NoStone replaces the standard pumice stone method of stonewashing

NoStone replaces the standard pumice stone method of stonewashing

Garment finishing business Tonello has partnered with denim giant Levi Strauss & Co to develop a new stonewash system that eliminates the use of a pumice stone and is expected to reduce water usage, production costs and carbon footprint.

NoStone is designed to be applied in all Tonello machines and overcome the economic, mechanical and environmental limitations of the existing stonewash processes. It replaces the pumice stone with a stainless-steel abrasive drum, fastened to the washing machine. The drum can create a number of finishes through flexible abrasion adjustments. 

Due to the mechanical – rather than chemical – nature of the process, the NoStone effect is the same as that of stonewash and reduces the carbon footprint created by using pumice stones, Tonello said. It maintains the same load capacity, enabling easy adoption throughout denim manufacturing facilities. And, the lining can easily be removed, enabling normal washing and dyeing processes.

As well as an expected reduction in water consumption, production costs, carbon footprint and processing time through the new process, Tonello said the system eliminates the dust and sludge generated from stones, and doesn't damage the machine as pumice stones do.

Research into the new process began in 2013 with Levi Strauss, who Tonello said made it possible to improve the new system and to implement it in real production situations. Development work is underway in Plock in Poland.

Bart Sights, senior director of technical innovation at Levi Strauss, added: "The NoStone innovation is a good and exciting example of how two iconic companies can collaborate in a way that brings sustainable technology to the industry.

"We challenged our team with the dream of a viable, mechanical alternative to pumice stones. Tonello created multiple rounds of machine prototypes which were tested in our production environment. The results have been very positive and we anticipate a scalable, cost-effective and sustainable process in the very near future. This will be a win for our two companies, but also the industry as a whole. And perhaps, most importantly, the environment."