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Q: Make New Clothes look Old ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Make New Clothes look Old
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: oprylandusa-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 19 Apr 2004 09:36 PDT
Expires: 19 May 2004 09:36 PDT
Question ID: 332582
Where can I purchase Enzymes to make new clothes look like they have
been worn for many years? I want to make new clothes look like they
are old. I know this can be done with enzymes and would like to know
where I might purchase enzymes specifically produced for this purpose.
Subject: Re: Make New Clothes look Old
Answered By: byrd-ga on 20 Apr 2004 13:13 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello oprylandusa-ga,

Well, I thought this would be a fairly easy question to research, and 
as far as information about the use of enzymes for this purpose, it 
was. Now, as you likely know already, traditional methods of making 
new clothes look old and well-worn involved various combinations of 
physical and chemical processes, including sanding with sandpaper, 
washing with pieces of pumice stone and using various bleaching agents.
  Enzymes are the newest method of aging or ?distressing? new clothes 
and have actually become the preferred method for ?stonewashing? denim 
in contrast to the traditional method of using actual stones.  But in 
fact, in some ways using enzymes for this purpose is still in the 
experimental stages, with a lot of current testing going on and new 
enzymes and procedures being tried with varied results.

The biggest trouble arose, as I?m sure you have discovered, in 
locating sources for purchasing the applicable enzymes.  Those are 
actually plentifully available for the textile manufacturer and the 
industry as a whole, but alas! not so for the individual consumer who?
d like to buy a more limited quantity.  For the latter, there are just 
not yet a whole lot of choices.  It seems that, for now at least, 
manufacturers are more interested in producing these products, i.e. 
distressed fabrics and clothing items, for sale themselves, rather 
than giving consumers the means to produce them individually.

Therefore, what I?m going to give you is:  1) first, some sites that 
offer general instructions for ?distressing? new clothes in order to 
make them look old; and then 2) links to a few sites explaining the 
work/research being done on various uses of enzymes within the textile 
industry, including fabric finishes of various kinds; and finally 3) 
some links to possible sources for purchasing the enzymes most likely 
to suit your needs, as well as to some companies selling in larger or 
wholesale quantities incase you?d like to pursue that avenue.


Here?s a great discussion from the vantage point of professionals who 
work in film and theater on various ways and means of making new 
clothes look old:

From ?The Costumer?s Manifesto: Costume Properties Construction 
Handbook? by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. of The University of Alaska 
Fairbanks  is this project, which gives detailed instructions on ?
Distressing a Standard Man?s Shirt:?

Article from Ohio State University Extension on selecting jeans, with 
a lot of good information on this topic.  Scroll down to the section 
on ?distressing denim? for more details on various processes:


Here is an excellent Q&A on enzymes published by Genencor, Int?l., 
which is a manufacturer of various enzymes intended for industrial 
uses of various kinds.  In fact, it claims it is ?the second largest 
developer and manufacturer of industrial enzymes in the world.? There?
s a lot of very good general information about enzymes here, as well 
as a link at the bottom for a pdf version of the article if you?d like 
a print-ready copy:   (If you need to download 
Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read the pdf file, you can get it 
) There is also a form submittal page also, if you want to ask 
questions about any Genencor products:

In addition, here?s a pdf brochure about denim in particular, and the 
various enzymes used to get all those different shades of blue:

However, bear in mind that Genencor is a first-stage manufacturer, and 
does not sell directly to the public but only to other manufacturers 
making products for the textile industry.

Here?s a very interesting article entitled ? Bio-Polishing: A New Way 
of Garment Finishing,? that gives a lot 
of details about the process of using enzymes in textile finishing, 
though ?polishing? doesn?t produce the worn effect you?re after.  That 
would be more the result of a similar process known as ?biostoning,? 
in which enzymes take the place of the pumice stones previously used 
in ?stone-washed? fabrics.

This is a very interesting research report entitled: ?Specific Enzyme 
Systems for Various Areas of Textile Processing,? which goes into some 
fascinating detail on use of enzymes in the textile industry.  In part,
 it says, ?Currently, there are two enzyme applications 
well-established in the textile industry: in the preparatory finishing 
area amylases are common knowledge for desizing processes and in the 
finishing area cellulases are used for softening, bio-stoning and 
reducing of pilling propensity for cotton goods.?  Read more here:
pdf-rpts/AnRp98/c97-a06.pdf+bio+stoning+enzymes&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 (html 
version), or here:
pdf  (pdf version).

This is a link to a database about nomenclature of enzymes:

Another report, this one is entitled, ? Symposium on Biotechnology in 
the Textile Industry? and includes among other facts, this interesting 
bit, which names both the type and one of the specific enzymes used in 
research: ?Cellulases have had the most impact on textile processing 
in recent years. Current commercial applications include "biostoning", 
"biopolishing" and as laundering "brightners" of cotton fabrics. 
However, there is a fine balance between producing the desired effect 
and causing excessive damage to the fibres leading to an unacceptable 
loss in strength. Experimental evidence was presented from several 
research groups indicating that the use of mono-component 
endoglucanase or endoglucanase-enriched cellulase complexes together 
with a high level of mechanical agitation can achieve the desired 
performance with only a limited loss of tensile strength. Most of this 
work had been done using woven cotton fabrics.?  Find more information,
 including names of other enzymes, here:

Here?s an interesting article entitled ?Biotechnology in Textile 
Finishing:?  that


