Technical Absorbents
Techtextil Frankfurt

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Milliken successfully eliminates PFAS

Alternatives for durable water repellency and soil release identified, with oil repellency products discontinued.

22nd February 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Spartanburg, SC, USA

Sports/​Outdoor, Protective, Sustainable

The textile business of Milliken & Company has become the first US-based multi-market textile manufacturer to successfully eliminate all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – commonly referred to as PFAS – from its fibres and finishes portfolio.

The portfolio spans multiple industries, including flame-resistant, military, uniform and decor fabrics and the elimination of PFAS from it involved a focus on three key areas – durable water repellency (DWR), soil release and oil repellency.

Alternative DWR solutions were readily available in the market through accredited organisations such as bluesign and the Milliken research team assessed and implemented appropriate alternatives to maintain the performance and quality standards customers expect for DWR.

Soil repellency proved to be both a challenge and an opportunity. Working with Milliken’s internal research team, a new soil release technology was developed and integrated into suitable textile applications without PFAS as an ingredient. The new proprietary technology has shown equivalent, and in some cases, superior performance to previous PFAS-containing finishes, but at presnt is not an alternative to every soil-repellent finish application.

Non-PFAs water repellent outdoor fabrics are now offered. © Milliken

After an extensive search and vetting process for alternative oil repellency, no alternative was found, and as a result, the company has exited those lines of business. 

“Our work was intricate and our multi-disciplinary team approached this initiative thoughtfully and with great care for our customers,” said Jeff Strahan, director of sustainability, compliance and research for Milliken’s textile business. “We’re thrilled to be leading the industry in taking meaningful action that will have an immediate impact.”

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and tribute to our team who worked around the clock to develop solutions that meet our customers’ performance requirements and reflect our purpose to positively impact the world for future generations,” added David Smith, executive vice president of Milliken & Company.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more