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Alchemie’s low energy textile technology improves cost and sustainability of workwear functional finishing

Novara™ system achieves 46% energy saving and 52% water reduction for polycotton durable water repellent (DWR) fabric finishing, achieving high performance even after 20 washes

Alchemie Technology, the UK innovator of waterless, low energy, textile dyeing technology, has achieved huge energy and water savings using their Novara™ textile finishing machine to apply water and stain repellent to 280gsm polycotton twill workwear fabric.

Using Alchemie’s NovaraTM single sided digital finishing process to apply HeiQ Barrier HM-C6 water and stain repellent chemistry provides a 52% water reduction and 46% energy saving, compared to the traditional padding method of fabric finishing.  By enabling a lower wet add-on, 31% compared to 65% for padding, and higher concentration of chemistry, this breakthrough offers workwear manufacturers a more sustainable and lower cost solution.

Alchemie low energy textile techn
Figure: Alchemie Technology has achieved huge energy and water savings using their Novara™ textile finishing machine to apply water and stain repellent to 280gsm polycotton twill workwear fabric.

External laboratory tests verified that the HeiQ Barrier HM-C6 water and stain repellent when applied using the Alchemie Novara™ system achieved high functional performance even after 20 washes.

Alchemie’s Novara™ low energy, single sided digital application system applies functional finishes at up to 20 times the concentration of traditional processes, with a more even application and higher quality – saving cost and improving efficiency. Adding functional finishes to a single side of fabric, rather than saturating the entire fabric, has the added advantage of keeping chemicals, such as insect repellent, to the outer side of a garment, away from the wearers skin.  This is a particularly important feature for workwear in industries, such as the military, that need to treat uniforms with permethrin.

The energy savings from the Novara™ system significantly reduces the high costs involved in textile finishing – whilst also reducing CO2 emissions and pollution. For an average European textile finisher, Alchemie estimates that replacing a traditional textile finishing padder with a Novara™ machine would create an annual cost saving of around €1 million a year.

Demand for workwear continues to soar across the world, largely driven by changes to legislation. The global workwear market size is expected to reach USD 27.36 billion by 2030[i]. The value of the European Union’s workwear imports grew on average by 4.8% every year over the last five years[ii].

Dr Alan Hudd, founder of Alchemie Technology, said: “Our ambition is to transform workwear textile finishing to dramatically reduce its climate change impact by significantly lowering the amount of energy, water, chemicals, and chemical waste. With demand for workwear increasing every year it is important to address the use of energy and water in the finishing process. We have the technology to provide workwear manufacturers with huge energy, water, and costs savings.

“The textile industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, yet it is also one that can achieve rapid amounts of positive change. We hope manufacturers will increasingly switch to these more sustainable and lower cost textile solutions.”

Mike Mordente, business unit head, Textiles at HeiQ added: “We’re pleased to further our partnership with Alchemie Technology to prove that the Novara™ system works with our chemistry to produce high quality workwear finishes. Together we can provide a finishing solution which is better for the planet and can be more cost efficient.”

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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