All right, then, on to sources for purchasing the enzymes specifically 
used in ?biostoning? or ?biopolishing,? as described in some of the 
reports listed, that is, the process of making new fabrics look used 
or old and worn.  You?ll note that as of now most of these enzymes 
fall within the class known as ?cellulase,? which is a type of ?
biotech? product, usually produced and sold in quantity by chemical 
manufacturers to the textile industry.  Complicating matters further 
is the fact that many of these enzymes are produced by companies in 
India or China.  For example, ?Rossari Biotech? is a large company in 
India specializing in manufacturing chemicals and enzymes for the 
textile industry.  But a visit to their website ( http://www.rossari.
com ) resulted in a lot of frustration, very little information, and 
no reply to email.  Another, ?Sunson Industry Group, Inc.? in China 
offers a little more information, including some suggested ratios of 
enzyme to water and fabric, here:

I?ve been able to track down a few of the companies and brand names of 
some of the enzymes currently being produced for textile finishing 
processes, including biostoning.  If you?re interested in placing a 
large order, some or all of these companies could help you out. They 

--AB Enzymes (USA): EcoStone, BioTouch
--Americos Industries (India): Maxine NE, Cellucom 110 OM, and others
--Biozyme Int?l. P. Ltd. (India): Biofinase line http://business.vsnl.
--Diadic (USA): Rocksoft
--Genencor (USA): IndiAge line
--Iogen (Canada): Denabraide line
--Kenencore Group (India): Cellucom, Cellscos http://www.
--Novozymes (Denmark): DeniMax line
--Sunson (China):  liquid & solid generic cellulase http://www.


But if you?re interested in smaller quantities, a chemical supply 
house is one type of source from which you might be able to purchase 
some cellulase, though you will have ensure that the type you are 
purchasing is the correct type, since they?re often listed only by 
chemical name. For example, there are cellulases made for use in 
septic tanks or as nutritional supplements.  Here then are two sources 
I was able to find for you to check out: is ?the low price leader in laboratory equipment and 
science educational products, offers thousands of products in a range 
of categories.?  They do sell to individuals and since their store is 
entirely online, you can browse and buy 24/7.  Click on the link above,
 then scroll down to ?cellulase? where you?ll see they have two 
different types in a selection of quantities.  After reading the above 
articles, you can also try searching for other specific enzymes by 
Advance Scientific and Chemical also carries a selection of celluases 
in smaller quanitities.


Ideally, the best source would be a company that offers products 
specifically formulated for your needs, and I was able to find one:
This company, Specialty Enzymes and Biochemicals Co., located in 
California, has a range of products available specifically for textile 
processing, including various enzyme products.  Follow the link at the 
bottom of the page to ?view the textile product range? to see more 
details.  Their contact page indicates that they do sell products to 
direct users as well as manufacturers, but you would need to fill out 
the contact form and get in touch with their sales staff to inquire 
about making a purchase from them.


I hope you will find that the information and links given will help 
you in your desire to be able to age distress new clothes so they will 
look worn and old.  I do have several emails out that I have not 
received replies to, but I will post a clarification should I receive 
any.  And of course, if anything isn?t clear, please do use the ?
Request Clarification? feature to ask before rating and closing your 
question, so I can be sure you?re happy with the information provided. 
 Thank you for a very interesting challenge, and best of luck in your 


Search terms used:

[?how to? fabric distress OR age]
[fabric aging OR distressing]
[?how to? ?new clothes? age OR distress OR antique]

On reading through the returns on these, I then tried these:
[?what are? enzymes]
[enzymes clothing OR fabric OR textiles]
[buy textile enzymes OR chemicals]
[enzymes biostoning OR bio-polishing OR textile]
[biotech cellulase textile products]
[buy enzymes "textile processing" OR "fabric processing" OR biostoning 
OR scouring OR bleaching]
[retail biochemicals]

In addition, it was a matter of sifting/reading through the results (
and not just the first page or two) engendered  by the various search 
terms, and then following up on promising leads, including searching 
on specific names of companies mentioned in various articles.
oprylandusa-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Wow.. I am so impressed. Thank you so much. I always thought that I
could find anything on the Internet (friends often ask me to locate
information), but was really stumped on this question. I remembered
seeing something on Google about research and figured, 'what the
heck.' Less than 24 hours later, Byrd, my researcher, found the
answers I was looking for. He read into my query and answered other
questions that came up. Very intuitive, I must say. He didn't just
answer part of the question. He answered it all, and went the extra
mile. Thank you so much.

Subject: Re: Make New Clothes look Old
From: byrd-ga on 20 Apr 2004 14:56 PDT
Hi oprylandusa-ga,

And thank *you* for your very kind words, the five-star rating, and
most generous tip! I'm very grateful, and so happy you were pleased
and satisfied with your answer!  Oh - one thing:  I do apologize that
some the links became truncated in the posting. No matter how careful
we are that just happens sometimes. In the case of any that aren't
immediately clickable, if you just copy/paste them into your browser
they should work all right.  But if not, please do ask for assistance.
If necessary, I can try to repost any non-working links. Thanks again,

Best wishes,
Subject: Re: Make New Clothes look Old
From: cryptica-ga on 20 Apr 2004 21:06 PDT

Bryd did a great job.   Here's one more product that I've seen a lot of
costume designers for movies use to make clothes look old.
It's an "aging crayon" called . . . ."SCHMUTZ."  (isn't it a great name?)

Here's a website where you can buy it:

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