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Denim Jean Finishes Explained


There's no doubt that jeans are a fashion item that will never die, but there are so many different denim jean finishes out there that it gets confusing! To help distinguish your sandblasted from stonewashed, use these definitions of denim jean finishes courtesy of Cotton Incorporated, www.thefabricofourlives.com.

Acid wash

Patented in 1986, this wash uses pumice stones soaked in bleach to create deep contrast within the coloring of the denim jeans.


A denim finish achieved through sanding and washing, which gives an aged look to the garment. Antique is also a type of ring denim in which the yarn is strongly uneven.


Denim jeans that retain their indigo color even after repeated washings.


A finish that produces a white line down the front of the denim jeans, creating the illusion that the jeans have been repeatedly ironed.


A textured effect achieved through a special fabric construction and wet processing. The denim jeans are woven with an overtwisted weft yarn; when the garment is washed, the yarn 'shrinks,' acquiring a look that is further enhanced by bleaching and stonewashing.

Enzyme washed

Enzymes are proteins used to speed up the chemical processes and are used in the finishing of denim.


A finish in which the waistband and hems of denim jeans have been sanded to create a worn effect.


A second dying process executed after denim jeans have been sewn, to make the thread color the same as the jean.


Denim jeans that have not been treated or finished.


A laundry process in which denim jeans are shot with guns of sand in order to make the jeans look as if they've been worn.
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