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Uzbekistan gears up for export of eco dyes

By Simone Preuss

16 Nov 2016

Business

A deal that was made in 2014 between the Uzbek state joint stock company O'zbekyengilsanoat and the South Korean company Rainbow is coming to fruition now: The latter provided equipment and a laboratory to facilitate the production of ecological dyes for the international textile industry made from agricultural plants grown in Uzbekistan.

After trial plantings for paints in 2014 in the regions Khorezm, Jizzakh, Samarkand and Tashkent and the planting of test seedlings in the spring of this year, the first eco dyes in red, green, yellow and blue/indigo are ready reports the Uzbek daily “Uzbekistan Today”. Rainbow is planning to set up a research centre next to issue certificates of the products' safety for the textile industry.

The total cost of the project has been estimated at 1 million US dollars and will see the production of a wide range of powder and natural food dyestuffs. Almost 80 percent of the new dyes is set to be exported, with the export being implemented by the Tashkent-based Indikim Group, starting with interested Russian firms. Indikim had participated in the International Russian Federal Textile Exhibition Textillegprom 2016 in Moscow and signed various agreements with Russian textile companies for supplying ecological dyes.

As a cotton producer, Uzbekistan should also look into the production of cellulosic textile dyes derived from waste cotton biomass - a process developed by Cotton Incorporated and Archroma that has only recently become commercially available to the global textile industry. Instead of an oil base, the new dye uses by-products of cotton harvesting, resulting in a variety of warm, soft, natural brown shades.

Though Uzbekistan is trying hard to put itself on the map as a textile and apparel destination, for example by hosting international textile fairs, the practice of using child labour and forced labour during the annual cotton harvest still looms large and deters many international brands and buyers from investing in the country.

Photo: Hans-Peter Reichartz / pixelio.de