Tanatex Chemicals, a producer of innovative textile processing solutions, has developed a sustainable solution for speeding up the process of dyeing polyester while maintaining quality.

Set out in a white paper entitled ‘The fight against time; How to speed up the dyeing process of polyester fibres, the company says its process offers a time saving of up to 30%, improved dyestuff migration, optimisation of the strike rate of the dye combination, improved Right First Time (RFT) rate, more gentle treatment of the fabric due to shorter dyeing time, and reduced carbon footprint.

“Polyester accounts for more than 50% of the global textile fibre market – no matter the end-use,” the Dutch company explains. “Generally, dyeing polyester takes up to 200 minutes including reduction clearing. Can you speed up, and still reach high quality while saving out on energy, valuable process time and water? We see opportunities to do this in several ways, but the most effective way is probably to reduce polyester dyeing time. When done right, this measure can reduce energy usage by 30%.”

Tanatex says the ultimate dyeing process depends on three parameters: type of polyester fibre, consistency and external factors.

Type of polyester – Polyester is an umbrella name rather than just a fabric type. This means it comes in different forms, like PET, PTT and PBT filament yarns, textured, spun, and so on. Because of this variety, the dyeing time and the strike rate of polyester fibres differ. This is the reason why textile professionals struggle to get the dyeing time right. Their fabrics either spend too much time in the dyeing machine (a waste of time and resources) or come out too soon, causing mistakes that takes time to fix (also a waste of time and resources). To find out how much time your polyester fabric needs in the dyebath and with which auxiliaries, some lab testing is recommended.

Right first time – Customers all have their own expectations and wish list. Speed and quality are two often-mentioned requirements, which is why many textile professionals spend a lot of time on better and faster output. We, however, advise you to focus on more than just speed and quality. Consistency and control, for example, are crucial for a fast production process, as mistakes take time and resources to fix. When you know exactly how much time and resources you need for a perfect result you can start reducing idle time, save out water and dyestuff, and improve consistency. This, in turn, will improve your Right First Time rate. As a result you save on money while becoming an attractive and green supplier.

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External factors – We know of many dyeing auxiliaries that are working perfectly fine in one plant, but lead to disappointing outcomes in another. This has everything to do with external factors that influence the dyeing process, It is well-known that random variables, such as the water supply or polyester fibres with different affinity, might cause deviations in the dyeing results. Other parameters are the altitude which can influence the dyeing temperature might differ from region to region. We recommend that you look into all of them, so your efforts result in polyester textiles that are dyed as consistently as possible.

“It’s safe to say that, in order to speed up polyester dyeing time, we need to let go of rules of thumb. Instead, focus on your specific situation,” says Harald Gruenewald, business development manager of Classical Textiles at Tanatex. “Which machines and dyestuff do you use? What type of auxiliaries do you add? Do you work with blends or with 100% polyester?”

Tanatex says “the perfect dyeing journey” starts with lab trials in the company’s technical service laboratory where it tests polyester samples by exposing them to different circumstances. In a lab report, Tanatex says it will inform you which products it recommends using and sharing a product recipe that is tailored to your company’s polyester type or blend.

“This recipe is based on several parameters that we test beforehand, like your machine flow rates, cycle times, starting and end temperature and fibre affinity,” Tanatex continues. “Then, we dive into the factors in and around your plant that may sabotage the end-result, such as water quality. We do so by sending a Tanatex expert to test our dyeing auxiliaries on your machines, dyestuff and polyester type. When everything is up and running, we’ll remain available to answer questions and solve problems that you may run into. This way we work on a better dyeing process as a team.”