The Textile Business of global manufacturer Milliken & Company recently announced it has successfully eliminated all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS, from its textile fibers and finishes portfolio, becoming the first U.S.-based multi-market textile manufacturer to remove PFAS.
The manufacturer announced in February 2022 an aggressive plan to eliminate PFAS as an ingredient in its textile portfolio by the end of the year. As of December 31, 2022, the Textile Business at Milliken had removed PFAS-based finishes and fibers, which span multiple industries, including flame-resistant, military, uniform and decor fabrics.
Milliken’s Textile Business began evaluating its portfolio in 2020 and segmented its evaluation efforts between three areas of focus: durable water repellency (DWR), soil release and oil repellency. Alternative DWR solutions were readily available in the market through accredited organizations such as bluesign. The Milliken research team assessed and implemented appropriate alternatives to maintain the performance and quality standards customers expect for DWR.
Soil repellency proved to be both a challenge and an opportunity for the Textile Business. Working with Milliken’s internal research team, a new soil release technology was developed and integrated into suitable textile applications without PFAS as an ingredient. The new technology, proprietary to Milliken & Company, has shown equivalent and, in some cases, superior performance to previous PFAS-containing finishes. Currently, the new technology is not an alternative to every soil-repellent finish application. After an extensive search and vetting process for alternative oil repellency, no alternative was found, and the company exited those lines of business as a result. www.milliken.com
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