Lenzing has developed fabrics featuring black fiber. This is a spun-dyed — or solution-dyed — fiber, in which pigment is added to the dope prior to extrusion, to produce a fiber with completely integrated color that does not wear off or wash off. The black fiber is meant to address consumer demand for permanently black jeans, and also for other wovens and knits for the wider apparel market.
Because of increased consumer interest in sustainability, Lenzing is emphasizing modal black’s environmental benefits. Using Lenzing modal black in fabrics lowers the environmental impacts of production by 50 to 65 per cent. In addition, spun-dyed modal black fiber uses only 20 per cent of the pigment required in conventional dyeing. Production of fabric containing the fiber requires half the energy and water needed for conventional fabric production and has a 50 per cent lower carbon footprint. Water effluent also is reduced.
Lenzing, based in Austria, developed modal fiber in the 1960s as a regenerated cellulosic fiber that offers improved tenacity. The raw material for Lenzing modal comes from sustainably managed beech wood forests in Europe. The fiber is produced using on-site-produced biomass process energy and chlorine-free cellulose. Ninety-five per cent of process chemical byproducts from modal production are recovered for reuse.