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Benefits of single-sided functional finishing

Annual cost savings for workwear manufacturers of around €1 million a year claimed.

4th August 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cambridge, United Kingdom


Alchemie Technology has achieved significant energy and water savings using its Novara single sided digital finishing process to apply HeiQ Barrier HM-C6 water and stain repellent chemistry to 280gsm polycotton twill workwear fabrics.

This provides a 52% water reduction and 46% energy savings, compared to the traditional padding method of fabric finishing. For workwear manufacturers it results in a more sustainable and lower cost solution by enabling a lower wet add-on (31% compared to 65% for padding) and a higher concentration of chemistry. In addition, high functional performance is maintained even after 20 washes.

Alchemie’s Novara low energy, single sided digital application system applies functional finishes at up to 20 times the concentration of traditional processes, with a more even application and higher quality. Adding functional finishes to a single side of fabric, rather than saturating the entire fabric, has the added advantage of keeping chemicals, such as insect repellent, on the outer side of a garment, away from the skin of the wearer. This is a particularly important feature for workwear in industries such as the military, that need to treat uniforms with permethrin.

The energy savings from the Novara system significantly reducesthe high costs involved in textile finishing – whilst also reducing CO2 emissions and pollution. For an average European textile finisher, Alchemie estimates that replacing a traditional textile finishing padder with a Novara machine would create an annual cost saving of around €1 million.

© Alchemie

Demand for workwear continues to soar across the world, largely driven by changes to legislation. The global workwear market size is expected to reach €27.36 billion by 2030. The value of the European Union’s workwear imports grew on average by 4.8% every year over the last five years.

“Our ambition is to transform workwear textile finishing to dramatically reduce its climate change impact by significantly lowering the amount of energy, water, chemicals and chemical waste,” said  Dr Alan Hudd, founder of Alchemie Technology. “With the demand for workwear increasing every year it is important to address the use of energy and water in the finishing process. We have the technology to provide workwear manufacturers with huge energy, water, and costs savings.

“The textile industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, yet it is also one that can achieve rapid amounts of positive change. We hope manufacturers will increasingly switch to these more sustainable and lower cost textile solutions.”

“We’re pleased to further our partnership with Alchemie Technology to prove that the Novara system works with our chemistry to produce high quality workwear finishes,” added Mike Mordente, textiles business unit head at HeiQ. “Together we can provide a finishing solution which is better for the planet and can be more cost efficient.”

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