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Lenzing unveils “pioneering” Tencel modal fibres with indigo technology

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

24 Feb 2021

Fashion

The Lenzing Group is expanding its sustainable offering for the denim industry with a Tencel branded modal fibre with indigo technology using a one-step spun-dyeing process to deliver indigo colour whilst using fewer resources.

The new fibre has been described as “pioneering” as the technology used delivers superior colour fastness relative to conventional indigo dyeing whilst using substantially fewer resources. Due to meeting high environmental standards the fibre has been awarded the EU Ecolabel Standard for textile products.

Florian Heubrandner, vice president of global textiles business at Lenzing AG, said in a statement: “Innovation is at the core of what we do, from sustainable fibre sourcing through industry-leading features and production processes, with the ever-present goal of safeguarding our environment.

“By upending traditional manufacturing processes and implementing our pioneering technology along with renewable and eco-responsible materials, Tencel Modal with Indigo technology sets a new benchmark for indigo application and sustainability in the denim industry.”

Lenzing develops indigo technology to enhance denim sustainability

Lenzing said that the development was due to the denim industry’s demand for eco-responsible alternatives “growing rapidly,” as brands and supply chain partners seek greater sustainability to counteract environmentally harmful denim production processes via the botanic origin of its raw materials and responsible production processes.

Denim it adds remains an important market, explained Lenzing, and Tencel Modal with Indigo technology has been designed to help reduce the ecological footprint of denim fabrics and garments.

The fibre produced in Austria is predominantly from beech wood derived from sustainably managed wood sources that have been designated BioPreferred by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Lenzing explains that the indigo technology elevates production standards and significantly reduces waste compared to conventional indigo dyeing, and the colour retention of Tencel Modal with Indigo technology is superior through dry and wet crocking and rubbing.

In comparison to water and energy-intensive conventional indigo dyeing, this technology provides indigo colouration with substantial water, chemical and electricity savings, added Lenzing, along with less wastewater produced, and no heat energy used.

In addition, a specially commissioned indigo pigment from dyestuff manufacturer DyStar ensures that Tencel Modal with Indigo technology can be certified with Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, guaranteeing ultra-low levels of aniline.

Günther Widler, head of technology, denim of DyStar, added: “This specially commissioned indigo pigment is based on more than a decade of our working experiences on Indigo Synthesis in Germany. Twenty-five years ago, we invented the most eco awarded DyStar Indigo Vat 40 percent to meet the demand for sustainable manufacturing and production.”

Candiani, Cone Denim and House of Gold using new sustainable Tencel Modal with Indigo technology

To make the commercial launch of Tencel Modal with Indigo technology, Lenzing has partnered with leading supply chain partners including denim mills and brands - Candiani, Cone Denim and House of Gold.

Alberto Candiani, global manager of Candiani, said: “With driving sustainability at our core, we look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the production of this eco- responsible fibre type. Tencel Modal with Indigo technology also represents a great product to expand denim’s performances and aesthetics around sustainability itself.”

Tencel is the textile speciality brand under The Lenzing Group that covers textile speciality product fibre offerings for apparel and home.

Main image: courtesy of The Lenzing Group; Secondary images - courtesy of Candiani and Cone Denim