How to save water when making denim
Denim is timeless and unlike many other fabrics, it ages with grace. The downside with this material is that it requires a lot of water to dye. Or, that used to be the case. For SISSIL, our cushion cover, we’ve managed to dye the fabric without a single drop of water.
Denim has had a special place in people’s hearts for a long time. At IKEA we’d like to make it easier for all you denim fans to decorate your homes with this fabric, but only if we could find a more water-efficient way to produce it.
From five to zero
Normally around 5 gallons of water are needed to dye one yard of denim, but Isabel Lundahl, one of our product developers, got word of a method that uses zero gallons. “Instead of water, we mix the dyestuff with a binder. This way, we don’t have to rinse the fabric in water to fix the color”, Isabel explains. The method gives good colorfastness, and since it’s a shorter process compared to conventional denim dyeing, it also saves energy.
Every gallon makes a difference
“Water is one of our most precious resources, so it’s important to use it responsibly”, says Isabel and continues. “More than 2.5 billion yards of denim are produced in the world every year. If more manufacturers used more water-efficient methods, we could save tremendous amounts of water on a global scale. It won’t happen overnight, but SISSIL cushion cover is one small and important step on the way.”