Improving Comfort Properties of Denim Fabric through Washing Treatment

Last Updated on 09/12/2020

Enhancing Comfort Properties of Denim Fabric through Washing Treatment

Authors: Gokulraj.M, Thanaseelan.G and Rahul.K
Dept. of Textile Technology
Bannari Amman Institute of Technology
(An Autonomous Institution Affiliated to Anna University, Chennai)
Sathyamangalam-638401, India



Basically, denim is one of the popular material in the consumer’s wardrobe. Denim has reached its popularity in the past six decades. Indian’s won’t wear denim as their regular wear until 1960’s. In 1970’s denim has transformed into special wear to regular wear among Asian countries. Because denim has created its fashion attendance among men, women and children. In current lifestyle denim has created a comfortable feel and it is popular dress material in consumer’s wardrobe. In earlier 1980’s, there were so many attempts were made to produce denim fabric using 100% polyester threads. At present mostly denim fabrics were made to produce using 100% cotton.

KEYWORDS: bleach wash, enzyme wash, stone wash and acid wash.


Mostly denim fabric is made from rugged cotton weave. In denim fabric weft yarn passes under two or many warp threads. Basic denim material consists of dyed (indigo blue) Warp and grey weft thread. 2/1 or 3/1 twill weave is mostly used for production of denim fabric.

denim fabric
Fig: Denim fabric


The denim pieces of clothing have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the market of typical garments similarly as in the style grandstand. People everything being equivalent, especially the youthful have a staggering eagerness on the denim. Particular worth including structures like current washing makes the denims not simply look awesome yet what’s more gives some down to earth properties to the pieces of clothing. Adequately made pieces of clothing from solid concealing, from hued or conceal printed surfaces, the garments are washed by different pieces of clothing washing technique. Thus concealing, angle and comfort limit of the pieces of clothing are balanced. Hence new angle and appearance is conveyed in the pieces of clothing, which isn’t possible in some other system. Plus, starch present in the pieces of clothing is emptied by the washing. Furthermore washed garments could be worn after purchase clearly from the store or shop. A couple of pieces of clothing shrink after wash, therefore washed garments could be purchased by required size without thought of further shrinkage. In this manner, the explanation behind this examination is to choose the effect of issue, sorts of launderings (stone wash, protein wash, blanch wash and corrosive wash). Young people similarly as progressively settled people have now uncommon vitality for the denim texture. Today pants are available in various shades and plans. In the readymade pieces of clothing industry part pieces of clothing washing is anther advancement. Consequent to making pieces of clothing from solid concealing from hued or then again conceal printed surfaces, the garments are washed by pieces of clothing washing, concealing and perspective of the garments are changed. Denim garment (pants) washing is known as the extensively used finishing treatment that has massive usage in material zones considering showing up what’s more, making stylish and wear pleasant garments of the present day world and routinely used. Acclaim of garments washing particularly on denim pieces of clothing on the planet publicize has been growing bit by bit. Various washing techniques can be applied for denim fabric surface wrapping up. For instance, colour wash, stone wash, destructive wash, chemical wash, silicon washes, etc. At the present time pick stone wash, compound wash, stone wash and corrosive wash to examination the wash impact on comfort properties on denim fabric.


The story goes that “jean” gets from the word Genoa. It insinuates the material that sailors from Genoa used in their pants. This was a coarse cotton wool just as material blend. It at first started from Italy, and is verification of the custom of naming a material for its place of source. By the late sixteenth century, jean was by then being conveyed in Lancashire, England. The course of action unavoidably progressed to 100% cotton by the eighteenth century. ‘ Jeans’ today generally insinuate a garment26 that has 5 pockets (two in the front, two in the back and a little change pocket on the front right pocket) and this style can be made using any sorts of surfaces be it corduroy, twills, or bull denim fabric. Important brands consolidate Levi’s and Wrangler .On the other hand, the foundation of the articulation “denim” can be followed to late sixteenth century France where a surface known as “serge de Nimes” (Twill from Nimes) was notable. Some vulnerability remains as for whether the withdrawal “denim” truly began from this French surface. “Serge de Nimes” was a blend of silk and downy, which drives a couple of history masters to address if this was actually the start of current denim. Regardless, the chronicled setting of jeans goes this far back ever. Both surfaces (jeans and denim) created in universality, denim fabric being the more grounded and progressively expensive of the two. The noteworthy differentiation between them was that denim was woven with one concealed string (the wind) and the other white (the weft), while jean was woven with two tinted strings. Jean and denim remained two very surprising surfaces, and were used for different sorts of dress. Denim was used generally for works pieces of clothing and jean for lighter articles of clothing that didn’t have such high durability essentials. By the late nineteenth century, weavers in America were making twills along these lines as the European denim, acclimating to the more quickly open and secretly made cotton strands. The material had picked up reputation for being incredibly strong and not decimating quickly, in spite of various washes.


