How Textile Industry Reduces its Water Footprint

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New manufacturing yarn processes and finishes are pushing to a more sustainable delivery with the reduction of water.

ecodye from Schoeller saves water and energy
ecodye from Schoeller saves water and energy

The textile industry uses billions of liters of water throughout all processing from dyeing to specialty chemical finishes that are applied to textiles in water baths to scouring, bleaching and softening. Through the Detox campaign Greenpeace has highlighted the damage water pollution and use from the textile chain has had on the environment.

As it states water is essential for life, but it is also the world's most threatened essential resource. Greenpeace is campaigning to stop industry poisoning our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals and the textile industry is embracing change in eco-friendly chemical use as well as water conservation.

Even from the fiber side in both natural and synthetics just the amount of water used in growing cotton, it is one resource that needs significant reduction. The importance of sustainability was featured at ISPO TEXTRENDS in February and is now the norm than a passing fad as the textile industry looks to new processes in reducing water and energy. 



Schoeller Reduces its Water Footprint

Textile manufacturer Schoeller and auxiliaries and dyes specialists at Textilcolor have developed ecodye, a new auxiliary concept used, in particular, in polyester dyeing processes. The technology accelerates the dyeing process and contributes to cutting costs, while at the same time helping to preserve the environment with a low level of demand on resources. 

It isn’t just less time and less water but also a reduction in energy used, allowing for an eco-friendly and cost-saving dyeing processes for polyester yarns and piece goods.

It shortens the heating phase, accelerating the process time by more than 30 percent. At the same time, it reduces energy consumption by 20 percent and the water requirement by 25 percent, as the goods can be cleaned in the cooling dye bath.

Additionally ecodye improves the dyeing levelness in polyester textiles. Spots and dye agglomeration are almost completely avoided, and the precipitation on the goods that arises as a result of polyester oligomers are no longer evident.

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More Stability, Less Reproduction Problems


ecodye provides good shade stability and avoids reproduction problems from batch to batch, reducing the rate of double staining and increasing the capacity utilization and productivity of the dyeing mill on a long-term basis. 

The benefits of conserving water at the dyeing stage as opposed to the water free dyeing technology available that major brands is investment and cost. Nike’s ColorDry collaboration with Far Eastern New Century Corp or DryDye from the Yeh Group, the expense and the machinery required is significant. By conserving water at the earliest stage, the traditional process of manufacturing textiles remains the same.

Synthetics Lead the Way

We are SpinDye, a new company to exhibit at ISPO this year, offers a different approach in the production of synthetics, in particular nylon and polyester.

Using recycled plastic to melt into chips before extruding as yarns, a dye pigment is added, resulting in the yarn being dyed at this stage than at the traditional later stage of the textile process. By using the We are SpinDye process, there is a  significant amount of water saved by adding the dye stuff earlier on.


Water free finishing from Tonello.
Water free finishing from Tonello.
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Water Free Finishing

Final laundering of fabrics is becoming a process of the past. Tonello has developed a range of finishing equipment that eliminates the need not just for water, but also for chemicals in getting the desired hand feel for garment finishing.

An innovative collaboration held at the recent Kingpins show in Amsterdam for denim highlighted the companies technology in this area, in creating finishes that have now water or chemicals involved.

The Laser Blaze machine creates graphics on surfaces using light, whilst NOSTONE is a system that create stonewash effects with the use of pumice stones through ozone finishing. Less water and no chemicals are achieve through the ozone finishing to create the desired look and touch. 

Tonello aren’t just geared to the denim sector, but to the finishing industry, delivering softer touch fabrics and garments with authentic looks that the consumer is looking for.

Louisa Smith Author: Louisa Smith