Stone washing

Since the 1970s, there have been waves of fashionably aged and worn denim jeans and jean jackets produced by manufacturers. Particularly popular in the 80s, stone washing involves tumbling the new fabric with pumice stones which batter the fabric into softness. Color removers of various sorts are often applied in tandem.

Other methods used on rigid fabrics for creating a worn look and feel include sandblasting, chemical treatments, enzyme washing and even (according to Textile Research Journal) the fungus Trichoderma. In addition to referring to fabrics treated in this way as being stone-washed, the finished products have been called frosted, abused, whiskered, distressed and acid-washed.

As the environmental impact of the various methods of treating denim has become more of a consideration, the use of pumice stones has been reduced.

Other rigid fabrics, such as duck, have been given these types of treatments as well, although denim is by far the most common.


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