Tuesday, June 4, 2019

News: Xeros' Chinese deal a step towards revolutionising textile manufacture

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Xeros has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with the world's largest apparel maker by volume, to trial the use of its technologies in garment production.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, Xeros is a Leeds University spin-out that has developed a patented system using a unique method of special polymer beads rather than the usual large amounts of fresh water to clean clothes.

The AIM-listed firm is targeting commercial laundry and domestic laundry as well as the tanning industry and textile manufacturing.

The first deal in textiles follows on from key agreements with a domestic appliance and commercial laundry equipment supplier and one of the world's largest manufacturers of domestic washing machines.

The scope of the JDA is to prove the technical and commercial benefits of Xeros' proprietary technologies in garment production. The development and testing programme is scheduled to complete before the end of 2019. If successful, the agreement allows for both parties to discuss commercialisation terms for the development and future deployment of Xeros' technologies across a broad range of products.

Trials have taken place on Xeros' polymer technology reducing the chemistry, water consumption and effluent in textile manufacturing, for example in the fading and texturing of denim and in the dyeing of cotton garments.

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Mark Nichols, chief executive of Xeros, said: "We have now secured third party endorsement across all our three divisions - cleaning, tanning and now textiles.

"Today's announcement is a major milestone in the application of our technology in one of the world's largest water consuming industries. Almost every garment produced in the world is subject to finishing techniques which consume vast amounts of water as well as chemistry, producing significant amounts of effluent in the process.

"We expect our agreement with Crystal International to prove out, at scale, the considerable improvements in sustainability and cost delivered by our technologies and the multiple ways in which they can be applied in the production of garments. We expect to sign further agreements with leading garment manufacturers during 2019."

Scale trials carried out on the AMP have demonstrated that Xeros can process denim jeans from their raw state to a finished product in a single machine in a continuous process at scale. These results have been achieved with ultra-low chemistry, water ratios and effluent.

The company has also applied its technology to garment finishing, allowing simple and inexpensive changes to be made to existing machine designs to incorporate the Xeros technology.

Each year, four million tonnes of cotton is treated with 80,000 tonnes of reactive dyes, requiring immense amounts of water and chemistry. Two billion denim garments are treated every year and millions are then faded with chemicals. To manufacture one pair of jeans takes almost 3,000 litres of water.

Xeros Technologies website

Images: Xeros

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