What is Dope Dye?Updated 3 months ago
Dope dyeing, also known as solution dyeing, has a lower environmental impact compared to traditional dyeing methods. The dyes are applied as pellet pigments to the pellet raw materials, before being spun into yarn. This way there’s a great reduction in water, energy and chemicals used, without limiting the quality of the product.
How is it different from conventional dyeing techniques?
In traditional dyeing processes, garments are first created and then dyed, by dipping them in different solutions of water and chemicals that are kept at various temperatures. Large amounts of water are therefore used to be then treated and purified from the chemicals, before being eventually discharged into the environment.
In dope dyeing though, yarns are dyed before they’re made into garments. The colour pigment is embedded through pellets directly into the yarn and the pre-coloured yarn is then made into fabric. This process saves loads of water and energy by condensing several steps in one.
Is dope dyeing a lower quality dyeing technique?
The opposite! Our tests on the products have proven that the fabrics’ technical properties are even better (better support and sweat wicking properties). Better yet, it’s proven that the fabric is more durable too. It has increased colour-fastness to light, washing and crocking (rubbing) because the pigment is actually bound to the fibres, and so the fabric hasn’t been subjected to different chemical solutions.
Is there a difference in the aesthetics of the products dyed with dope dyeing?
Not a noticeable one, no. The main aesthetic difference with the dope dyed Vital Seamless, for example, is a slight difference in the look of the marl, and even this is due to the nature of the dope dyed yarns.
Why aren’t all Vital Seamless products dope dyed?
This technology is applied by one of our suppliers, and we only switched the production of Vital Seamless this year. We still have some Vital Seamless products in stock that have been produced with traditional dyeing techniques.
Why don’t you use dope dyeing for all of your ranges?
At the moment, only one of our suppliers uses dope dyeing technology, so it would be really difficult to make all of our ranges exclusively through them. Our sustainability strategy is heavily focus on applying dope dyeing to more ranges.
We hope we can expand dope dyeing to more and more collections. Some of the drawbacks include a more limited choice of colours and the shade effects that are more difficult to achieve, plus the process is only applicable to synthetic fibres. With that said, we’re keeping up the research and will work towards using this technology more and more in the future.