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Waterless Textile Finishing at Scale? 2 Innovators Are Trying to Make That Happen

The Haartz Corporation, a specialist in engineered and designed textile materials, and Green Theme Technologies (GTT), a producer of waterless and PFAS-free textile finishing, announced a partnership to revolutionize how textiles are finished in the United States.

GTT’s PFAS-free and waterless Empel textile finishing platform eliminates harmful chemicals from all levels of textile finishing without the use of water. The collaboration reduces environmental impacts and improves product performance across the apparel, furniture and automotive markets.

Developed by GTT, the Empel platform can apply a wide variety of finishes, including durable water repellent, anti-wicking and durable stain. Empel uses sustainable “clean chemistry” to eliminate contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) during the textile manufacturing process through a waterless process.

“Haartz is the perfect partner for GTT,” said Martin Flora, vice president of business development for GTT. “They are world leaders in scaling finished fabric technologies through world-class manufacturing and testing facilities. With their various product categories, including apparel, furniture and automotive, our partnership brings textile innovation to North America and helps drive a positive and sizable environmental impact.”

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Independent tests conducted by Bureau Veritas and Oeko-Tex confirmed Empel uses a nontoxic and water-free hydrocarbon monomer solution that is polymerized when applied to fabrics, wrapping each individual yarn with a high-performance finish. Testing reveals Empel outperforms existing C0 and C6 fluorocarbon water repellent options, producing a protective finish that lasts.

Performance apparel brands such as Black Diamond, TREW Gear, Stoney Creek and Artilect are currently selling apparel products that use Empel. Haartz holds the only U.S. license for the Empel process and plans to scale production with several household brands.

“Empel presents endless possibilities for the future of textile manufacturing, with applications ranging from clothing to furniture and beyond,” said Matt Williams, vice president of global automotive exteriors and new markets at Haartz. “We continually push our manufacturing boundaries to bring the cleanest, highest performance products to market. Just as we have done throughout our long history serving automotive markets, we’re approaching this unique problem with a unique sustainable solution and we’re looking forward to bringing this new enhanced technology with a lower carbon footprint to U.S. manufacturing.”

The Haartz Corporation’s world headquarters and North American manufacturing operations are located in Acton, Mass., with additional manufacturing in Mannheim, Germany, and Pune, India.