According to an article in just-style.com by Leonie Barrie, the use of bio-based enzymes as an alternative to traditional chemicals in the production of cotton knits can eliminate the need for caustic chemicals, as well as cut water and energy use and overall processing time.
Experiments carried out by Cotton Incorporated and DuPont Industrial Biosciences point to an average reduction of 70 percent water usage and a 27 percent drop in energy consumption. The results, presented at the ‘Great Ideas in Cotton’ conference in Hong Kong earlier this week, also point to a 66 percent reduction in water, steam and energy costs. The process also reduces process time by 23 percent for dark shades, 27 percent for medium shades and 30 percent for light shades.
Mary Ankeny, director of dyeing research at Cotton Incorporated, supervised the trials. “We knew that bio-enzymes were effective at each individual stage of cotton textile preparation but we wanted to see if combining enzymes for scouring, bleaching and dyeing also could consolidate some steps in the process without sacrificing quality,’ she said. “Water use has always been a challenge for textile wet processing. It is a key concern in the industry today. The bio-enzyme combination significantly reduces the water volume by enabling the same water bath to be used for multiple process steps.”