The dyeing of materials is a process that uses intensive amounts of water, energy and chemicals, and companies in the textile industry are continually seeking more sustainable dyeing processes for clothing and home textile materials. Now, Dow Chemical Company has announced its EcoFast Pure technology which significantly improves resource efficiency during the dyeing process, the company says.
The patented technology allows for the uptake of reactive, direct and acid dyes on natural fibers and fabrics. Materials treated with EcoFast Pure require fewer rinses and lower water temperatures during dyeing to ultimately decrease water use by more than 50% and cut down on overall energy use, Dow Chemical says. Manufacturers can also decrease dye use by 75% through increased dye uptake and reduced cycle time. The enhanced resource efficiency can be achieved without the addition of salts to the dye bath.
The resource-intensive dyeing process is what Dow calls a sustainability gap in the textile industry. Solving such gaps requires better manufacturing processes, according to Dow market manager Esma Talu.
Because it allows for the uptake of acid dyes on natural fibers and fabrics, manufacturers can achieve colors such as fluorescents, which had been unavailable on cotton. EcoFast Pure also improves color fastness, according to Dow.
G-Star is one textile manufacturer that has focused on using a better dyeing process for its fabrics. G-Star has worked with Dystar and Artistic Milliners to develop a new indigo technology that uses 70% less chemicals, no salts, and produces no-salt byproduct. “Pre-reduced indigo is combined with a liquid based organic agent that replaces the conventional use of sodium hydrosulphite — a major problem in indigo dyeing,” the company has said.