Understanding and controlling dye transfer in the laundry process

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Design


Understanding and controlling textile dye leaching and transfer during the laundry process is important for preserving the appearance and lifetime of clothing, as well as offering several environmental benefits. This project aims to explore the fundamental mechanisms behind new causes of laundry dye transfer that have resulted from changes in textile fibre content, dyeing processes and washing conditions, employing sophisticated analytical techniques to map the mobility of dye molecules as a function of detergent composition, mechanical action, temperature and time. Physiochemical models of dye desorption and re-adsorption from different textile surfaces will be developed and used to direct optimum detergent formulations and technology development for dye transfer control.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509243/1 30/09/2015 31/12/2021
1655387 Studentship EP/N509243/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2019 Lucy Cotton
Description Increased garment longevity, which in beneficial for the environment in several ways, can be achieved by washing garments in a cold and quick setting.
Raman spectroscopy was used to identify dyestuffs that are present on 'real' consumer clothing, so researchers know which dyestuffs to tackle for reducing dye transfer
Exploitation Route Findings are relevant to consumers as well as detergent industries. Detergent manufacturers should look to develop a detergent that can perform all of its functions, such as cleaning and perfuming, in a colder, quicker wash.
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Retail

Description The findings are being used by my other sponsor who manufacture laundry detergent to provide insights for the development of their technologies. Findings also have implications for environmental science due to the identification of several dyes entering waste streams through domestic laundering. This work is on-going and hopes to provide further insights.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Chemicals,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic