By aging clothes scratch em I mean to tear them up.
This is probably the easiest and less time consuming way of making your zombie costumes, old people costumes, living dead apparel, general Halloween prop costumes... the list could go on and on.
My favorite method of aging clothes scratch em is using a suede leather brush. These are small hand size brushes with metal bristles like the one in the picture. The more popular brushes are a bit larger with handles. Doesn't matter what you use, just something that could snag and wear away threads.
This is what I did with my favorite method:
One Halloween convention costume party that I attended I decided that I was going as an old bag lady type. I got a sweater and a skirt from goodwill.
You might be able to see in the sweater picture on one of the cuffs that I had started cutting it. Then I took the suede brush and pulling on the threads.
I cut a few holes in the sweater near the elbow and around by the seams. Then I started in with the suede brush. After some loosening of the threads with the brush, I had a chance to start pulling on the material and make a run. Because this is a sweater, there are times that once the stitching is weakened that you can pull on the material and make a run. Similar to a run in a hosiery.
(Girls you know the kind - like the way panty hose does so easily.) The pulling will make this unraveled look with sweaters.
I used the brush on all sorts of areas, like the cuffs, around the neckline, on any of the holes that I cut into the sweater. I removed some of the bottom edges of the sweater and used my brush on the edges too. You can see that in the picture above.
The skirt was made of a very lightweight material. I took my scissors and cut the edges in a helter skelter kind of direction. No rhyme or reason. Just around. Then used my trusty suede brush to fray up the edges. (Like my Taz tennies? click the picture to get a closer look.)
Now if I thought about, I should have washed the skirt after fraying it and the washer and dryer would have taken care of the rest...but I didn't.
This is the best picture that I have of the outcome of my aging clothes scratch em - don't ask me why I didn't use my camera instead of the phone camera (duh!).
Methods of aging clothes scratch em could be:
- suede leather brush (my favorite)
- scissors; cutting jagged edges; cut out areas that with normal wear will would have normally been worn away, knees, elbows
- ripping seam edges
- belt sander
- incense sticks; to burn moth eaten holes
- scrub / rub on concrete
- hammer with a rock underneath
- coarse sandpaper
- attach a rope to the clothing and your car - drive around for a bit (preferably where there is little traffic)
- put a nail in fence or tree or other item and hold item tight and rub it up and down over the nail for a torn or ripped but not clean cut look from scissors
- let your dog have a go at it and play tug of war
- washing with bleach; this could take the color out too but it will wear the threads for tearing easier
There are actually an abundance of ways to age clothes.
You can get that old, dead, rotten, or rotting off clothes that appear to be from the grave itself. Now how cool is that?
Staining / Coloring and other aging clothes ideas:
- incense sticks to burn moth eaten holes
- strong tea / coffee to stain, rub grounds or tea leaves all over
- soil / dirt rubbed on them
- let soak in tea or coffee
- splatter black, gray, green and/or brown paints
- garden mulch for staining
- grass for staining
- charred wood or charcoal briquettes for staining (not the kind with lighter fluid in them)
- baby powder
- add peat moss
- old leaves
- get grease makeup on your hands and wipe your hands off on the clothes
- put them in a bag with coffee grounds
- mixing coffee grounds, sand, sawdust... with latex, can be dabbed on and painted fungus-like colors
- to get the not so clean smell, hunters laundry detergent, smells just like dirt and dried leaves
- coloring with dye in the washer; be sure to clean the washer before washing your regular clothes
Now this is an extremely small list of ideas. Hopefully it will get your juices flowing about how simple it can be do to aging clothes scratch em can be.