Coloring Cotton with Cotton

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

earthcolor_archromaA collaborative endeavor has resulted in dyeing cotton with cotton. Archroma has pioneered the concept of using natural wastes and byproducts to synthesize dyes to color textiles.

Bryan Dill from Archroma US, Inc, presented the “Earthcolors” technology at the recent international conference of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists in Wilmington, NC.  Archroma has synthesized sulfur dyes from natural wastes such as almond shells, cotton gin wastes, plant byproducts and shoots of rosemary, etc.  This technology originally came out of Archroma’s unit in Spain.

Archroma collaborated with Cary-based Cotton Incorporated in using sulfur dyes derived from cotton waste and gin waste to color cotton denims.

Mike Tyndall, Vice President for Product Research at Cotton Incorporated stated that this endeavor expands the boundaries of agriculture and utilizes agricultural resources to make dyes that replace petroleum precursors. Cotton denims dyed with cotton waste will be coming into the market soon. These products will be environmentally and skin friendly, according to Archroma. Interesting feature is that consumers will be able to trace the entire supply chain from the origins of the dyes and the natural raw material used in the process.