Resource library
January 2022

Textile Processing Guide: Pre-treatment, Colouration and Finishing

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The impact of today’s fashion industry has far reaching environmental consequences. And while raw material production and end of use may spring to mind, the processing stage of the supply chain, including pre-treatment, colouration (dyeing and printing) and finishing, is often overlooked as a critical area for pivotal and positive change. 


An Overview of Processing

During the processing stage, the fibres, yarns, fabrics or garments go through multiple steps to achieve the performance and aesthetic properties desired by brands and their consumers. These steps can be broadly categorised into pre-treatment, colouration and finishing treatments and make up most of the impact taking place in Tier 2.


Incremental Innovation

Machinery and Chemistry Innovations


Disruptive Innovation – Machinery

The key solution to drastically reducing water and energy use in the processing stage of the fashion supply chain lies within moving from wet to mostly dry processes.


Disruptive Innovation – Chemistry

Although great progress has been made when it comes to innovation in sustainable chemistry there are still a number of hazardous chemicals which can be found on ZDHC’s RSL and mRSL lists to which no similar performing, less harmful alternative has yet been found.


Driving the Transition

This document provides a snapshot in the processing innovation landscape, touching briefly on incremental solutions and diving into the disruptive technologies that exist in both chemistry and machinery.


Key Terms

A list of the key (industry-specific) terms and their meaning frequently used in the report.