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Silicones from Dow Corning
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Silicones Help Denim Jeans Become Better Fit for the Environment

New Technology from Dow Corning Reduces Water, Energy Use in Fabric Finishing 

Midland, Mich. - June 18, 2007 -- Consumers could soon count wearing denim jeans on their list of environmentally conscious activities. After years of recycling their paper and plastic; turning off lights when they are not in use; and driving hybrid cars; consumers now have an additional way to support the environment. Using a patented silicone technology, Dow Corning Corporation has developed a new denim processing capability that significantly reduces the amount of water used, and decreases waste output as well.

“Today’s consumers are much more conscious of the impact their choices have on the environment,” said Anthony Feng, Dow Corning’s Global Industry Director for textiles. “Fashion and comfort still remain the main drivers for selecting fabrics, but today’s consumer also considers the ecological effects of producing these fabrics.”

Already widely recognized for their ability to increase the softness of fabrics, silicones also improve several of the physical properties of textiles, such as tear strength, abrasion and wrinkle resistance, stretch recovery, shrinkage reduction, water repellency and moisture management.

The traditional method of processing and finishing denim to make it soft and wearable consists of many separate stages, all requiring large amounts of water and energy. These stages include removing the size material from warp yarns in woven fabrics, using enzymes to get a faded look, bleaching to make it whiter and lighter, dyeing to change the color of the fabric, and treating the fabric with chemicals and/ or softeners to impart attributes such as wrinkle resistance, stain resistance, and UV protection. Dow Corning’s patented powder technology allows processors to combine certain stages such as fading and finishing into a single step, saving resources as well as time – thus offering solutions to several environmental challenges that confront industries. This innovative powder-based technology minimises the need for water and solvent, since it offers the benefits of silicone in a dry form. It also reduces the use of biocides that are typically required to maintain the stability of the emulsion.

“Leading international apparel firms are keen on incorporating this silicone technology into their manufacturing processes to create textiles for their environmentally conscious customers,” said Anthony. “We are working with them to ensure that their needs, as well as those of their customers, are met exactly.”

Read more about this technology and Dow Corning's sustainability efforts at


Dow Corning ( provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, offering more than 7,000 products and services. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

In India, Dow Corning ( is one of the fastest growing specialty chemical companies. From their office in Mumbai and their new manufacturing site in Pune, they serve customers across India and South Asia. Dow Corning in India offers innovative solutions and products to industries as diverse as textiles, construction, beauty & personal care, automotive, industrial lubrication, electronics and many others.


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