Surface activation of fabric made from cellulose fibres, such as viscose, lyocell, modal fibres and cotton, can be achieved by printing of a concentrated NaOH-containing paste. From the concentration of reducing sugars formed in solution, an increase in intensity of the cellulase hydrolysis by a factor of six to eight was observed, which was mainly concentrated at the activated parts of the fabric surface. This method of local activation is of particular interest for modification of materials that have been dyed with special processes to attain an uneven distribution of dyestuff within the yarn cross-section, e.g., indigo ring-dyed denim yarn for jeans production. Fabrics made from regenerated cellulose fibres were used as model substrate to express the effects of surface activation on indigo-dyed material. Wash-down experiments on indigo-dyed denim demonstrated significant colour removal from the activated surface at low overall weight loss of 4-5%. The method is of relevance for a more eco-friendly processing of jeans in the garment industry.