Digital laser-dye patterning for PET textiles

2015-12-04T16:08:43Z (GMT) by Kerri Akiwowo
A ‘Digital Laser Dye’ (DLD) patterning process was studied as an alternative textile coloration method within a textile design context, relevant to industrial textile procedures. To steer the investigation, the research question asked: ‘How can a digital laser-dye process be developed in order to achieve new ways to colour and pattern polyester textiles for industry?’ Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser technology was employed to modify polyester (PET) surface fibres for increased dye uptake via engineered tonal graphics using standardized woven and knitted fabrics. An interdisciplinary framework employed to carry out the study involved Optical Engineering, Dyeing Chemistry, Textile Design and Industry Interaction through collaboration with project partners, Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC). In doing so, combined creative, scientific and technical aspects facilitated design innovation using a ‘mixed method’ approach involving quantitative and qualitative methods. Repeatability of the research results, parallel to design development, has established the potential to commercially apply the technique regarding an on-demand manufacture approach. Sportswear and intimate apparel prototypes generated, suggest suitable markets for processing polyester garments in this way. The work is positioned in a practice-led, design research environment, approached from a textile design perspective as a practitioner. Therefore, a practice-led methodology was employed.