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Dow introduces new DWR finish for sustainable textiles

Formulation does not contain fluorocarbons, has excellent durability, resistance to wash cycles and offers greater control over the hand feel of the fabric.

12th February 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Midland, MI, USA


Dow, a leading materials science company, has introduced Dowsil IE-8749 Emulsion, a new generation of durable water-repellent finishes (DWR) for fabrics based on silicone chemistry.

“As the global textile industry quickly adopts new production practices and materials with reduced environmental impacts, it’s important to examine the water-repellent treatments being used as many conventional options come with a number of disadvantages,” said Shawn Mealey, technical service and development scientist at Dow.

“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. With Dowsil IE-8749Emulsion, we can help meet those needs and provide designers with a water-repellent treatment that aligns with the industry’s overall push for greater sustainability.”

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, Dow explains. Unlike many conventional finishes, Dowsil IE-8749Emulsion 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, the company adds. 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 cross linkers, Dow says.

Mealey will present the specifics of this new durable water-repellent solution for textile finishing during a dedicated webinar on March 2nd at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants are invited to register online.

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. It does not contain fluoroalkyl or fluorocarbon, Dow emphasises.

This product comes in addition to several recently announced technologies by Dow in the textile space, focused on combining high performance, cost-effectiveness, and improved sustainability profiles.

For further information about Dow’s broad chemistry panel for textile formulation, please visit

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