Milliken successfully eliminates PFAS in its textiles

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-02-23 13:45:46 – None

The textile division of Milliken & Company is the first multi-market textile producer located in the US to successfully eliminate all per and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (commonly known as PFAS) from its portfolio of fibers and finishes.

The portfolio includes fabrics for the flame-resistant, military, uniform, and décor industries. In order to remove PFAS from the portfolio, attention was given to three crucial areas: durable water repellency (DWR), soil release, and oil repellency.

In order to retain the performance and quality standards customers expect from DWR, alternative DWR solutions were easily accessible on the market through authorized organizations like bluesign. The Milliken research team evaluated and applied suitable substitutes.

Repellency of the soil turned out to be both a problem and an opportunity. A novel soil release technique was created in collaboration with the internal research team at Milliken and implemented into suitable textile applications without the use of PFAS. The new unique technology has demonstrated performance that is comparable to, and in some cases even better than, earlier PFAS-containing finishes, but it is not yet a substitute for all applications of soil-repellent coatings.

No replacement for oil repellency was discovered despite a thorough search and evaluation process. Hence the company has discontinued those business lines.

Jeff Strahan, director of sustainability, compliance, and research for Milliken's textile division, said that their work was detailed, and their multi-disciplinary team addressed this endeavor attentively and with great care for their consumers. They're overjoyed to be setting the standard for the sector by acting in a way that will immediately make a difference.

David Smith, executive vice president of Milliken & Company, said that this is a tremendous accomplishment and tribute to their team, who worked around the clock to develop solutions that meet their customers' performance requirements and reflect their purpose to positively impact the world for future generations.

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