  • Warp yarns are toned ordinarily with Vat or Sulfur hues.
  • Weft yarns are continually white in concealing.
  • Structure: curve administering right hand or left hand twill for instance Z/S-twill of 2/1 or 3/1 improvement
  • Usually made of cotton yarns of coarser count (7S, 10S, 14S, 16S, etc.)
  • Rotor yarns are ordinarily used.
  • Coarser texture (weight lies between 6 – 14 Oz/sq. yds.) and used for heave and agreeable coat.


  • To gather the denim texture.
  • To set up the denim texture for washing.
  • Washings like compound wash, stone wash, dye wash and corrosive wash were washed on the denim texture.
  • Testing the washed denim texture.
  • Overcoming the test results, finally finding the solace properties of washed denim textures.



  • Light Weight
  • Medium Weight
  • Heavy Weight


  • Indigo tank
  • Sulfur dark
  • Plain
  • Twill (S-twill, Z-twill, herringbone or Zigzag twill)

There are two techniques for piece of clothing wrapping up.

  • Dipping process
  • Dry tumbling process


An articles of clothing colouring and washing industrial facility needs the accompanying machines

  • Garments coloring/clothes washer for-Sample and Bulk
  • Water extractor
  • Cloth dryer


The followings points of interest could be picked up from articles of clothing washing:

  • Removal of starch or size materials makes the garments sensitive hand feel.
  • Softness could be extended by the development of conditioner precisely at the last period of washing.
  • Dirt, spots, contaminations, gums, at whatever point gathered in garments during their collecting, could be emptied.
  • During washing shrinkage occurs, thus, consequent to washing there is no probability to make such issue.
  • Washed garments could be worn clearly after purchase.
  • Faded or pulverized effects could be familiar with the pieces of clothing which makes new style


There are two types of denim washing were being used:


  • Stone washing using stone.
  • Sand blasting using sand.


  • Bleach washing using sodium hypochlorite.
  • Enzyme washing using cellulose.
  • Acid washing using chemicals.


Garments received for washing

Drying process obtained

Sending to wet process

Fabric loading in washing machine

De-size the cloth for washing

Enzyme protein added

Neutralization of fabric for further process

Extracting the fabric

Drying the fabric

P.P spray


Tinting the fabric

Adding Softener

Extracting the fabric

Drying after washing.


The chemicals used for washing are detergents, enzyme, acetic acid, bleaching powder, caustic soda, fixing agent, stabilizer, resin and de sizing agent were used.


The activity of catalyst during chemical wash it hydrolysis the cellulose. From the start it assaults the having anticipating filaments and hydrolysed them. At that point it assaults the yarn divide inside texture and gathering hydrolysed the yarn parcel. Thus shading comes out from the yarn parcel and blurred influence is created.


As each and every test were made on denim is to check only the GSM after and wash of the fabric. Some authors made an attempt to discuss the stiffness and tensile strength of the denim fabric regarding after wash and before wash. Also many authors came forward to discuss the specific wash. As differently we have made our attempt here to discuss basic four washes namely enzyme wash, bleach wash, stone wash and acid wash. We are going test these washes on basis of two parameters such as before wash and after wash. The comfort tests such as stiffness tester, air permeability, crease recovery, GSM and tensile strength were take on above parameters for the corresponding washes listed. According to others research GSM is the one common factor which reduced after wash. While we looking into customer benefits any one of those research were not sufficient one and so we tend to make a brief look on some major comfort tests. Because, comfort plays major role in customer wardrobe.


