Denim finishing

Unique looks and more environmentally friendly production are amongst the demands to textile laundries today.


At the same time, production costs rise and water becomes scarce in certain areas of the world. Enzymatic abrasion and bleaching will help textile laundries replace harsher methods and give a competitive advantage.

Denim abrasion

Abrasion is the process for creating stone-washed looks in jeans. The process can be carried out similar to the process using pumice stones, except the stones are replaced by enzymes. In fact, 500 kg of pumice stones can be replaced with just 10 kg enzymes.
Novozymes' enzymes create abrasion by loosening indigo color. The result is the right edgy look and quality with high color contrast finish, high color pull, and a low degree of indigo back staining. With enzymes, pumice stones or other auxiliaries that tear at the equipment, generate sludge, and challenge the working environment can be avoided.
Switching to enzymes means water reduction by up to 50%, 50% for heat, and 15% for electricity, resulting in large CO2 savings. The biodegradable enzymes replace chemicals and pumice stones, meaning lower environmental impact on effluent, and fewer strains on equipment and occupational safety. 
The product range includes a cold water product, allowing textile laundries to turn the temperature as low as 30°C.

Denim bleaching/finishing

Changing to enzymatic bleaching means getting a safer and more stable process. Textile laundries can create a number of fashions and looks, including the popular vintage look. Enzymatic bleaching is a step towards sustainability, as these high-performing natural catalysts make an efficient alternative to harsh production methods and reduce the use of chemicals, which again improves the quality of effluent.

Alongside a number of enzymes that work at warm temperatures, Novozymes can offer denim bleaching at room temperature. The process is considerably faster and easier, and gives lower back staining and improved garment contrast. The gentle conditions have the much desired effect of not harming the stretch fibers meaning a superior garment quality. The fact that the bleaching stops automatically after 10-15 minutes makes the products very easy to work with.

Raise energy efficiency

The large amount of energy that goes into textile processing is usually caused by the substantial sum of heat that is needed to process textiles, and the many steps that a piece of fabric is required to go through before it is turned into garments.
In the wet processing stage enzymes cut down on temperatures and processing time – either through combining processes or simply because they work under different conditions than chemicals – meaning that they also cut energy consumption significantly.

Want to know how to create denim finishing with enzymes?

Please don't hesitate to contact us. Novozymes’ works with carefully selected distributors and formulation partners who have been trained to sell and support our enzymes.