A new patent pending silicone technology that enables denim processors to achieve a well-worn look without using large amounts of water and energy has been launched by Dow Corning.

Traditionally, processing and finishing denim is a multi-stage process consisting of dyeing to modify the shade of the fabric, using enzymes for a faded look, bleaching for better contrast, and then treating the fabric with chemicals or softeners.

The GP 8000 Eco Softener allows previously incompatible steps to be combined - thereby eliminating separate washing requirements and reducing water and energy consumption as well as processing time.

And it has the potential to save up to 15 litres of water on every pair of jeans, the company claims, resulting in sustainable benefits for brand owners, garment processors, and textile formulators.

"Fashion and comfort still remain the main drivers for selecting apparel," said Anthony Feng, Dow Corning's global industry director for textiles.

"But today's consumer also considers the ecological effects of producing these fabrics."