Netherlands-based DyeCoo Textile Systems BV has received the third annual Medium Award for Material of the Year from Material ConneXion, a global materials resource and innovation consultancy.

The award recognizes materials and processes juried into the company’s materials library within the past year that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and the economy. The award was handed out Saturday at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

Material ConneXion has cited the company for the development of innovative commercial dyeing machine technology that uses carbon dioxide as a replacement for water in the dyeing of fabric. With climate change threatening harsher droughts and water scarcity for nearly 60 percent of the global population, water is critical to any vision of sustainability, and the textile industry is one of the biggest consumers of water.

In conventional dyeing, large amounts of water are used for the intake of fresh water and disposal of wastewater. DyeCoo’s process uses special temperature-controlled pressure chambers that force the carbon dioxide to act as a fluid similar to water that causes the polymer fiber to swell, allowing the dispersed dye to easily diffuse within the polymer, penetrating the fibers and carrying the pigments into fabric bolts and dyeing them. DyeCoo is believed to be the first company to successfully apply the process to the commercial dyeing of polyester fabric, and research is under way to apply the technology to other natural and synthetic fabrics.

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