As the global textile industry strives to become more sustainable, chemical solutions have a defining role to play. Numerous leading industry players have made substantial efforts to provide eco-friendly chemical offerings that allow textile manufacturers to optimize their production processes, from lamination, dying to finishing, thereby reducing the adverse environmental impacts.

Bio-based reactive PUR hot melt adhesive for textile lamination

In order to step on the way towards more sustainable bonding processes, adhesives manufacturer Jowat has presented Jowatherm-Reaktant GROW 631.20 –  the latest addition to its Jowatherm-Reaktant GROW product family.

It claimed to be one of the first certified bio-based reactive polyurethane hot melt adhesives for textile laminating.

As introduced, only high-performance bio-based adhesives that have been optimised for the use in sustainable manufacturing processes are included in the “GROW” product line from Jowat.

The sustainable adhesive is marked with the labels “DIN geprüft biobasiert” (bio-based certification by the German Institute for Standardization, DIN) and “Green Leaf by Intertek”.

Jowat’s new adhesive boasts a certified renewable raw material content of over 20%.

The new adhesive boasts a certified renewable raw material content of over 20% and is characterized by a performance on par with its established conventional counterparts in the Jowat portfolio.

In addition, the new bio-based adhesive fulfills high requirements for washing resistance and soft textile feel, can be processed at temperatures between appr. 110 and 140 °C, and meets of course the specifications of “ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX” for the manufacture of products certified according to “Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX”. Furthermore, it can be easily integrated in existing processes.

It can be used for bonding operations in the manufacturing of mattresses and upholstery covers, medical textiles, protective clothing, building textiles, abrasive materials, cleaning textiles, and a variety of established textile laminating applications in the automotive industry.

Due to the renewable raw materials in its formulation, it is of particular interest for enterprises that want to reduce the use of fossil raw materials in their manufacturing processes step by step.

Eco-friendly black reactive dye uses 50% less water and energy

Black shades are an ever-popular choice among designers and consumers, offering visual appeal and timeless style. Leading brands today need to not only deliver intense black shades that won’t fade but must also show that they are sustainable and good for the environment.

To address the market need, Huntsman Textile Effects has extended its industry-leading HIGH IQ brand- assurance program with the launch of HIGH IQ Lasting Black eco.

Based on Huntsman’s award-winning AVITERA SE Black reactive dye, the new color-retention program will help mills, brands and retailers meet global demand for eco-friendly black shades that retain their intense color even after repeated washing.

HIGH IQ Lasting Black eco is a unique combination of the leading color-retention program with Huntsman’s revolutionary AVITERA Black SE reactive dye.

AVITERA Black SE dyes are described as being “polyfunctional” since there are more than two reactive groups in each dye molecule to ensure that far more dye is fixed than with previous generations of similar reactive dye technology.

While AVITERA Black SE dye promotes economic and environmental sustainability by reducing water and energy consumption by up to 50%, its great washing-off performance of AVITERA SE Black dye shortens processing time and thereby increasing productivity.

Notably, garments produced under the HIGH IQ Lasting Black eco program are suitable for home laundering using EU and US domestic washing machines and carry a reduced risk of color staining other garments during washing.

Some other major benefits of HIGH IQ Lasting Black eco include deep black shades retain intensity as long as garment lasts, longer-lasting performance, as well as allowing mills to produce fabrics and garments free from p-chloroaniline (PCA).

The company also highlighted that all products in the HIGH IQ quality assurance program are bluesign approved and suitable for STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certified textile products, meeting the stringent requirements of global brands.

Bio-based fragrances designed for low-wash textiles

Devan Chemicals, the Belgium-based developer of finishing technologies for textiles, has launched a new range of bio-based fragrances, named SceNTL. The range uses traceable raw materials and an external lab has confirmed that the bio-content of the fragrances is above 85%.

SceNTL is a unique and wide range of encapsulated fragrances that can be integrated onto the fabric and are gradually released over time. Upon release, the fragrances appeal to the senses, promoting relaxation, wellbeing and feel-good sensations.

Devan’s new bio-based fragrances is designed for low-wash items such as mattress ticking, decorative pillows, upholstery, curtains and carpets.
While synthetic fragrances are composed of synthetic, man-made ingredients, natural scents and oils are created by isolating natural aroma components from raw plant materials. This also explains why every SceNTL batch can have a slight variation in smell.

As natural conditions differ from time to time, every harvest is a little different from the previous one, Devan explained.

Although aromatherapy is still a young and understudied domain, recent studies have shown that essential oils can indeed have neurological effects.

Linalool for example, a component found in Lavender and Rosewood, is found to enhance sleep, while Limonene, a component found in the peel of citrus fruits, is clinically proven to have an uplifting effect.

At this moment, the SceNTL range is intended for low-wash items such as mattress ticking, decorative pillows, upholstery, curtains, carpets, etc. It can also be used as a natural “masking scent” for products that have a strong artificial smell caused by the production process.

The range consists of Natural Lavender, Menthol, Wild Mint, a Citrus Blend. The company said it is looking into further development of other scents and broader application use.

Fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent finishing for more green textiles

As the global textile industry quickly adopts new production practices and materials with reduced environmental impacts, it is important to examine the water repellent treatments being used as many conventional options come with a number of disadvantages.

At the same time, fashion designers are being tasked with finding fabric solutions that meet consumer and societal expectations for style, ease of care and durability.

In view of this, Dow introduced DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion, a new generation of durable water repellent finishes for fabrics based on silicone chemistry in February this year.

Dow has announced a new generation of fluorocarbon-free water repellent finishes for fabrics based on silicone chemistry.
As said, for the majority of waterproof clothing, water repellence is achieved by treating fabrics with fluorocarbon-based durable water repellents. However, these fluorocarbons slowly leach from the fabrics and gradually find their way into the water system. Over time, they bioaccumulate in the environment and enter the food chain, with the potential to cause health problems for both wildlife and people.

To ensure the highest water repellent standards are achieved without compromising the environment, Dow has launched the new offering which does not contain fluoroalkyl or fluorocarbon.

With DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion, Dow can help meet those needs and provide designers with a water repellent treatment that aligns with the industry’s overall push for greater sustainability, according to Shawn Mealey, technical service and development scientist at Dow.

In addition, studies conducted on a variety of textiles substrates based on DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion treatment demonstrate improved fabric retention compared to standard silicone finishes –thereby providing continued water repellency after multiple washes.

Unlike many conventional finishes, DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion finish does not need to be regularly heat treated to restore the water repellency performance, which is a key advantage for the durability of the final product.

By incorporating a DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion treatment into their finishing processes, textile finishers receive greater control over the hand feel of the fabric - an important parameter driving consumer choices today.

Depending on specific need, this can range, from a very soft hand feel that is characteristic of silicone when used alone, to a firmer hand with the addition of crosslinkers.

The technology powering DOWSIL IE-8749 Emulsion was developed through a collaboration between Dow and Nicca Chemical, and was recently recognized by a 2020 R&D 100 Award.