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Process for Adding Value to Denim

The word Denim is believed to have evolved from a French fabric known as "serge
de Nîmes." The cloth from Nîmes was a twill woven cloth made of a silk-wool blend; h
owever; the fabric mix of this cloth casts some doubt on this origin since Denim
has always been made from cotton. Since the mid-1950's Denim Garments has becom
e a mainstay in the wardrobe of American youth. Denim represents a rugged cotton
twill textile, in which the weft passes under two or more warp fibers, producin
g the familiar diagonal ribbing identifiable on the reverse of the fabric, which
distinguishes denim from cotton duck. Denim was traditionally colored blue with
indigo dye to make blue jeans though jean represents a different, lighter cotto
n textile. Although Denim jeans are favorites among the American youth, it has c
hanged style and significance throughout the years. Globally, Denim designers ar
e experimenting with fabric and garment details including embellishments in orde
r to add value to its garments. New add-ons are being incorporated in the form o
f patches, appliqué, rhinestones and glitter.
The process of adding value to this legendary outfitter enhanced from time and t
ime by devising some new methods such as:
BY CHANGING THE COLOR AND METALLIC SPARKLE SPRAY ON DENIM GARMENTS
Value-addition substantially allows higher earnings in relation to money spent o
n impartation of the value. It may be either functional or aesthetic. Functional
value-addition may not function more effectively on the garment. In many cases,
the garment may not look effectively, if it is not treated for value-addition.
Aesthetic value-addition is a cosmetic treatment and ornamentation. It attracts
the attention and you can see the appealing results at the earliest. This kind o
f value-addition is governed by latest "trends" and consumer preferences. The co
lor spray gives an aesthetically appealing 'cast', which gives a "consumer-likin
g" value.
SOFTENERS SHOULD BE USED FOR BULKY FEEL ON DENIM GARMENTS
"Bulky" or "flat and firm" has relation to aesthetics and personal liking as the
re is no dearth of finishes for such attributes. These finishes are generally ap
plied wet-on-wet at the end of garment washing by exhaust method. It is, therefo
re, imperative to select a softener/lubricant, which is exhaustible for the best
performance of the garment. It is also important to maintain whilst applying th
e right conditions such as pH, temperature and exhaustion time in order to trans
fer the maximum softener/lubricant onto garment from the treating liquor. Such p
roducts could be cationic softener, exhaustible polyethylene, micro-amino silico
ne for suppleness, macro amino silicone for surface smoothness and so on. One ne
eds to prepare an atlas of fabrics to assess the degree of bulk with the type of
softeners and their concentrations. Further some combination of softeners may s
how enhanced effect immediately.
APPROACHES TO MILD WASHING EFFECTS ON SULPHUR-DYED DENIM GARMENTS
Garment washing may affect the whiteness level of your garments, as they can loo
k dull or yellow after processing. Most garment washers add whitener to the proc
ess to ensure a bright white finished product. Make sure to determine any costs
involved and factor them into your product costing. There are many special effec
ts, such as weathering, stone washing, acid washing and distressing that can be
produced by garment washers. These effects being very popular have their own dra
wbacks. They are costly, have higher fallout rates, and are generally rougher on
the fabrics. Talk to your garment washer about prices and what to expect of the
process you choose to do.
TINT DENIM-GARMENTS WITHOUT CHANGING THE TONE OF INDIGO
Tinting is achieved by application of the direct/reactive dyes. In case of direc
t dyes, the second application would be that of dye-fixing agent for an adequate
fastness. In case of reactives, the fixing chemical goes along with the dyestuf
f. After the application, the treated garment is dried in the air or in a tumble
drier for adequate fastness. If tinting were done by immersion method, the tint
would be all over. However, if a localized area is the target, a spray method i
s used. In either case the tinting, as the term signifies, is done very lightly
to achieve a particular cast, either overall or localized. If indigo does not ch
ange tone would look like a print with a sharp boundary. When tone changes fad g
radient, the effect looks more aesthetically appealing and is considered desirab
le. The tone-change should be gradual and not abruptive.
SIGNIFICANCE OF OZONE-FASTNESS IN INDIGO GARMENTS
Oxidizing agents have a property of attacking chromophoric group of the dyestuff
and destroying-discharging the color. Potassium permanganate is a well-known ch
emical extensively used for discharge of indigo in denim garments. However, pota
ssium permanganate is used as and when discharge is required and the ultimate pu
rpose is value-addition. Ozone is another strong oxidizing agent, which could di
scharge indigo in denim-garments. The folds in folded-denim garment otherwise ha
ve relatively greater exposure to atmospheric ozone than the rest of the garment
, which is protected by virtue of garments being stacked. This results into loca
lized discharge of indigo at the folded marks. There are inorganic as well as or
ganic ozone-seavenger, which protect the indigo in denim garments from the attac
k of ozone and hence control the value-loss. There are many buyers who ask for d
enim fabrics/garments finishes with ozone seavenger.
EFFECTS OF PERLITE-CELLULASE TREATMENT ON DENIM GARMENTS
Perlite being used in denim washing is a high-temperature expanded version of na
tural mineral in granule form of 1.5 mm size. The perlite treatment combined wit
h enzyme treatment for softness, sheen, and mildly abraded surface. Perlite can
reduce the enzyme dosage and enhance abrasion. However, the abrasion is quite mi
ld, which gets with pumice stones and only cellulose. Depending upon the degree
of abrasion needed, the cellulase - perlite treatment could take 60-120 minutes
using liquor ratio and some 100 gm perlite per kg of garment. Since perlite dust
causes, sensitization and allergies when inhaled, some standard protective-care
needs to be taken during manufacture, packing, storage, transportation, materia
l handling and usage. Further perlite needs to be looked first before cellulose
and other chemicals and then the machine run for minutes with water.
TINTING WITH WHITE DISCHARGE EFFECT ON DENIM GARMENTS
The standard route to blasting/discharging/tinting is quite elaborate, in the li
ght of three effects to be imparted on the same garment. There have been short c
uts, which may be right/wrong/ingenious. If tinting is done on blasted/discharge
d areas, it obviously remains a spray method. However, if the tinting is overall
, it follows the dyeing route. The process starts on gray garment being hand bla
sted followed by desizing and biopolishing. After drying the garment, tint-spray
is given followed by air/machine drying and finishing. For tinting by dyeing me
thod, the biopolished garment can straight away go for tinting wet-on-wet follow
ed by finishing and drying.
In case of white discharge tinting the route would start with desizing-biopolish
ing on gray garment, peroxide bleaching after biopolishing being optional. After
drying the garment, a potassium permanganate spray is given to areas where whit
e discharge is aimed at. After air-drying for about 10-15 minutes, a neutralizat
ion step consisting of provide-acetic acid is given which is followed by hot and
cold rinses. In case of spray tinting the garment will have to be dried first,
whereas for overall tinting, dyeing the method could be followed wet-on-wet. Fin
ally the finishing and drying would complete the process.
GETTING REVERSE EFFECT ON DENIM IN DISCHARGE PROCESS
In spray process, first apply neutralizer where you want the resist effect and t
hereafter, spray potassium permanganate on applied portion and its surrounding a
rea. Then, neutralize the garment to remove potassium permanganate. It gives a h
alo effect to denim garments.