- 1 What is Denim?
- 2 Types of Denim Fabric
- 3 Technology Involved In Manufacturing Process Of Denim
- 4 Denim Industry Globally and Future Scenario of Denims
What is Denim?
The name Denim is derived from French – serge de Nîmes, meaning ‘serge from Nîmes’.
It comes from the name of a fabric called “Serge”, initially made in “Nîmes” in France, hence “de Nîmes” – DENIM.
Denim essentially is a fabric that is made up of 100% cotton used to make jeans. It is long-lasting, sturdy, and yet, comfortable at the same time. The difference between Denim and Jeans is that the Denim is the fabric itself and the jeans are the trousers that are made out of denim cloth.
The use of Denim is not only restricted to the manufacturing of jeans. There are many other things like jackets, skirts, hats, purses, scarves, shirts, bags, boots, dresses, lampshades, upholstery, belts that are made of it, designed for men and women.
Types of Denim Fabric
Yes…you heard it right. Denims…as much as simple it sounds, it is just more than a piece of fabric. Denim is available in following different types.
Such type of Denim, during their production process, is washed after being dyed. This particular step of washing imparts softness and eliminates shrinking after being washed by the customer.
Unlike its washed category, dry denim is not washed after being dyed during its production process. It is sometimes artificially “distressed” to achieve a worn-in look.
Selvage / Selvedge Denim
The word “selvage” comes from the phrase “self-edge”. The looms in which this denim is prepared weaves fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim it creates this “self-edge” or Selvage; hence the name. Such types of denim form a clean natural edge and do not unravel. Commonly, it is in a raw state.
Stretch types of denim are usually made of 98% cotton and 2% Spandex. This superb blend of cotton and spandex gives a wonderful stretch that is so comfortable.
Such types of denim are basically polyester blends with an aesthetic appeal of denim. The advantage is that it can be washed and dried quickly.
Ramie Cotton Denim
A plant fibre is added to reduce wrinkling while adding a quite smooth texture to the fabric. It isn’t as strong as cotton; hence such material is blended with stronger material to prepare strong denim.
Technology Involved In Manufacturing Process Of Denim
The technology involved in the manufacturing process of Denim is intense. Right from the spinning work to finishing, each step is spiked with the technical processes that are modified as and when the new technologies come in the picture.
The spinning of the threads is the first and foremost thing in denim manufacturing process. It consists of opening and blending of the fibres of cotton, followed by a drawing process which ends up in yielding a single, uniform sliver. The yarn is then spun through Open-End Spinning or Ring Spinning.
Warp Preparation – Dyeing and Sizing Processes
Denim Warp Preparation: Warp yarns are dyed indigo and later sized with the help of the following two methods:
- A warp sheet is formed by combining threads from several back beams and later dyed and sized over the same machine.
- Threads are formed into ropes and then these ropes, when combined together runs adjacent to a continuous dyeing unit. The ropes are then dried on huge cylinders.
Sizing is then done in a conventional manner after the worker’s beam is prepared.
There are various methods in dyeing and sizing process:
- Continuous Indigo-Rope dyeing and sizing.
The yarn coming out from the ring frames is wound and then placed on the warper. Usually, 350-400 threads are placed, which are formed into a rope and are cross wound to a ball.
A most commonly used practice in U.S.A is where the ropes are dyed, oxidized, dried and placed in large containers. Back beams are then sized and the sized warp is then woven.
- Continuous Indigo dyeing and sizing.
A most commonly used method in the European countries, the back beams are processed on the dyeing/ sizing machine instead of ropes. The warp is dyed, oxidized, dried and sized, all at once.
- Indigo-back beam dyeing and sizing.
In this particular process, we see two processes – Dyeing and Sizing which is done in two stages. Back beams are dyed first (mainly with blue dye), followed by oxidizing, drying and wounding on a batch roll. The roll is later sized, dried and wound on a weaver’s beam.
