The conventional dyeing process, which is used to dye most of the textiles and fabrics consumers purchase in stores, is not very environmentally friendly because it requires large amounts of water and toxic dyes. Furthermore, the areas which practice this dyeing technique are in developing countries where regulation is loose, leaving people vulnerable to environmental effects.
Students at the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences created an environmentally friendly textile dyeing technology with nanocellulosic fibers. They entered this technology into the Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge and won first prize. This particular process uses cellulose, the primary structural component for most plants, to dye materials. It is then turns into hydrogel material. The nanocellulose fibers in this material are highly reactive, which allows for heavy uptake of dye molecules.
For more information: Sustainable dyeing technology gives UGA win at international chemistry challenge