Pigment Wash Process in Garments | Chemical Used in Pigment Washing

Last Updated on 02/06/2022

Pigment Wash:
Garment wash is done for increasing appeal of garment. Garment outlook, comfortable, fashionable also increase by garment washing. There are different types of garment wash. Pigment wash is one of them. In a word we can say that which wash is done by pigment is called pigment washing. Pigment wash generally doing on pigment dyed or printed garments by pigment washing technique. Pigment wash is similar to a normal wash but a bit costlier. The garment is solid color dyed with a pigment dye. The requirement is that the color should fade evenly to lend the garment a prominent washed look. Pigment wash requires a higher temperature of water than normal wash, normally 50–60°C. The tumble washer should not be loaded more than 70% of its capacity. This enables garments to smoothly move inside.

pigment washed t-shirt
Fig: Pigment washed t-shirt

Pigment wash is essential for the following reasons:

  1. To fading affect/old looking affect on garment and also seam area.
  2. For soft feeling to wear the garment after purchasing.
  3. To achieve the buyer washing standard.
  4. To increase the color and rubbing fastness.

Flow Chart of Pigment Washing of Garment:
The basic steps of pigment wash are as follows:

Immersing garment in pigment


Baking (130–150°C)

Washing (with or without pumice stones/with or without enzyme, 30–90 min)

Washing twice with water at 70°C

Removing stones



Pigment Wash Process in Garments:
The pigment washing process of batch of 80 kg Twill/canvas Garments are described below:

First Step:

  • Lot size: …………………. 80 kg Twill/Canvas Garment.
  • Add water @ L: R = 1: 8………….. 640 liter
  • Machine Running.
  • Add Caustic soda (NAOH)….. @ 0.8 gm / liter ………… 512 gm.
  • Add Soda Ash (Na2CO3) ……..@ 1.50 gm / liter……….. 960 gm.
  • Add Detergent …………………… @ 0.8 gm / liter ………… 512 gm.
  • Temperature……….. 50°C to 60°C.
  • Time (Depend upon the shade) ……. 20 to 60 min.
  • Drop the liquor.
  • Wash 1 time by hot wash for 5 min at the temperature 50°C.
  • Wash 1 time by cold water for 5 min

Second Step:

  • Add water @ L : R = 1: 6 ……… 480 liter.
  • Washing machine running
  • Add Acetic Acid (for pH 4.5 -5.5) @ 0.5 gm / liter …………. 240 gm.
  • Add Flax softener … . @ 0.6 gm / liter……….. 288 gm.
  • For more slippery hand feel use silicon -@ 0.4 gm / liter…..192gm.
  • Time…………………………….. 15 to 25 min.
  • Drop the liquor.
  • Unload the Garments on trolley.

Third Step: Hydro Extractor Machine
Hydro extraction the garment to remove excess water from the Garment. Time required about 2-4 minutes.

Fourth Step: Steam Dryer / Gas Dryer.

  • Load on steam dryer: 50 kg
  • Running the machine
  • Temperature: 60°C-70°C
  • Time: 40 -50 min for dry.
  • Time: 10 -15 min for cold dry.


  • Load on gas dryer: 50 kg,
  • Running the machine
  • Temperature: 70°C-85°C for dry.
  • Time: 30-35 min for dry.
  • Time: 10-15 min for cold dry.

Fifth Step: Delivery
After drying garments go to quality section and check the garment, good quality garment will be delivery and deep shade again rewash, other quality garment rectify then delivery.

Chemical Used in Pigment Washing and Their Functions:
List of chemicals used in pigment washing and their functions are given below-

1. Caustic Soda (NaOH):

  • Caustic created the role in bleach technique without color change the garments.
  • Caustic has a cleaning power which is more powerful then soda Ash.
  • Fading affect/old looking affect come rapidly on garments.

2. Soda Ash (Na2CO3):

  • Soda ash created alkaline medium for the breakdown of pigment dye.
  • It has also a cleaning power.
  • It has also help color fading effect of garments.

3. Detergent:
Here detergent is used to remove impurities from the garment fabric surfaces and temperature helps detergent to enhance its action. Detergent removes the impurities from the garments fabric surface. During coming these impurities, some pigment will be washed out from the pigment dyed or printed area of the garments. As a result fading affect will be developed.

4. Acidic Acid (CH3COOH):
Acidic Acid is used to neutralize the garment from alkaline condition and to control the pH value in wash bath.

5. Flax Softener (Cationic, Nonionic):
Softener is used to make the garments treated textiles is surface feel that is bath sickly and soft and also provides excellent lubricating properties.

You may also like:

  1. Stone Washing Process of Denim Fabric
  2. Enzyme Stone Wash Process of Garments
  3. Denim Enzyme Wash Process
  4. Ozone Fading Techniques for Denim Finishing
  5. Bleach Washing: Objects, Working Procedure, Advantages and Limitations
  6. Acid Wash Process on Denim Garments
  7. Step by Step Tinting and Over Dyeing Process

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