Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dyeing without water

Textile dying and treatment processes produce 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution in the world. 72 toxic chemicals, 30 of which cannot be removed, have been found in our water solely from textile dyeing. As a vital part of textile production, the dyeing processes cause a large problem for designers who are trying to be more environmentally conscious.

 AirDye® technology is a water free dyeing and printing process. AirDye technology has been produced by AirDye Solutions, formerly Colorep Inc., and is a technology development and textile design company. On their website AirDye Solutions describe themselves as, “passionate about creating new printing and dyeing technologies that improve quality, value, and accessibility while helping to sustain the planet.”
AirDye technology uses a one-step process, where the liquid state of dye is eliminated altogether. The process starts with heating fabric and simultaneously dye is injected into the fibers in the form of gas. “The entire process is waste-free: the paper is recycled, and used dyes and toners are also recycled to make tar and asphalt.” One downfall is that only synthetic textiles can be dyed using AirDye, as the physics of the technology do not work with natural fibers such as cotton.
Up to 95% of the water, 86% of the energy and 84% of the green house gases can be saved using AieDye as compared to conventional print and dye methods. Up to 45 gallons of water can be saved in the production of just one garment. The dying of synthetic fabrics alone uses 2.4 trillion gallons of water, every year, and with an unknown/untold amount of environmental damage.
AirDye technology creates a large opportunity for regions around the globe that cannot obtain water as easily, to localize textile production. 
As AirDye technology improves, more water/energy will be saved and hopefully the mass market of textile production could be ready for a monumental change.

AirDye® Technology