What Is “Salt-And-Pepper” Denim?

nep denim jacket

In the eye of an artist, unexpected flaws may become the most popular single item. From ancient China, the Song dynasty, TeaBowl is the most famous but flawed item. Same in the denim fabric industry, sometimes cotton fibers can give us a surprise when we use different ways of fiber spinning.

Now it’s time to look at the story of our star “salt-and-pepper” denim fabric. We are going to talk about:

  • How does this “salt-and-pepper”denim fabric come from
  • Why this look is popular
  • How does it feel
  • How does it look like


How Does This “Salt-And-Pepper” Denim Fabric Come From? 


Alert: this is a super professional part of this article. So please pay more attention and follow your nose.

Producing a salt-and-pepper effect usually uses short fibers and at the same time, we must mention the function of the rotor spinning (aka open-end spinning) machine.

During spinning, the sliver is fed into a rotary beater directly till beaten into a thin supply and then enters a duct and gets deposited on the sides of the rotor. Through air currents to transfer the fibers in the groove of the rotor as a continuous ring of fiber. Then the fiber layer is stripped off the rotor groove and the resultant yarn is wound onto a package. The twist in the yarn is determined by the ratio of the rotational speed of the rotor and the linear speed of the yarn.

This spinning method not only saves electricity and fast production but also helps remove the trash from the fiber which can help improve the yarn quality.

Though Open-end yarns tend to be more uniform, lower in strength, more extensible, fuzzier, more abrasion resistant, and more absorbent.

Using this OE cotton yarn on the warp or weft with different fiber lengths yarns can also be knotted or twisted during their spinning stage. After weaving with these irregular yarns, the textured fabric will result in a crisscross pattern or salt-and-pepper effect. And the effect will become more exaggerated as the denim ages or washing.

With this spinning technology using short cotton fiber, plus the afterward fabric washing procedure, we can produce a fabric looked like it has been used for a long time and has been washed many times so that you can see the cotton fabric already scrub out of the fabric surface. People like to call this a vintage look.


Why Salt-And-Pepper Denim Look Is Popular?


This may begin with the raising of the second-hand market, now people may think buying second-hand clothes is a little bit different to buy vintage clothes. With time going by till now, with the pre-owned clothing market experiencing a renaissance, the line in between has been blurred somehow. Now it almost become a badge of fashion that people wear vintage clothes. It also caused an ideal in denim fabric, many garment factories look for fabric which can easily make “new” vintage clothes by different washing method choices. As the market now needs more vintage style clothes.

Salt-And-Pepper Denim
Salt-And-Pepper Denim picture from https://www.revicedenim.com/


The salt-and-pepper vintage effect is really hot in the young generation, this is something to do with reliving a good memory in the past or reliving an era. Some people may feel tired of overwhelming fast fashion, and vintage clothes can provide them with a land of peace of mind.


What Does Salt-And-Pepper Denim Look Like?


If you are a frequent buyer in the denim industry, salt-and-pepper denim can be recognized by just looking into it. Some people do not like it and think this is worn-out clothes. This fuzzier, weaker, and coarser yarn will be happy, a kind of snowy effect that occurs when some cotton fibers extend and stick out onto the fabric surface. That’s the reason why you can recognize the salt-and-pepper effect by just looking.


How Does Salt-and-pepper Denim Feel?


Salt-and-pepper denim looks, from the name, some people may think it should feel very rough and not comfortable. When you touch it, some may have a lot of small particles on the surface, exactly feel like grain pepper and salt but not very obvious. This is just on the surface of denim, the other side of denim can feel very soft and comfortable. The high volume of cotton mixed with other fibers can create a different level of comfort. As of now, denim manufacturers can make the fabric feel very soft but by looking at it you may think it is rough. For our star today, you can feel the fiber has come out onto the fabric surface. Even when you just touch it you may feel the age of this fabric.




So glad to learn some must-know points about denim fabrics with all readers. If you enjoy this article, share it with others and leave us a comment.

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Thanks and happy reading!




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