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Environmental savings with digital textile dyeing

Environmental savings with digital textile dyeing2019.07.24

Israeli innovator Twine Solutions debuted its Digital Selective Treatment (DST) textile dyeing system at ITMA 2019, which enables white thread, of 70 to 800 denier, to be continuously dyed during textile processing to yield an array of different colours, mitigating the requirement of batches of coloured yarn.

With ongoing R&D efforts going further to look at the possible integration of performance finishes, Ecotextile News spoke with Twine marketing manager Adi Mandel to find out more about future applications and environmental savings.

Just around the corner from the MCL News & Media booth in hall three, it was clear to see that Twine, despite being a first timer at the vast ITMA exhibition, had made an immediate impact with the debut of its digital textile dyeing system.

The company, borne out of Petah Tikva, Israel, is looking to reinvent the wheel of textile dyeing, with an offering of a continuous digital dyeing system that enables the dye colour to be updated – via an operator interface – as the yarn is in motion.

This, according to the company, not only eradicates the need for various batches of coloured yarn – which if purchased by customers in anticipation of fashion trends can often lead to significant volumes of waste – but it provides a more sustainable way of working due to the waterless dyeing process saving the 70 litres of water typically used per 1kg of dyed thread.

What’s more, due to the versatility with which the innovator can adjust the dye colour and batch size, it’s said that product sampling in particular will reap rewards for brand and retail partners. “So if there’s 5kg [of a dyed yarn] that you need but in order to get the 5kg it takes weeks for the right colour [to be available] – you can do that [with us] at the push of a button,” Mandel explained.

This ultimately allows the company to accept orders with greater flexibility, catering to customers particularly of smaller sizes that will require stock in smaller quantities. It’s “the ability to say yes to any customer walking into the door,” Mandel notes, who goes on to say that its versatility is uncompromised when providing specific coloured stock for customers.

“You're not limited to a catalogue of 200 or 500 colours, you can always say yes,” she said. The company’s mobile application Snapmatch lends itself in such an instance. The application captures an image of a sample using a mobile device and Twine’s proprietary algorithms analyse the colour. The user can then send the captured colour to the TS-1800 system for immediate thread dyeing in the desired colour.

“Sometimes they want unique colour,” Mandel said, “and if you want to have unique colours dyed for you it is usually huge quantities and you have to stock them somewhere and they’re not always picked up. Sometimes there will be items that no country picks up because it's not the trend, right colour or whatever and they have to do something with that thread that they bought.”
The utilisation of the DST technology, therefore, enables its customers to purchase only raw white yarn that they can then trust Twine to dye accurately to the specifications, colours and quantities, which they want.

Finishing touches

On Twine’s booth, an area labelled ‘A glimpse into our future’ provided a talking point in the form of its future plans which centred on R&D efforts. The company says it is now tinkering with the possibility of one day integrating performance treatments within its services which were demonstrated in the form of three samples: fluorescent thread, reflective thread and hydrophobic thread.

According to Mandel, this remains some way off as the company overcomes the challenges that have presented themselves since it started looking at expanding its product offering. “Our system is the right combination of chemistry, physics and mechanics and it works well,” she said. “Now when you change one component you need to see how it will affect the other components.  And this is what we are doing, we are changing some of the stuff and checking whether if you change the chemistry, the materials, how it will affect other stuff in the system.”

Once finalised, however, Mandel suggests that any performance treatment would lend itself to anything technical, such as in the field of smart textiles. “But again this is something that we would need R&D to explore deeper. It is not as big of a market as dyeing. So this will be more of a niche or add on for the existing system,” she concluded.


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