Ice Wash | Working Procedure of Ice Washing

Ice Wash:
Either by accident or experimentation, a method was developed in which stones are used as a vehicle to deposit a chemical on garments to strip the color. This surface deposit of chemical removes the color only on the outer surface of the garment and produces a frosted appearance. Indigo and selected sulfur dyes are currently the most popular candidates for this procedure. 
Ice washed zens
Working Procedure of Ice Wash:
1. Soak stones in solutions of potassium permanganate for 1-2 hours. Concentrations ranging from 1.5% to 5% are being used commercially. (5% to 10% sodium hypochlorite can be substituted.)

2. Stones should be drained of excess liquor. This can be accomplished by placing stones in net or mesh fabric prior to soaking. Then the stones can be removed and the excess drained off. Another alternative is to place the stones in a rotary tumble machine along with "waste" fabric and tumbling for several minutes to remove the excess solution. A third alternative is to use any number of the pre-soaked stones or materials available from suppliers. These are available in many different shapes with varying levels of chemical and other additives that produce different effects. Trials should be conducted to determine the best method for achieving desired effects.

3. Place stones and garments in machine (garments should be scoured and/or desized and dry or slightly damp).

4. Tumble for 10-30 minutes or until desired effects are achieved. Results are dependent upon dyestuff, fabric, concentration of chemicals, stones, additives, and equipment.

5. In some cases, the stones can be reused for another load before resoaking, depending upon their porosity. It is advantageous to transfer the garments to another machine for washing, minimizing the number of machines used for the corrosive process of ice washing.

*6. If potassium permanganate is used, manganese dioxide will form (a brown/orange color) and must be removed by treatment with sodium bisulfite, hydroxylamine sulfate, or acidified hydrogen peroxide as the reducing agent. Fill the machine with water and add 1-5 g/l of the reducing agent. Heat to 50◦C and run for 20 minutes. The process is normally repeated twice to ensure complete removal of the manganese dioxide. When sodium hypochlorite is used, the residual chlorine should be removed with sodium bisulfite or hydrogen peroxide. Adding jeans to machine already charged with afterwash chemicals will increase contrast.

7. Rinse well.
8. Repeat step 6 if necessary.
9. Apply softener.
10. Tumble dry.
11. Press, if required.

* The selection of sodium hypochlorite versus potassium permanganate depends upon the dyestuff and desired effect. Also, consideration must be given to the safety aspects of handling either chemical. 
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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