Traditional methods of making wool machine washable use chemical solutions in water to modify the wool fibres, requiring downstream water filtration and processing to ensure water is returned to the environment in a clean state. Naturetexx® Plasma is a completely different approach to shrink-proofing wool that avoids wet processing and chemicals in the shrink proofing-process.
Every production process has an impact of some kind. The impacts of the Naturetexx® Plasma process are clear and obvious. There are no special gasses used to generate the plasma field used in the treatment, so no impact associated with production, storage and disposal of gasses. There are no harmful byproducts produced from the process either. The key requirement for production is electricity.
Naturetexx® Plasma treatment uses energy - but that doesn't have to mean fossil fuels. We have taken significant care to ensure the electricity used for processing is sourced from certified renewable sources, including wind, hydro and solar power.
Südwolle Group also has solar facilities in Germany and in Italy and while they aren't directly connected to the plasma production, we produce more solar energy than is required to power the Naturetexx® Plasma process.
Because the Naturetexx® Plasma treatment increases the ability of water to absorb moisture, it also creates energy savings in the downstream dyeing process. Waterborne dyes are taken up more quickly, and penetrate into the fibre more easily, meaning that the dyeing process can be shortened and less energy is required as a consequence.
The most commonly used method for shrink proofing wool is not bluesign certified, but our Naturetexx® Plasma treated products are. bluesign is an Input-Stream Management certification that ensures the inputs used in producing textiles are safe, environmentally friendly and industry best-practice.
The Naturetexx® Plasma treatment is certified for organic use, according to IVN-best and to the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). That means if organic wool is used in conjunction with the treatment, and the other requirements of the standards are followed by the garment producer, then garments made from Naturetexx® Plasma treated wool can be certified organic.
The certification bodies have visited the production site, tested the process and have confirmed that the treatment meets the requirements for organic products.
Naturetexx® Plasma treated wool is Class 1 OEKO-TEX® certified - OEKO-TEX® 100 standard ensures fabrics are safe for consumers to use, including for children and babies. It focuses on avoiding harmful substances, either used in processing, or present in final products.
At the Outdoor trade show in 2015, the largest outdoor industry trade show in the world, Naturetexx® Plasma was awarded a gold prize in the Environmental Innovation category of the Outdoor Awards. The judges noted this as an important development, given how popular wool is becoming, in particular, in the outdoor industry.