Dyeing recycled polyester; the tricky part

For Woven Bottles fabrics, the difficult part is the dyeing of the recycled polyester fabric. In our upholstery market, it’s up for the most important that the samples in stores match the end result on the piece of furniture. Although the store sample may come from a different batch than the delivered product, the colours must be the same. The so-called ‘masters’ are stored in a dark and conditioned room by both us as our supplier. We monitor each batch weather colour differences remain within our limitations.

REACH standards in recycling polyester

Dyeing recycled polyester is very much like dyeing virgin polyester. The same substances are used, and the process is the same. The Woven Bottles fabrics are so-called ‘piece-dyed’. The grieves are woven and then dyed per batch in a jigger (500/600 meter per batch). Everything according to REACH standards, so the environmental impact for this piece of the production process is the same for both virgin polyester as for our recycled polyester.

As usual, it takes more effort and attention from human skills to produce the fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. Virgin colourless batches are always the same colour. Therefore, it’s easier to produce a constant end product, whereas new colourless batches of recycled polyester often differ slightly. Therefore, extra attention needs to be paid to the right composition of the dyestuff, in order to reach the approved colour.

Maintain a high level of recycling quality

This is where an experienced partner (like Waste2Wear) might come in handy to maintain a high level of quality, shorten the process of trial and error and maintain constant lead-times. This way, we can also minimise the extra costs compared to virgin polyester, because we know the end consumer isn’t willing to pay a lot more for sustainable goods.

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