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Karl Mayer Introduces Eco-Friendly Indigo Dye Tech at ITMA

Karl Mayer officially unveiled Greendye, a new, nitrogen-based technology, at the ITMA tradeshow in Barcelona this week as the next step in its quest to become a one-stop shop for indigo dyeing solutions.

The new technology was developed by the German textile machinery firm’s denim wing, the Denim Excellence Center at Karl Mayer Rotal, and will be offered in tandem to its other water-saving dyeing technologies, the Prodye-S and the Prodye-R.

Greendye will be the company’s answer to new advancements in waterless or foam-based indigo dyes, all made with the aim of cutting down on the harmful chemicals and excessive water consumption often used for artificial and natural indigo dyes.

Karl Mayer’s tech will utilize a nitrogen atmosphere to infuse more efficiency into the dyeing process. The new machinery will inject a high concentration of indigo dye into the nitrogen-heavy environment of its dyeing vats, allowing it to diffuse and migrate “more intensely” compared to traditional dyeing technology.

“The yarn can absorb three times more dye in a dye vat. In this way, it is possible to reduce the number and length of vats, with positive effects for the environment,” the company said in a statement. “The chemical consumption can be reduced considerably, a minus of 50 percent is possible when using hydrosulphite and caustic soda, and there is also less yarn waste. Moreover, due to the good fixation of the dyestuff on the fiber, considerably less water is required during the washing process.”

Karl Mayer said it started looking into the technology once it took over certain patents related to indigo dyeing innovations from Italian textile machinery producer, Master, in 2018. Earlier this year, Karl Mayer demonstrated the innovation via a pilot machine at the Denim Competence Center in Mezzolombardo, Italy.

“The dyeing system maps the industrial production process at a scale of 1:10 and it has already supplied the first warp beams,” the company said of its progress with the machinery. “These beams were processed by an Italian partner from the weaving industry, the result being highly promising jeans samples.”

The managing director of Karl Mayer Rotal, Enzo Paoli explained that, by running a successful pilot program, the firm was able to produce samples that turned Greendye from speculative R&D into a viable and necessary product.

“Only with samples produced under realistic fixed running parameters can we convince the market,” Paoli explained. “Our contact partners are textile manufacturers, who want something to touch.”

Karl Mayer said Greendye will be available for members of the industry to observe after the opening of its Denim Customer Center in September.

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