washing Don’t dry in the dryer
Wash jeans separately Don’t wash with other clothing items
Hang jeans to air dry
Lay jeans flat to dry Don’t iron jeans unless necessary
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