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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Patterns

Quick Tip: How to Create a Denim Pattern in Adobe Photoshop

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Read Time: 4 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Realistic textures and patterns are easy to make in Photoshop. They're perfect for text effects and help make shape layers stand out.

Want that denim look yourself? Learn how to make a denim pattern in this quick tip!

Get inspired with incredible patterns and more from Envato Market and Envato Elements.

1. How to Create a Denim Pattern in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a New Document at 850 x 850 pixels.

Here are all the colors I'll be using for this effect:

  • Light Blue: 6279a4
  • Dark Blue: 42516e
  • Red: ff430e

Step 2

Set the Foreground Color to light blue and the Background Color a few shades darker.

Set the foreground and background colorsSet the foreground and background colorsSet the foreground and background colors

Then create a New Layer and Fill it with that darker blue using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

Fill layerFill layerFill layer

Step 3

Now go to Filter > Sketch > Halftone Pattern and set the Size to 3 and the Contrast to 5.

Halftone Pattern FilterHalftone Pattern FilterHalftone Pattern Filter

Step 4

Keep the filter window open and add a New Effect Layer. Then go to Artistic > Smudge Stick, and plug in these numbers:

  • Stroke Length: 2
  • Highlight Area: 2
  • Intensity: 10

Adding new effect layers like this can help you mix and match filters fast. Hit OK when you're finished.

Artistic Smudge Stick FilterArtistic Smudge Stick FilterArtistic Smudge Stick Filter

Step 5

Again, add a New Effect Layer. Then go to Distort > Water Paper, and plug in these numbers:

  • Fiber Length: 8
  • Brightness: 55
  • Contrast: 81

Step 6

Create a New Layer and repeat the same steps as before, this time setting the Foreground Color to dark blue and the Background Color to white.

Fill the layer with the dark blue using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

Then go to Filter > Sketch > Halftone Pattern and set the Size to 3 and the Contrast to 5.

Halftone PatternHalftone PatternHalftone Pattern

Step 7

Keep the filter window open and add a New Effect Layer. Then go to Artistic > Sponge, and plug in these numbers:

  • Brush Size: 7
  • Definition: 11
  • Smoothness: 1

Set the second layer with the new fiber texture to Multiply. Lower the Opacity to 75%.

Set fiber to MultiplySet fiber to MultiplySet fiber to Multiply

Step 8

Create a third New Layer, and follow the same steps as before, this time setting the Foreground Color to dark blue and the Background Color to bright red.

Repeat foreground background stepsRepeat foreground background stepsRepeat foreground background steps

Just like our previous steps, we'll need to apply the Halftone Pattern filter first, followed by the Smudge Stick filter.

Halftone pattern settingsHalftone pattern settingsHalftone pattern settings

Step 9

Keep the filter window open and add a New Effect Layer. Then go to Artistic > Smudge Stick, and plug in these numbers:

  • Stroke Length: 2
  • Highlight Area: 3
  • Intensity: 10
Sponge FilterSponge FilterSponge Filter

Set this third layer to Divide, and lower the Opacity to 40%. Study jean reference images to understand the general makeup of its thread and fabric.

Set to DivideSet to DivideSet to Divide

Step 10

Create a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance to correct the color scheme. Add the following values for the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights.

Color balance adjustmentColor balance adjustmentColor balance adjustment

Merge all the layers together. Here's the first denim pattern texture.

Denim Pattern TextureDenim Pattern TextureDenim Pattern Texture

2. How to Make Different Denim Colors

Step 1

For a few more color variations, try these quick steps.

Control-J the selected denim layer to create a Copy.

Duplicate the denim textureDuplicate the denim textureDuplicate the denim texture

Cycle through the different Layer Blend Modes to apply this copy to the original denim texture. Each mode will give you a slightly different denim color. Here I set the Blend Mode to Exclusion.

This second layer will help us create a more realistic denim finish.

Then Merge the two layers together.

Original denim vs new colorOriginal denim vs new colorOriginal denim vs new color
Here is a comparison of the original against the new color.

Continue to try out different Blend Modes so you can save a variety of denim colors.

Different Denim ColorsDifferent Denim ColorsDifferent Denim Colors

Step 2

When you're through, select it with the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), and then go to Edit > Define Pattern to use it in future projects. 

Access your saved patterns at any time with the Preset Manager.

Access Patterns with Preset ManagerAccess Patterns with Preset ManagerAccess Patterns with Preset Manager

3. How to Apply the Denim Pattern

Using this pattern is just as easy as making it! If you need a quick refresher on how to install Photoshop patterns, check out this video:

Test out your pattern with a cool shape by selecting the Custom Shape Tool (U). Try out different shapes to see your pattern in effect.

Just select the Pattern option from the dropdown menu and choose your new denim swatch (either of the last two swatches).

Apply the denim patternApply the denim patternApply the denim pattern

Show Us Your Results!

Remember, the best way to absorb this material is to try it out. Practice with different textures to perfect your custom patterns.

Most of the textures we find in our everyday lives can be replicated with design software. Experiment with Photoshop's advanced filters, color adjustments, and more to improve your skills with time.

Check out these tutorials to learn more from design lovers like you!

Denim Texture Photoshop TutorialDenim Texture Photoshop TutorialDenim Texture Photoshop Tutorial
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