Water efficient textile dyeing

Conventional textile dyeing processes are water-hungry (and energy-hungry too). Not only does this put pressure on the overall water footprint of the operations, but this also results in a lot more wastewater to treat.

Recently developed solutions that use much less water for textile dyeing could result in the industry significantly enhancing its sustainability.


EHS professionals

Machinery and equipment makers

Production professionals

Researchers or innovators

Testing and standards professionals

Vital Stats

How does it work?

Water used in the conventional dyeing process results in many environmental challenges. New dyeing technologies use much less water, and some of them use no water at all, for instance in the case where CO2 is substituted for water.

Sustainability benefits

  • Reduction in the overall water footprint of the operations, this also results in a lot lesser waste water to treat.
  • The quantity of chemicals is reduced, while faster dyeing cycles lead to a drop in energy consumption and thus CO2 emissions.


  • New waterless dyeing machines can be quite expensive, so this could be a stumbling block for fast adoption
  • In some cases, the low or no water dyeing technologies are applicable only for certain kinds of fiber such as polyester.

Stage of commercialization


Types of professionals who can improve the solution

Mechanical engineers, Chemical engineers, Production planning engineers

Specifically relevant to any geography?

More relevant for countries with significant yarn and fabric production

Decarbonization Potential


Value Chain

Fabric dyeing and finishing ,

Web Resources

Waterless dyeing processes to clean up the clothing industry

New waterless dyeing technologies are being developed and deployed that could help reduce the vast quantities of pollution generated by textile dyeing.  This article debates and discusses three major companies in this landscape — AirDye, ColorZen and DyeCoo.

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Waterless dyeing of textiles using CO2

DyeCoo offers a CO2-based dyeing technology that eliminates the need for water and processing chemicals in the dyeing process of fabrics and also reduces energy consumption. DyeCoo Textile Systems release liquid CO2 into the dye vessels of the machine, where heat and pressure transform the liquid CO2 into a supercritical fluid that is used to dye fabrics.

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Waterless dyeing techniques

The dry dyeing method, a pioneering work of a Dutch company in textile dyeing, does not make use of water at all. CO2 is used instead. This method of waterless dyeing is also used for printing on garments. The water-based dyeing techniques involve drying the garment, once it has been colored, while this new innovative technique eliminates this process altogether.

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Sustainable and water efficient nano bubble dyeing of cotton fabric

This research paper describes sustainable and water-efficient nanobubble dyeing of cotton with 11 different reactive dyes. The fabric dyeing performance properties of shade depth, dry rubbing fastness, wet rubbing fastness, and washing fastness were assessed for the liquor ratio of 1:1.

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New textile dyeing methods that could make fashion more sustainable

Digital printing is one example from a growing list of new, more sustainable fabric-coloring technologies from both major suppliers and smaller chemical and biotech start-ups. This article outlines how new technologies can make textile dyeing more sustainable.

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