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About Lenzing’s New Earth

Jun 01, 2023Jun 01, 2023

Lenzing Group has developed a new approach to the textile dyeing process that enhances design possibilities in ready-to-wear and knit clothing while reducing the excessive water and energy use commonly associated with denim production.

The new process creates the washed-down looks previously only achievable in resource-intensive denim dyeing and bleaching, and is suited for application in Tencel lyocell fiber or Tencel lyocell fiber with Refibra technology.

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Traditional textile dyeing and finishing is a notoriously polluting process that uses a significant amount of water, energy, dyes and chemicals to arrive at a particular shade or effect. With the Austria-based Lenzing’s new process, only one round of dyeing is required. This means water use is decreased by up to 50 percent, energy by 40 percent and chemicals by 90 percent.

This appeals to consumers who want to purchase goods from companies with track records of being environmentally friendly.

“As consumers become more conscious of the environmental footprint of their purchases, designers and manufacturers are seeking innovative ways to ensure that the materials and production processes deployed have low environmental impact, while expanding design possibilities,” said Rex Mok, Lenzing’s vice president of fiber technical marketing and development.

It is the possible fashion applications that might be most important in raising the style profile of Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fiber or Tencel lyocell fiber with Refibra technology. Different shades of color, and washed down or fade-out effects can be customized like any natural fiber. This makes it suited to produce ready-to-wear, knit apparel or garments with denim looks in multiple color variations.

“Our new approach can create wash-down aesthetics or vintage looks on any knit fabric,” Mok added. “By overcoming the limitations of traditional dyeing, our new approach is a resource-efficient alternative that helps translate into greater sustainability and more competitive operational costs for fabric mills.”

The regular, organic or natural dyes already used by yarn spinners and fabric mills are compatible with Lenzing’s new process. Yarn and fabric created with the new process don’t leave dye residue on machines, which means that equipment can be used continuously to produce fabrics or garments in different colors. This lessens down time for changing dye lots, shortens any production delays, saves costs, and improves production efficiency.

Lenzing earlier this month got its Tencel lyocell and Tencel Luxe fibers, geared at high-end premium brands, on the red carpet once again. “Bridgerton” and “Derry Girls” star Nicola Coughlan stepped out in a custom Wiederhoeft gown glistening with Swarovski crystals for the European premiere of the “Barbie” feature film starring Margot Robbie. Styled by Aimee Croysdill for the July 12 red carpet, Coughlan plays ‘Diplomat Barbie’ in the Greta Gerwig-directed motion picture creating worldwide fever for the Barbiecore craze.

Lenzing Group is a top supplier of wood-based cellulosic fiber under the Tencel lyocell and Tencel lyocell fiber with Refibra technology. With Södra, the Swedish pulp producer, it was the recipient of a 10 million euro ($10.9 million) grant for a recycling project, the largest ever awarded by the EU. It recently announced a partnership with Chinese company Advance Denim and the Italian chemical company Officina39 for a range of zero cotton denim fabrics made with Tencel lyocell.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.

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