AirDye technology manages the application of color to textiles without the use of water. It was developed and patented by Colorep, a California-based sustainable technology company. The process of making textiles can require several dozen gallons of water for each pound of clothing. The AirDye process employs air instead of water to help the dyes penetrate fibers, a process that uses no water and requires less energy than traditional methods of dyeing, The technology works only on synthetic materials and is currently available only in the United States. Colorep says it plans to extend its use to Europe by the end of summer, and to Central America by late this year.
The AirDye process employs air instead of water to help the dye penetrate the fiber. AirDye technology heats up fabric, then injects dye directly into the fibers in the form of a gas. The AirDye process uses no water and less energy than traditional methods, while still achieving impressive colors in solids and prints. Airdye is a proprietary technology that cannot be done in the traditional sublimation or heat transfer process. Paper, which can be recycled, continues to be the medium for transferring disperse dyes to fabric.
The process of making textiles can require several dozen gallons of water for each pound of clothing, especially during the dyeing process. 2.4 trillion gallons of water are used in synthetic dyeing, AirDye's addressable market, each year. AirDye technology eliminates hazardous wastewater as a byproduct of dyeing fabric. Water scarcity affects one in three people on every continent and is getting worse as water needs rise with population growth, urbanization and increased usage by households and industry.
Depending on the fabric, and type of dyeing, AirDye uses up to 95% less water, and up to 86% less energy, contributing 84% less to global warming, according to an independent assessment. Additionally, some companies state that with AirDye technology they can print to order which eliminates production excess and waste.
Colorep claims that its AirDye Process is priced competitively compared to traditional technology. Additionally, Colorep claims that companies using the technology find the AirDye process reduces waste as 10% of traditional, vat-dyed fabric is damaged during the process, whereas with AirDye, only 1% is damaged. Colorep also says that AirDye enables companies to wait longer to decide what color or print to put onto their fabric, which would reduce the need for apparel makers to guess what colors consumers will want to wear months ahead.
The AirDye process manufactures fabric that can be washed at any temperature, with whites or colors, with or without bleach. Because the AirDye process injects the dyes in the fabric and not on the fabric, bleach and cleaning agents do not affect them.
Fabrics dyed with AirDye technology supposedly feel no different than conventionally dyed textiles. They can be dyed all one color, a different color on each side, a pattern on one side and a solid color on the other, or a pattern on both sides.
Colorep has licensed its AirDye technology to 16 resellers.
Hunter Douglas Hospitality provides window coverings to the hospitality industry. The Company states that using AirDye technology allows it to save resources, money and the environment. Current and future Hunter Douglas Hospitality products featuring AirDye technology include:
Custom-printed window coverings, including roller shades, roman shades, Vignette modern roman shades, and Silhouette window shadings. The AirDye process can apply designs to the shade fabric without interfering with its shading performance or other characteristics. Textile designs that can feature a look on the front surface of the fabric that differs from what is applied to the back. Fabrics can be printed with a different solid color on each side of the fabric, two different patterns on each side, or combinations of solid colors and patterns.
Costello Tagliapietra is a New York–based fashion house that launched their Spring 2010 collection using AirDye technology at their fashion show on September 11, 2009. As winners of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, they have an eye on creating clothing that can help enhance the global environment. Using AirDye's water saving technology, enables them to pursue that goal, while designing fashionable clothes.
Patagonia is an outdoor clothing company and is a major contributor to several environmental groups and movements. One of the sewing factories in the United States that does contract work for Patagonia is currently installing AirDye.
A Lot To Say
A Lot To Say is an environmentally responsible t-shirt company that has been given an exclusive and unprecedented endorsement from the National Green Energy Council. A Lot To Say t-shirts are colored and printed with the AirDye process.
With AirDye, the Company estimates for every 25,000 t-shirts sold, the planet will save:
* Energy - 1,132,500 megajoules
* Water - 157,500 US gallons (596,000 L)
* Green House Emissions - 57,500 (kg CO2 equiv. emissions)
Miss Peaches is an eco-friendly swimwear company that has implemented an “Eco-Friendly Initiative” where the designers are constantly searching for and applying the most cutting edge developments in printing processes and other innovations that help preserve the environment. Miss Peaches uses the AirDye process to print all of their swimwear and cover-ups.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AirDye®.|
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