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At Kingpins, Suppliers Rethink Traditional Washing and Dyeing

Kingpins Amsterdam, held April 12-13 at SugarCity, was the launchpad for new technologies used to dye and finish denim.

Nearly 25 years after it introduced laser finishing, Jeanologia builds on its Mission Zero program to eliminate 100 percent of the waste generated in the manufacturing and finishing of denim with a waterless washing machine.

The Spanish finishing technology company presented Atmos, its first collection of garments made with G2 ozone and Indra technologies. Instead of using conventional water washers, the combination of technologies achieves authentic vintage looks without using water, chemicals and pumice stones. 

Instead, air washers extract oxygen from the atmosphere and convert it into ozone to treat garments through a safe, controlled abrasion process. While G2 ozone has been used to clean denim, the new Indra attachment offers humidity and temperature control so laundries can manage the intensity of the vintage effect. 

“Stone is over,” a rep said, referring to the pumice stones the industry has long used to achieve worn-in washes. 

Jeanologia showed the results of its zero discharge atmosphere washing process in a range of workwear and trend-driven pieces including a vest and flare jeans with effects such as abstract shapes, gradients, ozone bleaches and tie-dyes. It works with indigo and black dyes. 

Atmos Collection

Jeanoloigia expects that laundries will quickly warm up to using its air-based equipment alongside traditional water washing machines. “We are facing the most important revolution in blue jeans since we launched the first textile laser in 1999,” Jeanologia founder Enrique Silla said about the waterless devices.

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Tonello is reinventing ancient processes with sustainable technologies. 

The Italian machinery company’s new patent-pending DyeMate technology replaces traditional manual indigo garment dyeing with a more efficient industrialized system.  

While manual indigo garment dyeing can result in uneven colorization and depends on user skill, Tonello said DyeMate’s fully automated process yields repeatable results.

DyeMate replicates the typical process with one that is carried out in an oxygen-free nitrogen atmosphere, with controlled reduction and oxidation technology. It works at low temperatures and uses fewer chemicals. Clients can also make sulfur and VAT dyes with the same technology.

DyeMate is sold as an external kit that can be applied to all Tonello washing and dyeing machines.

Tonello said DyeMate would not have been possible without the support of chemical company Archroma, which provided the aniline-free Denisol Pure Indigo 30 liquid dye. It also lauded Artistic Milliners for being an early adopter of the technology and Franky Vangaever, Levi’s veteran and founder of Responsible Textile Innovation, who consulted on the project.  

DyeMate was one of several projects Tonello presented at the show alongside The Laser Lab machine, which allows attendees to either customize their own garment or choose from a catalog of patch designs. The company flexed its R&D expertise by providing the sustainable finishing for the Most Sustainable Products (MSP) Collection. The Kingpins and Denim House initiative showcases sustainable fabrics made by exhibitors. Piero Turk and Serena Conti designed the garments.


Tonello also worked with mill partner Crescent Bahuman Limited (CBL) on One Denim, a conceptual collection showcasing the variety of finishes and washes a single 100 percent cotton fabric can achieve, and Wander, Cone Denim’s capsule collection of outdoor garments made with its Cone Community Mental Health Awareness cotton selvedge.

Officina39 is growing its Recycrom dye range while shrinking the costs and time it involves.

The Italian chemical company introduced Recycrom Ready to Dye—a range of 15 standard ready-in-stock colors obtained from a minimum of 65 percent recycled textile pre- and post-consumer material. It can be applied to cotton, wool, nylon or any cellulosic and natural fiber or blend. Officina39 said 100 kg of textile waste is enough to dye 20,000 T-shirts with Recycrom Ready to Dye. 

Recycrom Ready to Dye colors span light and bright shades of red, blue, pink, yellow, black and more.

The company introduced Pure Recycrom in 2016. The circular dyestuff is derived from 100 percent recycled used clothing, fibrous material, and textile scraps. Later, the company added Recycrom Eco Marble to obtain frosted colored effects, Recycrom for printing applications and waterless Recycrom Gel.

While 100 percent circular dyestuff remains a priority for many, Officina39 managing director Andrea Venier said the company wanted to broaden its services to meet customer demand. “The result is a range of ready-made in-house dyes that allows for cost and time optimization, which we are sure will be greatly appreciated by those who choose this new sustainable option,” he said.