by John Russel Jones

Looks like we may soon be able to swap out those polyester-based performance clothes for something more earth-friendly. Fibre52 Cotton is claiming a patent-pending technology that will revolutionize the way cotton is prepared and dyed, substantially minimize the use of water and energy, and eliminate harsh chemicals. The process would also offer a more durable and vastly improved natural-performance cotton fiber that rivals synthetics.

Traditional cotton treatment methods involve hazardous chemicals and high heat that weaken the cotton fibers. Fibre52 cotton’s licensed process replaces harmful chemicals with bio-active products and uses lower levels of heat in the pretreatment process, saving up to 50% in water, energy use, and process cycle time. By including Fibre52’s dye technology, the cotton retains its natural properties and allows moisture to be transferred away from the skin. Fibre52 cotton serves as a smart moisture and thermal regulator, forming a layer of dry air next to the skin making the wearer more comfortable.

“Fibre52’s patent-pending technology combines the comfort of cotton with strength properties and moisture-management performance much better than poly-anything does, so you can be comfortable in a wider range of temperatures,” says Laura Thornquist, President of Fibre52. “This inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative technology is easily transferable, allowing textile manufacturers to utilize current machinery with no additional capital investments and repeatable in resultant coloration and shade of material with no need to change dye recipes.”

Testing has ranked Fibre52 high on dynamic cooling and drying rates as well as for low pilling and improved tear strength. Fibre52 cotton provides a steady heat flux and a short drying time, proving the wearer would feel more comfortable in hot and cold temperatures due to the slow change of the micro-climate.

“For decades, polyester and cotton have been in a race to be the fabric that contains the best properties of synthetic and natural fibers,” says Harrie Schoots, President of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. “Fibre52 gives a big lead to the cotton team in this race to produce an ultra-performance fabric, with no treatments, that brings the best of both worlds: optimal continuous comfort in a breathable natural fabric that manages moisture and dries quickly.”

Fibre52 also represents a significant step forward in sustainability for both the manufacturing process and the fashion industry. The new method replaces harmful chemicals with bio-active products, uses up to 50% less water and electricity, and saves up to two hours in the dyeing process. With its performance qualities, Fibre52 additionally makes it easier to replace petroleum-based fibers and fabrics and advances the circular economy with a recyclable fabric that lasts longer.

Photo above: Vie Studio.