Acid Washes On Denim Jeans


acid wash denim jeans acid wash denim jeans

Acid wash is again becoming popular on denim jeans and we are going to see more of acid washes in the coming seasons. Here , lets have a quick look at the acid washing process .

An acid wash finish treatment creates significant contrasts in the color of the denim material. It can be done on Indigo & Sulphur base fabric garments. As the randomly faded, acid washed style came into vogue in 1980s, the process of treating denim in such a way began to become increasingly refined. Some tried to use a method similar to the stonewashing, yet the fading did not occur as dramatically or throughout the material.

In 1980’s this washed being launched as first innovative finish on denim ever. This was being done by soaking stones in Bleach and making acid wash effect followed by neutralization. But this process was not so re find to get some how consistent & smooth effect on denim. In early 2000 some laundry tried doing the same wash soaking thermocol bolls in bleach or pp solution to get this desired effect.

While this process can be done using either light bleach, chlorine , potassium permanganate etc. The most popular is PP Bleach and will produce the best acid washed results. Doing the process is very simple , but following all parameters in correct way to have right & repeatable results. The load size of garments, machine drum diameter, quantity of soaked stone / towels & skilled operator.

Initially, the Acid Wash process involved soaking pumice in Industrial Strength Chlorine .However, it was discovered that potassium permanganate was more controllable and just as strong an oxidizer. They simply marinated pumice stone in it and then vacuum packed the stone to the required moisture level. Acid wash was a chemical process on  denim that stripped the top layer of color off to a white surface with the undertones of navy blue remaining in the jeans.

The Materials

The process of acid washing jeans involves porous pumice stones or small towel pieces and chlorine or Pp Bleach, such as you would put into a bucket or in drum for soaking process. Sodium-bisulfate is used in the second washing for Neutralization. Also recommended is access to two separate washing machines. One for Acid Washing & another one for further process i.e. Neutralization etc.

The Acid Washing Process On Denim Jeans

The process of acid washing jeans used chemicals, stripping off the color of the top layer, leaving the white fabric exposed. The color remained in the lower layers of the material, giving it a faded look. Acid washing could be done overall or made to look splotchy.

pumice stones for acid wash jeans acid wash denim jeans process

1.Soak porous pumice rocks or pieces of towels in chlorine or PP bleach solution for about 20 minutes to an hour. The longer you soak the pumice or towel, the more prominent the effects will be.

2.Once the stones are saturated with chlorine/pp, remove excess water from stones/towel then put the stones in machine followed by the jeans in a washing machine for about 20 minutes. Make sure machine do not have single drop of water, open the drain during complete process

3.At this time, check on the jeans to ensure they look acceptable, and then move them to another washing machine for a regular washing process. Too long in the first machine can totally bleach or ruin the jeans, and too little time may not produce the desired results or can make patchy appearance. Check on the jeans once every 10 minutes or so during the second wash process of neutralisation to ensure the desired look is achieved.

4.Next, fully dry the jeans in a dryer that gets nice and hot.


Any time we mess with chemicals such as bleach or chlorine or PP, be sure to protect workers by wearing mask & aprons , so it is best to be fully prepared. Also, protective rubber gloves and safety glasses are highly recommended. These products can burn skin and eyes pretty badly.

About Author : 3E’s Consultants, Group of experts, focused on Denim Fashion, Providing consultancy to all Denim Garments Finishers..Contact for further info email here

  1. Now there is a new way to do acid wash without using thermocol or pumic stones. There are some products available from some chemical suppliers which is readily available to use as it is in a powder form.
    I think its fine powder of Potassium permanganate.

Your email address will not be published.

Denimsandjeans is a premium denim website dedicated to global denim supply chain since 2007 – covering news, trends, reviews and more. .