Functional fabric specialist Sympatex has developed a sustainable spun-dyed process for apparel fabrics that it says reduces the amount of water needed by around 75%.
The apparel innovation, which will be show at the Performance Days trade fair in Munich this week, is made with fully-recyclable textile surface materials, and combine the advantages of both raw material recycling processes and spun-dyed technology.
With this dye technology, water consumption can be reduced by around 75%, Sympatex says, while decreasing the use of chemicals by as much as 90%. In combination with a 100% polyether/polyester Sympatex membrane, which uses 50% less water during the manufacturing process than a commercially-available PTFE membrane, there is no need to sacrifice performance, the company says.
The articles, which are ideally-suited for outdoor and ski applications, as well as for the fashion world, are 100% water- and wind-proof, in addition to optimally breathable.
According to estimates from the World Bank, dye processes used by the textile industry account for around 20% of the world’s industrial water contamination. This is despite the fact that polyester dye technologies, which conserve significantly more water than traditional dye processes, while massively reducing the use of chemicals, have been available for some time.
With Sympatex’s spun-dyed technology, instead of adding the dye to the finished textile product, it’s mixed into the raw material granulate. This is designed to not only improve the penetration intensity of the dye in the thread, but offer significant advantages with respect to colour harmony and the reproducibility of the hue.
“The only prerequisite for the extensive use of this dye technology is close collaboration between all of the participants during the design process, since the colour selection has to be mutually agreed upon at an earlier timeframe,” explains Dr Rüdiger Fox, CEO at Sympatex Technologies. “Given the acute environmental issues created by our industry in the manufacturing countries, plus the enormous ecological benefits that spun-dyed technologies bring, this should be an acceptable concession for all of those involved.”