January 21, 2011



Ok, so fair warning, this post is a lot a bit nerdy. I read this on one of my "science & Technology" blogs (yes I have a section in my google reader dedicated to science blogs - and again yes I realize this is a painfully geeky reality in my life). Now that we have that established, the long and short is that these nerd science guys have created a technology that can in a single watershed moment eradicate the following from ever happening to your clothes:

I mean this is huge right?! (No I'm not referring to the size of those undies - although they are pretty jumbo- hehe). The company is called DyeCat and what they have developed is a dye compound and process that eliminates the leaking and fading effect of dyed clothing. Current dye products on the market are applied by essentially soaking  textiles in water containing color dye. They repeat this process multiple times allowing for the color to soak into the fabric and settle in between (not actually affixing) - giving the illusion that the fabric has changed color. Once washed, left out in the sun or any number of other obstacles - the color trapped within the fabric will start to dissipate and affix to other things (see: bleeding, fading etc). This process is not good for a couple of reasons. The obvious is that dyed garments have an unavoidable shelf life. Their colors fade in time and end up looking dingy. More importantly, the process of dying, even with organic and supposed "clean dyes" still requires the use of a significant amount of water - immediately polluting the water and exhausting a significant amount of energy in the process. Did you know that the dyeing of textiles accounts for 20% of the worlds industrial water pollution? That is HUGE. 

DyeCat's new technology bonds the dye to textile fibers on a molecular level - chemically - without the use of water. The result is a smooth - one time application of color to the actual fibers of the textiles, essentially making the dye a part of the textile. There is no need to repeat the process as the color is applied evenly and cannot be released from the fibers once they have been bonded. In a single technological advancement, this process mutually eliminates both ugly faded dresses AND a huge chunk of global water polution. Everybody wins!

DyeCat is still in the process of looking for financial backing to make this option a truly viable global consideration. As with any chemical processing, the functionality will be more expensive until it becomes a popular practice. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, few textile companies will begin using this more expensive yet much better product until the consumer demands. After all, their businesses need to make money. My hope is that the demand for better stewardship of our water AND better products will eventually command this change. As someone who spends an awful lot of time promoting consumerism - I thought it both important and interesting to share this potential world changing scientific development. Learn all about DyeCat HERE.   

No comments:

Post a Comment