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Dow unveils water-repellent finishes sans fluorocarbons

Feb 23, 2021
Dow unveils water-repellent finishes sans fluorocarbons

Dow, the world’s leading materials science company, today introduces DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion, a new generation of durable water repellent finishes for fabrics based on silicone chemistry.

“As the global textile industry quickly adopts new production practices and materials with reduced environmental impacts, it’s important to examine the water repellent treatments being used as many conventional options come with a number of disadvantages,” said Shawn Mealey, technical service and development scientist at Dow. “At the same time, fashion designers are being tasked with finding fabric solutions that meet consumer and societal expectations for style, ease of care and durability. With DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion, we can help meet those needs and provide designers with a water repellent treatment that aligns with the industry’s overall push for greater sustainability.”

Studies conducted on a variety of textiles substrates based on DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion treatment demonstrate improved fabric retention compared to standard silicone finishes –thereby providing continued water repellency after multiple washes. Unlike many conventional finishes, DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion finish does not need to be regularly heat treated torestore the water repellency performance, which is a key advantage for the durability of the final product.

By incorporating a DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion treatment into their finishing processes, textile finishers receive greater control over the hand feel of the fabric - an important parameter driving consumer choices today. Depending on specific need, this can range, from a very soft hand feel that is characteristic of silicone when used alone, to a firmer hand with the addition of crosslinkers.

Mealey will present the specifics of this new durable water repellent solution for textile finishing during a dedicated webinar on March 2nd at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants are invited to register online.

The technology powering DOWSIL™ IE-8749 Emulsion was developed through a collaboration between Dow and Nicca Chemical, and was recently recognized by a 2020 R&D 100 Award. It does not contain fluoroalkyl or fluorocarbon.

This product comes in addition to several recently announced technologies by Dow in the textile space, focused on combining high performance, cost-effectiveness, and improved sustainability profiles. For more information about Dow’s broad chemistry panel for textile formulation, please visit