A natural textile finishing technique that gives a fabric a soft touch and an aged appearance. Grains of sand act as an abrasive – like free-range sandpaper – on the surface to break up a glaze or polished finish, or just to roughen up the fibres a bit, to create a soft matte finish. The finished look is not so dissimilar to stone washing

Some silks and fine cottons look good sandwashed as the formality is taken away, resulting in a soft, almost chalky colouring results.

Commercially this is done with small pieces of lava that have the same effect as sand. The fabric and rocks are tumbled together in a drum so that the rocks act as a sandpaper-like abrasive on the textile surface. Rubber and silicone balls are also use to similar effect.

Sand washed silk is particularly lovely as it retains all the quality of silk in a softer, non shiny format. Cottons, linens, denim all benefit from being sandwashed towards informality as they loose some of their crispness and gain a subtle, almost chalky colouring.

Sand washed cloth is also far more crease resistant – or it may be that creases matter less.






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