There has been growing eagerness for the usage of earth neighbourly, nontoxic, totally biodegradable impetuses right now development finishing systems. Enzymatic treatment can replace different mechanical and creation exercises which are applied to improve the comfort and nature of surfaces.

In compound washing, cellulose synthetic substances are used. Hydrolysis of the cellulose, which is speed up by cellulose, causes the surface fibres to become weakened and later they get ousted when there is either surface to-surface scratched spot or surface to-stone scratched territory during washing. The temperature and the pH used are unequivocal to the sort of cellulose used. Commonly fair celluloses are applied at pH 6–7, while destructive cellulose are applied at pH 4.5–5.5. In any case, the last result in a progressively noticeable level of back recoloring, being progressively penetrative. A synthetic bit of 2–4 g/L is ordinarily satisfactory, gave that the compound activity isn’t crippled. All things considered, the shade of the compound washed product is dynamically uniform, particularly when stone is excluded. Since celluloses are open just on cellulose, any size materials or various contaminations must be ousted before the cellulose treatment.

Flowchart of Enzyme Wash

De size the cloth for (10-15 min)

Washing the obtained fabric

Chemical washing using protein (30-60 min) at with pH 4.5-5.5

Hot washing the fabric at 80c

Mellowing the fabric at last.


Bleach wash is usually done with a solid oxidative fading operator. For example, sodium hypochlorite and potassium permanganate. It could be done with or without expansion of stone. The effect of detergent washing and decolouration depends upon the quality of sanitizer alcohol, amount of alcohol, temperature and time of treatment. In order to decrease the consequent yellowing and offering of faded denim texture, dyed texture materials should be washed.

Flowchart of Bleach Wash

Washing the cloth

Fading the cloth or fabric obtained (15-30 min)

Washing again the fabric

Fading the fabric with cold water

Optical lighting up using optical brighteners

Softening the fabric


We are doing stone wash to bring fading effect on denim. For the stuff and rigid fabrics like canvas and denim, stone wash helps to enhance softness and flexibility. The outcome of this wash will be colour fading of jeans and additional usage of water is needed for stone washing. During the washing volcanic shakes\pumice stones are added as solutes. Then shading blurring is obviously increasing in less uniform. The level of shading blurring depends on the time of washing (60-120mm), proportion of alcohol (10:1) and piece of clothing load is used.

Flowchart of Stone Wash

Pieces of clothing stacking with stone

De-size the fabric

Washing the fabric for (Multiple times)

Stone washing induced

Washing again(Multiple times)

Conditioner added into machine

Empty the pieces of clothing

Extricating the fabric


Drying the fabric


Corrosive wash is otherwise called snow washing process. Essentially in corrosive wash, pre-doused pumice were utilized. This is accomplished through absorbing them a strong oxidizing administrator and after this procedure it is applied on the denim texture through dry tumbling strategy. Tonal shading with sharp complexity is accomplished through this washing. This washing strategy is exceptionally well known in view of its appealing appearance in retail locations. It is otherwise called compound procedure which gives white shaded surface on the top layer of the denim texture. This wash was created in the time of 1980. Denim pieces of clothing ordinarily achieves corrosive wash through pumice stones. Furthermore, the stones were absorbed an answer containing of sodium hypochlorite and potassium permanganate.

Flowchart of Acid Wash

De size the fabric for (10–15 min)

Dousing stones with solid oxidizing specialist

Depleting abundance alcohol on fabric

Dry tumbling the obtained fabric (10–30 min)

Flushing to expel stone residue

Washing with oxalic corrosive (if there should arise an occurrence of potassium permanganate)/antichlor with lessening operator (in the event of sodium hypochlorite)

Optical brightner used




Air porousness can be estimated by utilizing particular test conventions, for instance, ASTM D 737 and ISO 9237. As indicated by these test strategies, the wind stream through a given zone of texture is estimated at a steady weight drop over the texture. The texture is cinched over the air bay, and the air is drawn through this texture test by methods for a suction siphon. The pace of wind current now is estimated utilizing a stream meter. The estimation of porousness may vary impressively over the whole territory of the texture because of anomalies in the yarn.

