Burlington and US engineering students are creating sustainable dyes

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-01-06 09:26:55 – USA

In order to create natural, sustainable dyes, a group of engineering students from the US-based Elon University is working with the department store retailer Burlington's Solid State Clothing and TS Designs. As part of a research methodology project, junior-level engineers are evaluating several dye preservation techniques for four materials.

The group uses the skins of pomegranate, Osage orange, black walnut, and madder roots to extract the dye. These extracts are then applied to T-shirt material provided by Solid State after being freeze-dried, frozen, chilled, incubated, and stored at room temperature. According to Elon University's website, the engineers will next contrast and analyze the variations in coloration and dye quality across those procedures.

Student and team project member Mary Hermes, said that the team anticipates that freeze-dried—or lyophilised—dye will probably prove to be the best approach for keeping extracts across several seasons, as the procedure excludes water and minimizes the risks of deterioration. Although pricey, lyophilizing equipment is relatively energy-efficient and has the ability to process several different dye kinds simultaneously.

Engineering student Vivian Krause said that at the end of the year, they want to present them with swatches of fabric and qualitative observations and results in color after they are dyed using extracts preserved in all these different methods, and also compare that to dying fabric with extract, that's just been made. That ought to influence how they conduct business with regard to each of these dyes. Jonathan Su, an assistant professor of engineering, is guiding Krause's group of third-year engineering majors.

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