How To Protect Zippers In Garment Wash

enzyme bleach washed garments
image credit: garmentsmerchandising.com

Garment washing involves the use of certain technology to achieve various purposes including increased softness/brightness/smoothness, outlook modification, broken-in/aged look, worn/faded effect, etc. It is different from the normal wash whose washing effect on the garments is dependent on the washing time, washing temperature, the quantity of detergent and so forth.

There are various types of garment washing methods, such as bleach wash, stone wash, enzyme wash, sand wash, etc.

Types of Garment Wash

Bleach Wash
Bleaching washing can be divided into oxygen bleaching and chlorine bleaching, both of which can produce a color fading effect. Bleaching washing can be applied to the garments whose fabrics are dyed with reactive dyes or direct dyes. Oxygen bleaching can produce a fading and whitening effect through the oxidation of aquae hydrogenii dioxide subjected to certain PH value and temperature that brings about the destruction of dye structures. Chlorine bleaching can produce a fading effect through the oxidation of sodium hypochlorite that leads to the destruction of dye structures.

Stone Wash
Stone washing is a pretty popular type of washing. It can be applied to the washing of denim, jeans and many other garments that contain heavy fabrics. Although stone wash can produce a worn-out effect and bring an aged look feeling, it may have certain adverse effects, ranging from color fading that is irregular, shrinkage that results in the undesired smaller size of the garments to the slight or even severe damage to the garments.

Enzyme Wash
Similar to stone wash although much costlier, enzyme wash can also be applied to jeans, denim and other garments made from heavy fabrics. The use of cellulose enzyme subjected to certain PH value and temperature can degrade the fiber structures, removing color in a gentle way and producing a durable soft and peached effect.

Monkey Wash
Monkey wash that often involves the use of potassium hypermanganate plus oxalic acid can produce a fading effect.

Sand Wash
Sand wash often involves the use of basic and oxidizing auxiliaries to produce a fading effect and an aged look. The addition of softening agents will lend more softness and comfort to the fabrics.

Zipper Protection Against Garment Wash
A wide range of items have to be garment washed in order to achieve the desirable effects.  However, garment washing may have adverse effects on the quality of zippers attached to them if special care is not taken, making them fail to reach the standards as expected and reduce their service life regardless of the superior quality materials they are made from.

Below are some of the potential problems you shall be aware of and effective measures that can be taken to provide more protection against the washing process.

Mechanical Damage

  • If the zippers are not zipped up during the washing process, damage will be brought to such zipper parts as the pin, retainer box, zipper teeth, etc.
  • Sliders and zipper pulls have limited ability to withstand twisting and pulling-off. If the sliders are left midway on the garments during the washing process, excessive stress will be placed on the sliders themselves and such zipper parts as the bottom stop and elements, causing damage. Additionally, the sliders can fall into the drain hole of the washing drum, causing the zipper pullers to break off or get distorted, and detaching the crampers from the sliders.
  • The collision and friction caused by the washing drum can bring abrasion to the sliders or zipper teeth, causing the paint on the coating or plating layer to chip off/peel off and resulting in exposure.

Chemical Reaction

  • If the garments are not thoroughly cleansed and dried timely after the washing process, oxidation-reduction reaction will take place easily between the dyes in the fabrics or residual chemicals and the metallic parts, causing the fabrics and metal parts to change color.
  • Aluminium zippers can undergo chemical reactions following the washing process, causing the zipper teeth to get smaller, break off or fall off.

Tips

  • Zip up the garments and turn inside out or use laundry bags before washing.
  • Make sure the zippers are in a fully closed state with the sliders fixed in position before washing. You can use a pin to fasten and secure a zipper in case it unzips during washing.
  • Wrap up the sliders and zipper teeth to provide protection against strong physical collision, friction and abrasion.
  • Thoroughly cleanse and dry the garments in a timely manner after washing.
  • Perform a sample washing test before placing bulk orders to determine whether the zippers selected are suitable for your end-use.

There may be some unavoidable consequences due to the complicated garment treatment processes. If you have any other concerns regarding the end-use of SBS Zippers, please bring them to our attention prior to the bulk production.

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