1. Raw Denim
Unwashed and sometimes referred to as dry denim, raw denim can be identified by its dark blue colour and stiff handle. As the name suggests, this is denim fabric in its unwashed, unfinished state received straight from the mill.
2. Acid Wash
Made popular in the late 80s, acid wash is also referred to as Marble/ Moon or Snow wash. With sharp contrasts in tonal colour, acid wash denim is achieved by soaking pumice stones in chlorine and adding them to the wash process.
3. Rinse Wash
The most basic wash for a denim garment, the purpose is to make the garment wearable. The residual dye is removed from the jean to help stop the colour running. The wash makes the denim feel softer but it still maintains a clean appearance.
4. Mid Wash
A popular choice for most jeans, mid-wash denim has undergone a longer washing process than rinse jean to remove more indigo dye colour. This helps create the mid-blue colour level. The wash also ensures the jeans have a softer handle compared to the raw denim.
5. Light Wash
A light wash jean is a light blue in colour. The jean has been through a longer washing process than mid-wash jeans. The result is a lighter blue shade of denim jean.
6. Bleach Wash
This process makes the denim heavily faded. Bleach wash jeans are easily identifiable as they are light and washed out. Washing with bleach is one way to achieve this finish. It can also be applied locally through spray or hand rubbing on the desired area. This process is very complicated and requires highly skilled operators.
Black and grey denim undertakes a similar dying process to traditional blue denim but uses different dye colours.
8. All-over Tinting
This is when different dyes have been added to the denim during the washing process. It follows that different colour dyes create different colour finishes. Commonly used are Brown and Green tints to give a browned off or green finish.
9. Coated Denim
PU (Polyurethane) coating is applied on the fabric in the mill after weaving. It will not deteriorate during laundering and so this type of coating will last the for the line life of the garment.
10. Vintage Finishing
Often called a vintage, the washing and finishing process create this ‘worn in’ look. Colour levels can be changed and tints added to give different colour levels. In addition, PP Spray (a kind of bleach), hand scraping, whiskering and grinding are also used to finish.