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New Inkjet Technology Seeks to Reduce Amount of Chemicals Used for Finishing and Printing Textiles

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Published on : Feb 01, 2016

Almost all kinds of textiles require a variety of chemicals in a number of operations common to manufacturing and processing procedures. Chemicals are used as intermediates, raw materials, processing agents, and take a variety of other roles in the global textile industry. Textile chemicals are generally needed to modify or alter the nature of the textile, making it superior on a number of physical and technical levels. Textiles made to reflect UV rays, resist fire, moisture, humidity, acidity, etc. are all key consumers of a variety of specialty chemicals. Whether they are used for finishing, pre-processing, or pre-treatment, the demand for textile chemicals is on a constant rise.
The vast number of applications of textile chemicals, a set which is rapidly expanding as industrialization rapidly expands across distant corners of the world and the need for novel textiles rises, is the key factor driving the global market for textile chemicals.

But there are some pressing issues before the market that are hindering its overall development on a global level.

  • Negative Impact of Leached Chemicals on the Environment
  • Negative Impact of Leached Chemicals on the Health of Living Beings

As a result of the usage of some harmful chemicals in the textile industry, they are released in the environment in their original or modified forms in some proportion. Leaching of some of these chemicals through drinking water or through direct contact with skin of living organisms can lead to several physical and neurological disorders. 

The rising concern over these issues has garnered significant attention from researchers and manufacturers alike and numerous research activities have been undertaken to reduce the proportion of chemicals used in the overall process of developing a variety of textiles.

A recent development in this field seeks to reduce the number and amount of chemicals used in the finishing process of textile manufacturing. An EU-funded research project has developed a high-speed inkjet method that can speed-up the process of digital textile finishing and printing, thus significantly reducing the amount of chemicals used as compared to conventional textile finishing and printing processes.

The digital finishing technology, named DIGIFIN, is a result of collaboration between Tencate Digital Finishing and machine developer Reggiani Macchine. While the technology has currently being used outdoor textiles market, it can soon expand to other segmnets of the global textile market looking at the range of environmental benefits it promises, which include less consumption of energy, water, and less pollution owing to the reduced amount of chemicals used.