Making New Clothing Look Old With Blowtorches and Sandpaper

Los Angeles-based MadeWorn uses blowtorches, sandpaper and other techniques to produce clothing with that really worn-out look. Company founder Blaine Halvorson shows how they do it. Photo/Video: Mike Kofsky for The Wall Street Journal

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Comment (154)

  1. I dont think people know how hard it is to make new stuff look used. Theres loads of critics but very few who can do this stuff well. I do it with lettering and signs and bits and pieces, plus a few bikes. Try it and if people notice then you've done it wrong. Great work – Im just starting in on clothes now.

  2. I’ve seen the Madeworn T-shirt’s on several people and am always shocked at how perfectly imperfect they are!!! I’m obsessed!!! I can’t afford $160 T-shirt’s but whenever I am able to, you can bet I will definitely be buying them! This video doesn’t do the T-shirt’s justice. Seriously. If you see one in person it will nearly take your breath away haha! This man is brilliant.

  3. Wot? Ruïning perfectly good quality clothes? I owe one Aeroleather jacket, one Lee denim jacket, a couple of 501’s and one pair Redwing Iron Rangers. Wearing them about every day, year in and out. No need to destroy goods, just wear your favorites and earn it.

  4. Ah my god…Love your philosophy and energy, and your place. Nice work as well, of course.
    Btw…I'm kicking myself I never had my old Westy Dog stuffed. Inspired.

  5. Dude that squirrel was awesome and it reminds me of one time me and a friend were sitting in a trench I dug and a squirrel came right up and sniffed our airsoft guns I was like “Best airsoft experiences ever!”

  6. Maybe like $50 a tee, the quality and work put in to making them look that way isn’t worth $160… it’s not too hard to pre-age clothing, as for the leather that’s understandable if you actually made it.

  7. 160$ is a little steep for me. There is too many DIY videos on YouTube for me to pay 160$. Plus this video itself gave me some things to use to just do it myself

  8. Love this! Good for you! You’ve found an awesome niche for your talent and imagination! I want to distress new canvas Vans. Do you have any suggestions for me. I better stay away from fire😂

  9. Just use color safe bleach then wash it scrub it again and again about 5 times then rinse it then again wash it then youll notice the color is faded like the one you see in the thriftstores

  10. I'd rather wear out a nice pair of pants because it really just tells a story. It went with you everywhere. It's just more important to you because there will never be another one like it. I dont know a good word to use, but I guess it just seems more artificial I guess.

  11. When I first saw this video 3 years ago, I thought this was crazy. Now, after getting my first pair of selvedge denim, I really want to send a denim shirt to this guy

  12. What I love: he followed his heart. Even better was that once he did, there are people who want to pay him for what he creates. His price point is what the market dictates. If there isn't a continued demand for it, he could not sell them for his shop prices them at.
    It is interesting how this has become quite 'hip'. It would make sense there is a niche for this bec the trend in America is quantity over quality and the idea of wearing the same thing over and over again (bec you genuinely love a piece of clothing) is NOT that common. Europeans seem to practice an approach of having very few pieces (of very high quality) which they truly love and wear them often. When I think about all the annual award shows which many, many celebrities go to, it is absolutely unthinkable and a major fashion faux pas if anyone of these people wore a gown or dress more than once. Makes you wonder where ALL those very fancy dresses go to once they've been worn for the first and the last time.
    I just picked up a wonderfully made corduroy jacket at the secondhand store. It is a brown bronze color and towards the back bottom hem, about the size of a palm, is a noticeably faded part. I thought it looked cool and want to spread out more of that same effect. This video is def inspiring me. Metal brushes and sandpaper here I come!

  13. I just started getting into distressing t shirts with scissors and bleach and I made a sick shirt yesterday… gonna use some of these methods described and take it to the next level. Thanks

  14. I’ve had this video saved for a couple years and came back to it multiple times. Sent it to a bunch of people as well. Just a good example of someone with a very specific vision, tools and knowledge to execute. Dig it.

  15. Too bad nowadays it seems like their brand is just overpriced pristine vintage band tees 😕😕 just feels like the lost who they were..


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