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Saturday, January 28, 2023
Home Sustainable Fashion Elon University’s students ties with Burlington to develop sustainable dyes

Elon University’s students ties with Burlington to develop sustainable dyes

In order to create natural, sustainable dyes, a group of engineering students from the US-based Elon University is working with the department store retailer Burlington’s Solid State Clothing and TS Designs.

sustainable dyes
Figure: The group is using the skins of pomegranate, Osage orange, black walnut, and madder roots to extract dye. 

As part of a research methodology project, junior-level engineers are evaluating several dye preservation techniques for four materials.

For this, the group is using the skins of pomegranate, Osage orange, black walnut, and madder roots to extract dye. These extracts will be applied to T-shirt material provided by Solid State after being freeze dried, frozen, chilled, incubated, and stored at room temperature.

The engineers will next contrast and analyze how those procedures differ in terms of coloration and dye quality, reads Elon University’s website.

Regarding this, student and team project member Mary Hermes said, “The team expects that freeze-dried—or lyophilised—dye will likely prove to be the best method for preserving extracts over several seasons, due to the fact that the process removes water and reduces the chances of degradation,” said student and team project member Mary Hermes.

The lyophilising machine itself is expensive but is relatively energy efficient and has the capacity to process multiple types of dye at once.

“At the end of the year, we want to present them with swatches of fabric and qualitative observations and results in colour after they are dyed using extracts preserved in all these different methods, and also compare that to dying fabric with extract that’s just been made,” said engineering student Vivian Krause.

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