A research team at the University of Georgia has introduced a new solution to toxic denim dyeing that eliminates noxious chemicals from the denim dyeing process while using a fraction of the water.
As per reports, the new denim dyeing method mixes cellulose nanoparticles made from wood pulp — a sugar called chitosan — with natural indigo dye to create a gel that can be applied to the fabric a single time to yield an intense indigo color.
The chitosan essentially glues the pigment in place after the fabric dries, creating a sort of matrix of dye that coats the fibers of the denim. The process does not require reducing agents as it doesn't involve dissolving the indigo dy. It reduces the amount of water used in conventional dyeing methods by about 96 percent.
The process is also non-toxicas the drying time for the chitosan dye is shorter and the new technique yields fabric of the same weight, thickness and overall feel as traditionally dyed denim.