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Novozymes Introduces Cold Denim Bleaching Solution

Global biotechnology company Novozymes introduced a new cold bleaching solution, DeniLite Cold, on Tuesday. Aimed at replacing chemicals with enzymatic technology for more gentle denim processing, the cold bleaching method offers improved fabric durability, and unlike harsh bleaching chemicals, ensures the strength and elasticity of the fabric remains intact.

According to Novozymes, current enzymatic bleaching methods are usually based on enzymes called laccases, which alter the indigo through oxidation. This method of bleaching can be time consuming, as it requires oxygen from the water or air. It may also require repetition. DeniLite Cold is based on a different kind of enzyme called peroxidases, designed to work without extra oxygen from the air or water. It also has a fast reaction speed—90 percent of the reaction finishes within 10 minutes.

Business development manager for Novozymes’ textile division, Ole Bill Jorgensen, said, “Our cold bleaching solution is effective at tap water temperature. Other bleaching technologies require the use of more energy or water, and in some cases more process steps, to achieve the same bleaching effect.”

Denim shades also react differently to cold bleaching than to traditional chemicals, and can produce unique denim shades that can not be achieved with traditional processes.

Jorgensen said, “Denim processors can apply this technology to current trends and create diverse looks for brand owners very quickly. Even just one wash cycle using this technology can create a variety of different color tones. We believe the full fashion potential will be further explored when the technology becomes broadly available to the industry.”