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Water-free dyeing is in the works

August 7th, 2015 / By: / EcoNote

Zip manufacturer YKK is working on a new dyeing process using supercritical fluid dyeing (SFD) technology, which the company says will allow it to use almost no water in the dyeing process. Photo: YKK
Zip manufacturer YKK is working on a new dyeing process using supercritical fluid dyeing (SFD) technology, which the company says will allow it to use almost no water in the dyeing process. Photo: YKK

Tokyo-based zip manufacturer YKK is working on a new “eco” dyeing process using supercritical fluid dyeing (SFD) technology, which the company says will allow it to use almost no water in the dyeing process. YKK’s technology uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as a dyeing medium that can be collected and recycled. It also does not require drying, which is expected to contribute to the reduction of energy use. The process is being tested at the YKK factory in Kurobe, Japan.

A number of apparel firms and manufacturers are also trialing the SFD process, including Nike with FENC, Adidas and Taiwanese textile specialist Formosa Taffeta.

Formosa Taffeta has recently signed a joint venture with Fung Jie Applied Material to develop a durable water-repellent function without using water. The companies had been working on the process for a year; machinery will be set up at Formosa’s factory for year-long trials to establish the desired finishing speed.