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Lenzing uses Tencel with Indigo colour technology in denim.

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Lenzing is set to enhance sustainability in the denim industry with Tencel branded modal fibres with Indigo colour technology. Tencel is the textile speciality brand under Lenzing that covers textile speciality product fibre offerings for apparel and home. Lenzing, based in Austria, works for the ecologically responsible production of speciality fibres.

The pioneering Indigo colour technology behind the new market offering incorporates indigo pigment directly into Tencel branded modal fibres using a one-step spun-dyeing process. This delivers superior colour fastness relative to conventional indigo dyeing whilst using substantially fewer resources. This innovative offering is awarded with the EU Ecolabel, a label of environmental excellence awarded to products meeting high environmental standards throughout their life cycle, Lenzing said.

Denim remains an important market for Lenzing, and the introduction of Tencel Modal with Indigo colour technology is designed to help reduce the ecological footprint of denim fabrics and garments. Produced in Austria, predominantly from beech wood derived from sustainably managed wood sources, this new offering has been designated BioPreferred by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to Lenzing.

Indigo colour technology builds upon the strong credentials of Tencel Modal fibres with new benefits. Compared to conventional indigo dyeing, the colour retention of Tencel Modal with Indigo colour technology is superior through dry and wet crocking and rubbing. Despite resistance to home-laundry fading, wash-down effects for denim products can be achieved using commercial laundry techniques. Tencel Modal fibres with Indigo colour technology are inherently versatile and enable implementation in a range of multi-fibre blends, Lenzing said in a media statement.

Compared to water and energy-intensive conventional indigo dyeing, this technology provides indigo colouration with substantial water, chemical and electricity savings, 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 colour technology can be certified with Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, guaranteeing ultra-low levels of aniline.

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

“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 colour technology also represents a great product to expand denim’s performances and aesthetics around sustainability itself,” Alberto Candiani, global manager of Candiani 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 colour technology sets a new benchmark for indigo application and sustainability in the denim industry,” Florian Heubrandner, vice president of global textiles business at Lenzing said.

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