—Not So Dye-Fast “Sustainability: Polymer additives aid removal of loose dye molecules, significantly reducing water and energy use in coloring textiles” Many of the colorful textile products we use—think clothing, sofas, and carpeting—come courtesy of reactive dye molecules that are designed to adsorb onto and covalently bond to fabric fibers. But during a typical dyeing treatment, up to 40% of the dye molecules hydrolyze and remain only loosely associated with the fibers via electrostatic interactions such as hydrogen bonding. Manufacturers must repeatedly wash and rinse the fabric to get the unsecured dye out, which requires a lot of water, time, and energy.
by Stephen K. Ritter |
March 23, 2015