In addition to reducing waste, smaller fabric runs will allow for exciting design and marketing innovations in the denim industry, a press release stated.
"Early in our research, we found that foam dyeing of yarn for denim gives significantly better results when combined with our IndigoZERO technology. Zero rinse water discharge and the reduction of chemicals used in dyeing indigo dramatically improve the sustainability of this process while reducing costs at the same time," said Ralph Tharpe, founder and managing partner of IMD.
IMD, along with Gaston Systems Inc., will work with early adopters of the technology to build machines capable of running this innovative new process. Gaston’s proprietary foam generation and application technology was built into the research machine at Texas Tech. "Now we must work to scale the research machine design to a full-size production unit. Our relationship with IMD will result in a fundamental change in the way indigo is applied to yarn," said Chris Aurich, managing director of Gaston Systems.
“Wrangler advanced the commercialisation of this technology because we believe it has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental impact of our industry and help us achieve our brand goals for water conservation," said Wrangler brand president, Tom Waldron.
"A large fabric mill uses millions of gallons of water every day to dye denim,” explained Sudhakar Puvvada, who leads denim innovation work for Wrangler and Lee’s Global Innovation Centre and serves as an advisor to IMD. "IMD’s innovation can greatly reduce that amount and cut the energy needed for dyeing and wastewater treatment."
"The reduction in water required for dyeing is dramatic and processing costs will be reduced. Additionally, the IndigoZERO system speeds up product development time, perhaps reducing it by as much as 90 per cent," said dean Ethridge, lead researcher at Texas Tech. "We’re grateful for the investment and technical contributions of Wrangler and Lee, along with the research funding from the US Manufacturing Innovation Fund in helping to make this innovation commercially possible." (RR)
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