STREAKS, CRACKS AND STRIPES
Up to ca. 10 years ago wash lines, stripes, streaks, cracks etc have been not desired issues at the look of a washed jeans. Nowadays we try many times to achieve this kind of “bad wash” with all possible options we have. I will give some examples how to avoid the appearance of those lines and also how to create them in a common way.
How to avoid the “bad wash”?
We need to look at the garments already before start washing. Because in many cases the rigid jeans arrive in the laundry irregular packed or fold. If these jeans are stored some days in such conditions it is like they are irregular pressed. Due to the starch on the rigid jeans and this press effect the garments show some hard and irregular edges. At these edges you have in the washing machine higher abrasion, the starch and indigo will be washed/scraped out faster than at other places and finally appear white lines. To avoid that we must press the garments flat before washing, put them on a topper or at least arrange them well before taking into the washing machine.
But also nice, flat jeans could show those lines if the washing process is not correct done. First of all it is necessary to have the right speed of the drum. The speed should be chosen in that way that if you stay in front of the washing machine you can see the garments falling down from “2 o’clock” to “7 o’clock” or the other way around from “10 o’clock” to “5 o’clock”, means diagonal through the drum. Like that is the longest way for the garments to fall down guaranteed , means they are opened again after rolling at the lowest point of the drum and be brought up by the beaters. In modern stone washing machines it is usually a speed of 23 or 24 to 27 to 28 rpm. If you overload the machine means the garments have not enough space and time for opening during falling down and stripes appear. As a standard load is 25 to 30% of the drum volume seen.
The recipe should have a liquor ratio of 1:4 to 1:7, garment weight to water amount, depending on the quality of the fabric and its dyed indigo. Sometimes it’s still necessary to prewash the garments with an Amylase for desizing. Some fabrics still have starch which is made out of corn f.i. and difficult to dilute just with hot water. There are different Amylases for desizing on the market available which work best at 40 °C or 60 °C or even 80 to 90 °C. Not only liquor ratio and temperature are important for using Amylase but also time and pH. Usually the run time for a complete desize is 10 to 20 min and the pH should be between 6 and 8. Also heavy metal ions influence the strength of Amylases and could make desize incomplete. Sometimes it is necessary to catch these ions with an add-on sequest auxiliary.
How to obtain the ”bad wash”?
Doing all things opposite then as described above! Run slow speed, overload the machine, don’t use Amylase, press the garments irregular before washing! Additionally it is helpful to apply resin before irregular pressing to make the jeans even more stiff and have high abrasion at the edges. Then scrape the edges before washing or put them in a net and wash them crunched. Or twist them and fix the twisted legs with plastic wires f.i. or put them in tubes for washing.
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