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Mimaki process strips prints from polyester

Adrian Wilson

No limit to how many times fabrics can be treated with Neo-Chromato and then reused.

24th July 2023

Adrian Wilson
 |  Milan

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The new Neo-Chromato process being developed by digital printing technology specialist Mimaki enables the reuse of coloured polyester textiles by removing the inks from them.

By decolourising polyester textiles that have been dyed using dye sublimation technologies, it allows materials to be re-printed or dyed immediately, contributing to a circular economy. A high-temperature solvent is employed and the ink is simultaneously taken up an absorbent paper.

There is no limit to how many times reused polyester can be treated with Neo-Chromato and the process itself minimises water usage and pollution by enabling the disposal of the absorbent paper and decolouring solvents used in the process as burnable waste.

“The increasing awareness of sustainability has led to a significant disposal issue within the textile industry, with polyester textiles accounting for approximately 60% of the 92 million tons of wasted textile materials worldwide,” said Mimaki Europe general manager Arjen Evertse at the recent ITMA 2023 exhibition in Milan. “Of this enormous amount of polyester waste, currently around only 15% is recycled. Mimaki’s Neo-Chromato Process tackles this issue head on by utilising a discolouring technology for dye sublimation inks. This process not only eliminates the need for polyester waste incineration but also reduces the energy consumption associated with textile recycling.”

Mimaki is actively collaborating with retail and apparel brands to explore the full potential of the technology.

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