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Nike opens its water-free dyeing facility in Taiwan

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-01-11 15:58:00 – Taipei

Nike Inc., sports apparel brand opens its water-free dyeing new facility at its Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Far Eastern New Century Corp. (FENC) and will be implementing the Netherlands-based DyeCoo Textile Systems BV's recycled supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) dyeing technology to dye polyester fabrics.

The recycled CO2 replaces water and additional process chemicals in the dyeing process, and also uses less energy than water-based dyeing technologies. The colors achieved using the process, called "ColorDry" by Nike, and are more saturated and consistent than colors achieved using traditional dyeing processes.

The DyeCoo technology to dye fabrics was first used for the uniforms of Kenya's 2012 Olympic marathon team. Since then, Nike has worked to see the technology scaled up to apply across the entire sports apparel industry.

Nike see sustainability and business growth as complementary and their strategy is to prioritize relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies, said Eric Sprunk, COO, Nike Inc. Their collaboration with Far Eastern and DyeCoo, to develop and scale the ColorDry process, is an important milestone on their path towards manufacturing innovation.

Compared to traditional dyeing methods, the ColorDry process reduces dyeing time by 40 percent, energy use by around 60 percent and it's also the most saturated, intense and consistent color they have seen, said Kuenlin Ho, executive vice president, FENC.

Singapore-based Huntsman Special Effects has partnered with DyeCoo to commercialize the CO2 technology, and its dyes are being used at the FENC plant. Steve Gray, vice president of strategic marketing and planning, Huntsman Textile Effects said that it is very satisfying to see the first of Nike Inc.'s ColorDry products derived from this new process and their dyes.

DyeCoo plans to open an office in Taiwan to provide service for the growing market for its technology. The company also is working to develop the technology to use with cotton and other natural-fiber fabrics.

Nike's ColorDry products are expected to be available to consumers in early 2014.

This emerging technology has the potential to revolutionize the textile manufacturing process

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