The goal of Dyeing Research is to enhance the knowledge base of preparation and dyeing procedures, chemicals, processes, and machinery. To this end, research is conducted to improve the areas of preparation, dyeing, printing and garment wet processing while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of these technologies. Dyeing Research also supports a number of laboratories which provide technical service and education to the entire textile industry from mills to apparel manufacturers.
The Color Services Lab (CSL) works with the Product Trend Analysis group to provide a biannual summary of the latest color trends for cotton, which are presented world-wide. This laboratory also utilizes the latest dyeing equipment to facilitate innovative research in such areas as color application, process optimization and product evaluation.
The Dyeing and Finishing Applications Lab (DFAL) contains a wide variety of machinery, which provides the flexibility to work on yarn, knits, wovens, and non-wovens on a large enough scale to be relevant to the industry, but small enough to be economical in material and chemical usage. The equipment spans the gamut from dyeing to drying to finishing. Most of the dyeing equipment is outfitted with control systems that enable the monitoring of water, energy and steam usage. Processes or products, which may originate in the CSL laboratory or on lab-scale equipment, can be scaled up and evaluated on a production level in DFAL.
The DFAL also houses a garment processing area with full capability to evaluate the preparation, dyeing and finishing of knit and woven garments. This area is equipped with both atmospheric and pressurized garment machines as well as state-of-the-art low liquor ratio garment dyeing technology. The garment wet processing section is also outfitted with a spray booth and mannequins for denim distressing as well as units for laundering denim.
The Digital Printing Lab is outfitted with a full-width roll-to-roll fabric printer which can handle knit, woven and stretch fabrics, printing them with reactive dyes. A direct-to-garment digital printer is the newest addition to this lab. Utilizing pigments, this unit can print images directly onto garments from a digital file.
The Color Physics Lab with its color controlled environment houses the spectro-photometric capabilities of Dyeing Research and is where the color formulation and color assessment takes place.