The penetrability discoveries are not impacted by texture direction on the grounds that the deliberate region is constantly round. The test conditions for the estimation of air penetrability are the cinching region of the example (cm^2) and the weight distinction (Pa). As indicated by the ASTM standard, the suggested test zone is 38.3 cm^2, while interchange zones are 5 and 100 cm^2.


Wrinkle Recovery Tester, to choosing recovery properties of surfaces by wrinkling in a stacking device for a fated time using a weight sensible for the test technique showed (BS/ISO/AATCC), After moving the guide to the snap of the analyser, the model is allowed to recover and the purpose of recovery recorded. Surface Crease Tester agrees to ISO 2313, AATCC 66, BS EN 22313 .Crease Recovery Tester and Loading Device is expected to lead the wrinkle impediment test for varied surface. In any case, you press the model on the wrinkle stacking device, at an essential load as showed by the test system portrayed by BS/ISO/AATCC, after an important time, by then putting the guide to the snap of the recovery analyser to watch and record the edge developing.


Surface Stiffness Tester, to choosing the bowing stature, flexural unyielding nature and bowing modulus of surface by clear frameworks and calculation. Shirley Stiffness Tester agrees to ASTM D1388, BS 3356, DIN 53362, etc. Surface Stiffness Tester, is a utilitarian equipment to choose the winding stature, flexural rigid nature and bowing modulus of surfaces. This analyser gives a quick and instinctual way to deal with know the robustness execution of a wide scope of surfaces like woven, layered, rested, weaved, pile, etc.


The GSM of surface is one kind of detail of surface which is noteworthy for a material creator for perception and formation of surface. ‘GSM’ implies ‘Gram per square meter’ that is the weight of surface in gram per one square meter. By this we can dissect the surfaces in unit zone which is heavier and which is lighter.


Material quality testing, using the tractable or weight test system, incorporates applying an ever-growing weight to a test up to the point of frustration. The method makes a weight/strain twist demonstrating how the material reacts all through the folding test. The data delivered during pliable testing is used to choose mechanical properties of materials and gives the going with quantitative estimations:

  • Elasticity, in any case called Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS), is the best malleable weight passed on by the model, portrayed as the most outrageous weight isolated by the primary cross-sectional district of the test.
  • Yield quality is the concern at which time immutable (plastic) curving or yielding supposedly starts.



Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
300.8 GSM268.4 GSM
Before WashAfter Wash
3cm warp
2.3cm weft2.3cm weft
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
84.2kgf, 32mm99.4kgf, 32.7mm


Before WashAfter Wash
300 lpm248 lpm
Before WashAfter Wash
372.4 gsm365.5 gsm
Before WashAfter Wash
3.3cm warp2cm warp
2.1cm weft2.1cm warp
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
70.9kgf, 19.2mm85.6kgf, 25.5mm


Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
4.2cm warp3.9cm warp
3.5cm weft3.2cm weft
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
84.2kgf, 32mm101.3kgf, 27.9mm


Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
3.1cm warp3.6cm warp
3.2cm weft3.4cm weft
Before WashAfter Wash
Before WashAfter Wash
97.5kgf, 35.2mm122.8kgf, 22.1mm


In this modern era, denim plays major role in the customer wardrobe. The current day pattern demonstrates that customer is intrigued to denim and feels that denim is agreeable dress material. Solace properties can be conferred into the denim texture by different methods. So an attempt has been made on denim fabric which washed through different washing treatments and finally we could conclude the comfort properties of enzyme, stone, acid and bleached denim fabric using major comfort tests such as tensile strength, crease recovery, air permeability, GSM and stiffness tests. Also by doing these tests we came to know that GSM always becomes lower after the denim washing and it increases the comfort and softness of the fabric. Washes like acid wash and bleach wash influences and attracts the customer. These comfort tests will be very helpful to achieve some knowledge about washes in denim as it play’s major role in everyone’s wardrobe.


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