DOPE DYEING: dyeing without water
Conventional dyeing processes use hot water and chemicals to adhere the colour to the synthetic fibre. About 11 litres of water are required for each metre of dyed fabric and according to Global Efficiency Intelligence, on average 100-150 litres of water are needed to process 1kg of textile material!
Dope dyeing is a dyeing technique typical of recycled polyester fabric. It involves adding colour pigment “upstream”, directly to the melted plastic solution before the fibre is made.
Unlike traditional processes where yarns are produced and then dyed, with dope dyeing the pigments are trapped inside the plastic after it cools to a solid form, becoming part of the new, strong yarn. With this approach, dyeing can be done by hot transfer without immersion in water.