The weaving process interlaces the warp and the yarn. The warp is the length-wise indigo dyed yarn, in a form of a sheet and the filling is the natural-colored cross-wise yarn. The type of the weaving machine used depends upon the selection of the carrier.
The two different technologies available for weaving machines are – Conventional Shuttle Weaving System and the Shuttleless Weaving System.
Finishing of denim is done in order to achieve different properties of denim fabric according to requirements of the market.The quality control exercise is practiced where the final woven fabric is taken out from weaving machines at definite intervals and checked on inspection machines to detect any fault if any. If any defect is detected, certain measures for correcting the same are taken.
The final woven fabrics then go through various finishing processes, such as brushing, singeing, washing, impregnation for dressing and drying. Brushing and singeing eliminate impurities and help to even the surface of the fabric.
The fabric is then cut into the desired width according to the size required. The fabric is then carefully scanned for weaving defects, uneven dyeing, bleaching and dyeing defects, oil stains, or patches.
After inspection, the final product is categorized quality-wise. The fabrics without any fault are then sent to the packaging department while the defective ones are segregated.
Some studies have indicated that a single pair of jeans consumes more than 2,500 gallons of water, nearly a pound of chemicals and vast amounts of energy. If you get this number to be converted into a yearly consumption, it would come out to be enormous considering the vast amount of jeans produced every year. This has a great impact on the environment.
The researchers and manufacturers have come up with a solution of Advanced Denim, which can produce a pair of jeans using up to 92 percent less water. It also adds up to the advantage of utilizing almost 30 percent less energy than the usual denim manufacturing methods.
According to a textile engineer at Clariant, a company based in Muttenz (near Basel), Switzerland, developed Advanced Denim. It saved a lot of cotton from wasting and virtually no wastewater.
The Advance Denim production process is unlike conventional production methods, which requires up to 15 dyeing vats and an array of potentially harmful chemicals. Advanced Types of Denim just utilizes one vat and a new generation of eco-advanced, concentrated, liquid sulphur dyes that require only a single, sugar-based reducing agent.
Compared to the usual denim dyeing process, ADVANCED DENIM saves up to:
92% in water.
87% of cotton waste.
30% of energy.
Mr. Sanchez further added, ‘If just 25 percent of the world’s denim jeans were dyed with this technology, it would save enough water to cover the needs of 1.7 million people every year. That translates into about 2.5 billion gallons of water per year. It also saves up to 220 million kilowatt hours of electricity and eliminates the release of a corresponding amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere annually.’
Denim Industry Globally and Future Scenario of Denims
The denim industry has always been a favorite industry and has always enjoyed the luxury of being a leading segment. Denim, being the favorite in the wardrobe all the time, has never slowed down in the terms of production.
In the next coming years, up to 2020, the denim industry is expected to grow worldwide at a CAGR of over 6.5%, with the market value expected to increase from $113 billion to $153 billion. Most growth of the denim production is expected to be from the Latin Americas and Asia, according to the Indian Textile Magazine.
With respect to the Indian market, the denim market in India stands at a consistent CAGR of 15% – 18% per year despite a slowdown in apparel exports and domestic market growth, according to the Indian Textile Magazine. But looking at the perspective of popularity and fondness for Denim, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% in the near future in the retail sales market.
Nowadays, denim is considered to be the utmost favorite for comfort as well as style. People wear them for work, parties, events! It instantly grabs attention as it stands out from the rest of the apparels. It is as flexible as a housewife being comfortable in it to a super-model flaunting it on a ramp-walk. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of Denim, the global requirement and the market supply will always be in demand.
Denim can never go out of style! It is rightly said, Denim is forever.
You can check out – Aarvee Denims and Exports Ltd is a leading global player in the textile industry for Denim brand. Being backed by experienced promoters, the company is spreading its wings all over the globe at a very fast pace. Established in 1988 by Arora & VB Group, which has been involved in the textile trade for over 50 years, are the forces behind this dynamic organization.