What is denim?

Denim is a type of cotton twill textile used to make jeans, jackets and other clothing. The word “denim” comes from the French city of Nimes, where it originated. Known as “serge de Nimes,” it was later shortened to “denim.”

 

Wash – Dry Process

Abrasion

Scraping or abrading the exterior indigo down to the white core, giving it a faded appearance.

Destroyed

Destroying the garment creates holes or worn in areas leaving the weft yarn exposed. New technology using lasers burns down to the weft in a fraction of a second.

Destroy and Repair

Destroying the desired areas and using embroidery or single needle application to cover the destroyed area, or patchwork sewn on the backside of the garment.

Foil

Foils come in many different prints and are applied to a layer of glue using heat transfer for a metallic finish.

Grinding

Grinding allows destroy on areas such as belt loops, seams, hems, pockets and waistbands.

Hand Sanding

Using different grits of sandpaper (depending on weight of fabric or intensities) on areas that need softening or a worn-in look.

Tacking

A method that creates contrast on denim by folding and tacking the fabric before it’s washed. The inner part of the fold stays darker due to less exposure.

Whiskering

The worn areas below the pockets, inseam, behind the knees, or any area creased during natural wear. The whiskers are created using templates, done freehand or with lasers.

Wash – Wet Process

Coated

A method for creating unique treatments and effects in the wash. The finished product can feel as if the fabric has been waxed. Black jeans often shine like leather.

Dyeing

After the dry wash process is complete, the jeans are washed to dilute the intensity of the indigo and create a specific shade, tint and cast.

Flat Finish

A mercerization (an industrial process used on yarn to increase luster and dye affinity) plus calendering (finishing process where fabric is passed under rollers at high temperature and pressure) done at the mill to increase shrinkage.

Ozone Wash

A technique used for cleaning as an alternative to bleach—resulting in less wash time and water consumption.

Stone Washing

The denim is washed with pumice stones for a set period, with wash time dictating the final color. The denim is then rinsed, softened and tumble dried.

Abrasives Used During Wet Process

Golf Balls

Golf balls are a chemical-free method used to soften rigid fabric.

Pumice Stones

Acid wash: During acid washing, an oxidization agent helps whiten the denim as desired. Potassium Permanganate is commonly used; however, eco-alternatives are becoming more available.

 

Stone wash: These stones are like sandpaper. Agitation from the constant motion in the washer, break down the surface of the yarn and expose the core. The longer the wash time, the more worn or faded the look.

Shoulder Pads

Reusable and used in conjunction with ozone wash—an eco-friendly rinse that replaces bleach. Shoulder pads retain water more evenly than most absorbent materials. By wetting the shoulder pads, you can create an acid wash appearance.

Synthetic Stones

Stones handmade from resin that don’t suffer the same attrition rate as pumice, making them a more sustainable option.