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Kaiser, DyStar Develop Waterless Method for Authentic Denim Fades

Turkish laundry solutions provider Kaiser and German chemical supplier DyStar collaborated on an innovation that achieves the sought-after lived-in look with a smaller environmental footprint.

“Advanced Used Look” offers the denim industry a solution for authentic fades without all of the water and chemical usage often associated with conventional dye and wash methods. The energy- and time-saving process is waterless and free of potassium permanganate, a hazardous chemical linked to respiratory diseases like byssinosis and silicosis.

The companies report that, compared to traditional garment dyeing and washing, the solution provides higher fastness—or ease of fading—and exceptional reproducibility and levelness for scale. It’s also able to achieve the faded look on challenging darker colors.

The denim industry is looking for environmentally friendlier solutions for garment fading. As part of its Aqualess Mission, a combination of technologies that allows garment laundry processes to use 75 percent less water, chemical specialist Officina +39 recently introduced Aqualess Fade. The technology recreates the bleaching effect of chlorine on fabrics without water and high temperatures. In November, vertically integrated denim manufacturer Soorty developed Zero Stone, a stonewashing method that produces vintage-inspired wash effects without the use of pumice stones, which have long been considered a detriment to the environment.

DyStar is the Bluesign system partner behind the Cadira Denim System, a dyeing process that eliminates the use of hydrosulphite, which is responsible for salt formation during the denim dyeing process. The resulting salt generated in conventional dyeing processes can make its way into natural water supplies and degrade the ecosystem. Using the Cadira Denim System, DyStar replaces hydrosulphite with its organic reducing agent Sera Con C-RDA and combines it with DyStar Indigo Vat 40% Solution to create what it calls the “cleanest indigo on the market.”

Recently, Kaiser has offered notable innovations including its Lava Con DOZ, an ozone activator that helps denim achieve a bright bleaching effect that ozone is unable to create on its own.