Exclusive interview with Alberto Candiani, Denim and sustainability guru
Alberto, can you tell us more about Kitosan and Kitotex?
We are probably talking about the strongest and most tangible sustainable innovation in terms of dyeing and finishing of the past 10 years.
Kitosan is a natural polymer obtained from food waste. Specifically the one we are sourcing for our applications comes from recycled shrimps shells.
We use it to cover the yarns after the dying process in order to replace all the sizing agents, products as polivinilic alcool (PVA), starch and fixation agents, which will end up creating micropalstic particles into the water. These particles can’t be no longer treated and will pollute the environment forever.
Kitotex is simply the patent covering the textile applications of Kitosan, owned by Tessitura Del Salento/Canepa. Together with ItalDenim we decided to keep this patent a 100% Italian innovation and we cosigned the exclusive deal with Canepa concerning the application of Kitosan in the Denim World.
What are the strongest benefits?
First of all we are talking about a 100% biodegradable which does not pollute the water we use to dye and finish or Denim.
To understand the importance of introducing such a special and natural ingredient in our products you have to think that Kitosan has been adopted by the medical and cosmetic industry decades ago.
In our case, technically speaking, the action of Kitosan on the yarns allow us not to mercerize the fabric during the finishing which means “zero caustic soda” and represents a massive saving of water (over 50% against who dyes and mercerize Denim traditionally).
Kitosan application also allow us to create new indigo shades with incredible wash down performances matching the most recent sustainable innovations as laser and ozone.
In fact Kitosan “prepared Denim” looks like mercerized when raw and takes very nice crinkles and marble touches once treated at the laundry.
Finally, we are also talking about a natural anti-bacterial and anti-statical product.
How did you find out about Kitotex?
I have heard of this incredible innovation from Gigi Caccia, owner of ItalDenim. A competitor, but most of all a friend who shares with me the will to change this “fu*ked up” industry.
I have to give him credit since him and his team have started the actual research on Kitosan applications.
Once I saw the potential I realized that Kitosan could have been for Candiani the ultimate complimentary element to connect the dots of our exclusive innovations as Indigo Juice and N-Denim dyeing technologies and our Ozone finishings.
What is the impact of Kitosan on washes and treatments?
As I said Kitosan is biodegradable product which is not polluting the water the laundry will have to discharge but most of all we are talking about a new dyeing and finishing concept which allow easier and most efficient wash down effects.
Kitosan certainly keeps indigo shades more brilliant and authentic when treated with laser and ozone, which normally turn the cast grey and opache.
And once again, being a natural and biodegradable product, it won’t pollute the water at all.