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Polyester’s advantages in a cleaner cotton

Patent-pending technology provides the cleanest bleach and dye process, reducing harsh chemical, water and electricity use.

9th March 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Houston, TX, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Fibre52 Cotton, based in Houston, Texas, has unveiled a patent-pending technology to revolutionise the way cotton is prepared and dyed, substantially minimising the use of water and energy and eliminating harsh chemicals while also offering a more durable and improved natural-performance cotton fibre to rival synthetics.

The traditional cotton treatment method, used for nearly 80 years, has involved hazardous chemicals and high heat that weaken the cotton fibres.

Fibre52 cotton’s licensed process replaces harmful chemicals with bio-active products and uses lower levels of heat in the pre-treatment process, saving up to 50% in water, energy use and process cycle time. By including Fibre52’s dye technology, the cotton retains its natural properties and allows moisture to be transferred away from the skin, as opposed to the normal clingy feel of cotton. Fibre52 cotton serves as a smart moisture and thermal regulator, forming a layer of dry air next to the skin and ranking it high on the comfort scale.

“Our patent-pending technology combines the comfort of cotton with strength and moisture-management performance much better than poly-anything does, so you can be comfortable in a wider range of temperatures,” says Laura Thornquist, president of Fibre52. “This inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative technology is easily transferable, allowing textile manufacturers to utilise current machinery with no additional capital investments and it is repeatable coloration and shade of material with no need to change dye recipes.”


A rigorous series of tests, overseen by North Carolina State University and SGS, have been carried out to prove performance functionality. The results rank Fibre52 high on dynamic cooling and drying rate tests, as well as for low pilling and improved tear strength.  The tests revealed the new cotton provides a steady heat flux and a short drying time, proving the wearer would feel more comfortable in hot and cold temperatures due to the slow change of the micro-climate.

“For decades, polyester and cotton have been in a race to be the fabric that contains the best properties of synthetic and natural fibres,” says Harrie Schoots, president of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. “Fibre52 gives a big lead to the cotton team in this race to produce an ultra-performance fabric, with no treatments, that brings the best of both worlds – optimal continuous comfort in a breathable natural fabric that manages moisture and dries quickly.”

Fibre52 also represents a significant step forward in sustainability for both the manufacturing process and the fashion industry. The new method replaces harmful chemicals with bio-active products, uses up to 50% less water and electricity, and saves up to two hours in the dyeing process. With its performance qualities, Fibre52 additionally makes it easier to replace petroleum-based fibres and fabrics and advances the circular economy with a recyclable fabric that lasts longer.

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