Interview with Lutfu Okman

Face2Face
Lutfu Okman
Lutfu Okman
Global Head
BASF Textile Chemicals
BASF Textile Chemicals

According to your experience, what are the risks involved in setting up of dyes and chemical business?

It is a highly fragmented market with many competitors. The risks are similar to any business start-up and to have a higher chance of success, you need to have the expertise and technical know-how and unique solutions to differentiate yourself from the many competitors out there.

What is that one innovation by your company that has given a new direction to the industry?

Cyclanon XC-W (new): improves efficiency of washing off dyed goods, while substantially reducing water consumption. BASF historically has had a key role in innovation, for example the commercial synthesis of indigo, hydrosulphite, vat dyes and in resin finishing.

Textile chemicals can also be made functional in addition to merely being used for colour effects. For example, they can be made stain resistant or oil resistant. What is your stand?

There are many applications for textile chemicals in the marketplace to meet different demands, trends and functionalities. What is important is that the performance demanded by the specifier is measurable, consistently achievable in production, and fit for purpose. Unless the balance between performance and costs is predetermined and agreed, expectations will not be met.

What is scope for vegan dyes in the industry?

Although dyes are not in our current portfolio, it is our opinion that the performance of vegan dyes has been limited in terms of brightness, light-fastness, and the substrates on which they can be applied successfully.

Can you share your opinion about dry dyeing/waterless dyeing?

This technology (the disperse dyeing of polyester in supercritical carbon dioxide) has been slowly advancing over many years. Current limitations are the restriction on the substrate and also economy of scale due to the relatively high capital cost. Thus, our view is that it will take some time before it becomes a fully commercially-viable option to be able to replace current established application methods for dyeing.
Published on: 13/08/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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