One of the challenges of stonewashing jeans is that pumice stones are very abrasive and can do serious damage to washing machines. Commercial laundries utilize large industrial machines with drums made to withstand these wash processes. The capital investment required is one of the reasons why denim washing has long been the high-stakes territory of larger factory-sized laundries. Add to it environmental regulations, hiring technicians, administrators, mechanics, etc and it becomes obvious that it is simply not cheap to start and run a wash house.
Well for some time now a resourceful Mark Mango has been servicing denim designers in the NY area with his DIY drum tumbling machines. He does everything in small batches for tight control. Check out the video of one in action below. It really is quite interesting. He adds to the formula hand sanding, abrasion, tinting, pigment painting and rust treatments to provide hand-detailed finishes.
www.MarkMango.com | MySpace Video
Of course many questions come up like how does he control the temperature, and pH, and how does he affect the load mid-cycle. To be honest, I do not know but I have seen beautifully finished garments in person from him so he must be doing something right.
Mark Mango is based in NY/NJ area.
Mark Mango Website