(VIDEO) The foam-based technology makes denim dyeing more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Currently, fabric mills around the world are using millions of gallons of water to dye denim the deep blue color consumers want to wear. That process can now be done more efficiently thanks to research being done at Texas Tech.
Using foam, a team at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute has developed a way to successfully apply indigo dye to cotton yarns. The small-scale, controlled system reduces the amount of water required and lessens the time it takes to complete the process. Dean Ethridge, a research professor, is leading the effort.
"This is one of a kind," Ethridge said. "This technology is flexible. It's space efficient and it is amenable to scientific control of the parameters for exact dyeing results."