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Precise route to 85% energy savings

Gas price has risen from €16 a year ago to a peak of €142 per MWh on March 1st.

7th March 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cambridge, United Kingdom


Alchemie Technology, based in Cambdidge, UK, says its new Novara precision digital finishing solution can help European textile manufacturers save more than €1 million a year and return to profitability as energy prices surge across the continent.

Novara uses high velocity jetting technology to apply nano-droplets of functional finishes, only where needed, on fabrics, using 85% less energy and up to 50% less chemistry compared to traditional methods.

Traditional textile finishing is an energy intensive process which applies liquid finishes by immersing the whole fabric in a chemical bath, adding around 80% water by mass to the fabric which then needs to be dried.

EU gas prices soared throughout 2021 – and have risen even more sharply due to the conflict in Ukraine, which has sparked fresh concerns about global energy supplies. The European gas price has risen from €16 a year ago to a peak of €142 per MWh on March 1st.

It requires over 2 kWh per kg of material to dry fabrics which have been through a padding bath. Alchemie estimates that spiralling gas costs have therefore increased the annual energy costs for a typical EU textile finishing operation by over €1 million a year.

Novara precision digital finishing is a low energy, single sided application system which enables functional finishes to be applied at up to 20 times the concentration of traditional processes – with a more even application and higher quality. This results in energy savings of up to 85%.

There is also a significant sustainability benefit to the Novara system. The energy savings correspond to around 1 kg of CO2 per kg in reduced carbon emissions. The EU alone produces around 130,000 tons of technical textiles fabric per year. Switching to Novara technology would deliver a reduction of more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Energy costs are crippling the EU technical textiles industry – and the situation is getting rapidly worse,” said Simon Kew, managing director of Alchemie Technology. “European gas prices have risen dramatically over the last year with those costs accelerating again and hitting EU manufacturers particularly hard. Many textile manufacturers are now struggling to survive because their supply contracts have now increased to reflect the recent energy price rises.

“Our Novara precision digital finishing technology can reduce energy costs by up to 85% which can help technical textile finishing companies to return to profitability.”

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