Article | Foam-Dyed Denim

Foam-Dyed Denim Set to Revolutionize Industry

Wrangler pioneers new water-saving technology

Despite incremental changes toward comfort and sustainability, over the past 150 years, the denim industry has had just a handful of groundbreaking innovations. This exclusive list, which includes the introduction of synthetic dyes, Rodeo Ben’s 1947 “Cowboy Cut” and the Canadian Tuxedo, just got a new addition.

The Next Revolutionary Innovation in Denim - Foam
A response to rapidly escalating energy costs and a global focus on water and energy conservation, foam dyeing fundamentally changes the way indigo is applied in denim manufacturing. Developed at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University and commercialized by Indigo Mill Designs (IMD), the process uses foam to transfer dyes, entirely replacing the traditional water vats and chemical baths of indigo-dyeing.

Where traditional rope dye ranges consume 400 gallons of water per 100 yards of fabric, foam dyeing uses just 3.5 gallons. Additional benefits of the foam dyeing technology include:

  • Gains in commercial operation efficiency
  • Reduction in factory footprint
  • Improvements in coloration
  • Reduction in use of chemicals
  • Same or better dye quality than conventional processes
  • Superior operational precision, flexibility, and simplicity
  • Reduced time required to develop and deliver new denim fabrics
  • Net reductions of energy usage of more than 90%

Our Commitment to Saving Water
Recognizing the potential of this breakthrough, Wrangler provided Texas Tech with early-stage funding and technical guidance for the development of the foam-dyeing process. We also helped introduce fabric mills to the technology and will incorporate the first foam-dyed commercial denim into a line of jeans launching in 2019.

Foam Dyed Denim Process

At Wrangler, we’re committed to ensuring the preservation of local communities’ natural resources, like clean water. Since 2007, we’ve recycled over 3 billion liters of water in the finishing stage of denim production. We plan to reach over 5 billion liters conserved by 2020.

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