The Technical Center

The
Textile Resource for Specialty Fabrics and Product Innovation
   December 1, 2022  Facebook Twitter

CUTTING EDGE — ORSUMMER '22

Technical Dyeing Technologies

BY KATHY SWANTKO

The textile/apparel industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, behind the energy sector.  With textile facilities located all over the world, it’s difficult to gain precise information concerning the environmental, health, and social impacts associated with the dyeing/finishing of textile products.  

The main contributors to the dyeing pollution problem have been the use of non-biodegradable petroleum-based colorants; the use of toxic agents to fix colorants on the textiles; and the release of large proportions of these colorants and fixation agents into the surrounding ecosystems.  It has been determined that synthetic dyes have been a major contributor to this pollution and represent nearly 20 percent of the global water waste.

In order to meet the United Nations’ 2030 goal for the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the textile industry has made it a primary objective to improve its transparency and traceability on textile dyeing, as well as cleaning up it’s waste water.  The FabricLink Network looks at two major textile suppliers doing their part to address this important issue.

Huntsman Logo
Huntsman’s quality dyes add color and state-of-the-art
effects to fabrics.

Huntsman Textile Effects, as a global leader in innovative solutions and environmentally sustainable products, Huntsman provides innovations in textile dye inks and chemicals; and, digital inks to global mills, brands and retailers around the world that meet ecological requirements.  

“Whether hiking, climbing, backpacking or making a statement with their everyday wear, today’s consumers want outdoor wear that delivers enhanced performance, comfort and protection, and they also expect brands to be eco-friendly and transparent about their sustainability efforts,” said Ben Powell, Commercial Director-Americas, Huntsman Textile Effects.

Huntsman’s range of quality dyes add color and state-of-the-art effects to fabrics made from cellulosic fiber, polyester, wool and its blends.  The company’s AVITERA®SE Dyes provide a sustainable step in the dyeing of cellulosic fibers, such as cotton.  It offers is a range of dyes with sustainability results that exceed conventional dyes.  This innovation reduces water and energy consumption, while increasing productivity through shorter production time.  It uses a completely new dyeing process that protects the environment and offers sustainable savings for the mills.

Huntsman’s ERIOFAST dye range was specifically developed for dyeing intensive brilliant shades with the highest wet-fastness properties on polyamide/elastane fiber blends.  ERIOFAST® offers new options for brands and designers because even intense deep shades can be combined in one garment with contrasting white garment parts made from the same substrate.

The “ERIOFAST®-micro” exhaust dyeing process allows deep shades to be achieved, even on full-dull micro denier polyamide.  Wash fastness is outstanding, even at the highest temperatures encountered in home and industrial laundering.

Unifi WaterWise
Unifi®’s Waterwisse™---Locked-in color that
lasts.

Unifi blends color into the fibers, offering long-lasting, vibrant fabric colors with a waterless dyeing process that conserves natural resources.  “For the Gen-X and Gen-Z generations, sustainability is their expectation,” explains Bev Sylvester, VP marketing and communications for Unifi!

Waterwise™, a smart dyeing technology, is Unifi’s greener way to color. The solution dye technology becomes part of the fiber as it's being extruded.  It’s a locked-in technology, resulting in rich, brilliant, long-lasting color.  The core benefits of Waterwise™ include:

  • Helps to conserve water and energy, using fewer natural resources
  • Can be inherently colorfast, durable, bleach resistant and UV lightfast, depending on the design of the product
  • Superior brilliant color uniformity
  • Precise custom mixing provides enhanced capability to match colors
  • Many pigments from naturally occurring or organic materials
  • Combines well with other proprietary additives or finishes for additional benefits

The technology is in the yarn structure, and performance is dependent upon the fabric construction. Available Platforms offering Waterwise™ dyeing include a full range of PROFIBER, UniFiber and REPREVE yarns, along with heather combinations and nylon 6 variants; the potential for custom colors (minimum lbs. apply). Unifi’s Waterwise™ yarns are produced in the US and China, and are available globally.


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