What is Dry wash in Apparel Washing?

Md Mahedi Hasan

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What is Dry process or mechanical process?

The processes without using any chemicals or using any garments loading washing machine are called dry wash process or mechanical process in the apparel washing industry.

Some dry processes can be done using mechanical methods.

Types of dry wash applied in garments:

Types of dry wash applied in garments
Dry wash steps that applied to garments
  1. Scrapping 
  2. Spraying
  3. Whickering
  4. Damages
  5. Spots
  6. Rubbing
  7. Tacking


Scrapping is the process to remove color from the surface of denim fabric to create worn-out effects.

Scraping in Dry wash
Scraping process in Dry wash

It is difficult to even look as per buyer requirements so experienced operator should do this process. 

Features of scrapping:

  1. Done before wet washing.
  2. To get distressed look.
  3. Fabric is scrapped with different tools to get a used effect.
  4. All scrapping processes are done manually, so it is difficult to achieve consistent finish every.

Types of scraping: 

1. Sand-blasting: Al2O3 is used as abrasive tool. Compressed air gun shoots sand forcibly on the design area to create abrasion

2. Hand sand: Abrasion on fabric surface is done with sandpaper major recruitment for high production is working at high pressure. 

3. Hand sand all over: Scraping is done all over the garment by sandpaper. Number of sand paper according to fabric strength and intensity is a major factor

4. Laser scraping: Laser m/c is used very expensive. 

5. Central crease mark: Jeans is folded and then scrapping is done by ironing or sandpaper. 

6. Crimping: Fabric is cramped and then ironed with high temp. and pressure. 

7. Pocket mark: To make the inside pocket visible

8. Side seam hand sand: Hand sand is applied on the side seam of the garment. 


Chemical is sprayed onto jeans by a spray gun. The main purpose is discoloration. 

Spraying in Dry wash
Spraying process in Dry wash

i) Spraying is done on jeans to take a bright effect

ii) Vintage and muddy appearance on denim surface

iii) To fix the color and permanent effect

Spraying PP(Potassium permanganate) :

PP spray is done to achieve local abraded area to appear whiter than background indigo color shade on the fabric. PP sprayed onto desired surface of jeans and PP oxidizers indigo color. This can be done before or after wet washing. Steps involved-

Step 1: PP is sprayed onto jeans and dried then pink color appears. 

Step 2: Neutralization is done after spraying to get final effect. Normally sodium meta-bi-sulphate is used as neutralizer. 


Mustaches/ whiskers are one of the most important designs on garment surfaces.

Whiskers in Dry wash
Whiskers process in Dry wash

They are also known as cat’s whiskers/mustaches which give worn-out lines/ effects on hip and thigh areas of jeans. 

Features of whiskers:    

  • Famous for its high qualify.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Most frequently used in small industries whether production is not consistent to style.
  • To get permanent effect high temp is required.

Types of whickering:

1. Normal whiskers: Effect is achieved with sandpaper/ and blasting. This is done mainly with the help of sharp edge emery paper rolled on fine wood stick or posted on plastic.

2. PP spray whisker/ pigment spray whisker: The effect is achieved by spraying pp or pigment color. Usually done top of sand paper whiskers to highlight them, shape can be achieved by stencil.

3. Whiskers creases: Fabric is folded in many places and then scrapped on the surface

4. 3D resin whiskers: Resin sprayed all over the garments after normal or pp spray whiskers with a spray gun. Then whiskers are designed by folding fabric. To get permanent effect, garment must be put into oven and dried at high temp. for 30 mins.


Damage or destruction is an art which make denim look unique and used (vintage look)


  1. To get difference by distressing.
  2. Main done in wrap wise to make the yarn visible
  3. Done mainly on pocket edges and hem.


1. Grinding: Mainly used on pocket edge or hems. It is done by running the edges against abrasion surface or stone to achieve worn-out effect. Done by one type stone or fixed grinding m/c

2. Abrasion: This is done by pen-type stone tools. Zf tool is driven warp-wise, weft will be visible and vice versa (warp will be less visible because of no color contrast).

3. Hoe: hole is created with cutter and other tools.

4. Scratching:  Scratched with sharp tool in warp wise/horizontally 

5. Needle effect/cuts: Created by cutting warp yarn by knife or learning warp fibers by needle. 


Spots in washing is the process of creating spot effect on fabric. 


i) Spot is process by which we will get the spot or design 

ii) The design is made of raw denim color so this process is done in unwashed condition.


1. PP spot bleach spot: Created with PP or bleach solution. 

2. Color spot: Created with pigment color. Over-process is required. 

3. Silicon spot: Created with silicon. Provides dirty or wet effect on garment.


Usually done a combination with spraying. Usually done or waistband or on top of taking effect. 

Rubbing in Dry wash
Rubbing process in Dry wash


i) Done for more contrast effect

ii) Focus taking effect


i)  Rub pigment: A sponge or piece of fabric is soaked into the solution then rubbed on garments.

ii) Rub PP: Rubbing PP gives more contrast than PP spraying and then rubbed on the garment.


Tacking is done by swift tag m/c. The garment is folded 3,4 or 5 times and toked/ locked through folds. Then the garment is washed and dried.

Tacking Dry wash
Tacking process Dry wash

Permanent fold appears after removal of tagging. The inner side of the fold is darker due to less exposure to rubbing and chemicals. Mainly done in waist bottom hem, back pocket, back yoke, and front packet. 


  1. Done for fashion and value-added fashion wears
  2. Done by tagging m/c
  3. Done also by needle thread and manually.

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