Enabling manufacturers to produce great textiles & leathers

Fashion designers and manufacturers of clothing and sportswear work with textiles and leather to create comfortable, convenient, durable and aesthetic products for a wide variety of uses and a great diversity of people and fashion trends. 

Silicone textile finishing products are expected to enhance the final look and feel of fabrics that have been scoured and dyed during the initial stages of processing, making them harsh and uncomfortable for immediate skin contact and wear. Clothes manufacturers know they can count on silicones in their textile finishing processes to obtain the right features for their final products, such as softness, water-absorbency levels, resistance to wear and tear, skin-friendliness and attractive forms.

For companies involved in leather manufacturing, such as tanneries, shoemakers and accessory creators who make belts or handbags, as well as sports equipment, they use silicone solutions to make and enhance the look, feel, water resistance and durability of their products. 

What are the main applications and advantages of Elkem Silicones Textile & Leather finishing solutions?

Textile & Leather manufacturers use a wide range of products, including specific silicone enhancers, in their finishing processes to obtain the right features for their textiles and leathers, such as softness, water-absorbency or waterproofing levels, skin-friendliness, attractive appearance and durability. 

Let’s look separately at the solutions Elkem Silicones provides for textile manufacturers and leathermakers. 

Silicone products to improve textile manufacturing and create great clothing

To make textiles and clothing, processing includes bleaching, dyeing, printing, washing and scouring fabrics. Upstream, many of these processes produce some degree of unwanted foams that lower productivity and Elkem Silicones offer manufacturers a wide range of defoaming to improve productivity (link to textile anti-foaming page). 

Having been submitted to these initial processing stages, fabrics often become harsh and uncomfortable and are therefore unsuitable for immediate skin contact and wear. Textile, yarn and thread manufacturers, clothing designers and garment makers all depend on silicones to make clothes that are comfortable to wear and drape attractively. 

This involves softening before being sold and worn. Elkem Silicones has developed a wide portfolio of COMFORTSIL™ amino silicone oils and BLUESIL™ silicone copolymers, as well as PDMS oils and emulsions to be used as additives or modifiers in textile applications to create the look and feel that consumers demand in their clothing and accessories.  

Our textile finishing product lines include:

  • COMFORTSIL™ ECOSOFT products, amino-oil-based silicone textile softeners and lubricants, providing and a natural, silky, smooth and soft look and feel to a wide range of fabrics, as well as low yellowing protection. 
  • BLUESIL™ FLD HYDROSOFT, medium viscosity silicone copolymers, based on our patented HALS technology, providing total non-yellowing protection, textile hydrophilicity and softness.
  • BLUESIL™ EMUL 12, qnd oil-in-water emulsion used in many industries, including textile manufacturing for lubrication and, in combination with Silcolease™ EMULSION CATALYST 70827 A, to impart durable water repellency.

Silicone products to improve leather manufacturing and create great footwear and accessories

In leather manufacturing, tanneries, leather producers, shoemakers and accessory designers and creators use silicones in their processes to enhance the look, feel, water resistance and durability of their products, many of which also produce unwanted foams at different stages of processing. Elkem Silicones offer manufacturers a wide range of defoaming products to improve productivity upstream (link to leather defoaming).

In terms of final results, silicones give handbags, for example, a smooth luxury feel, while silicone wetters and spreaders ensure that leather coatings are uniformly distributed to make these articles attractive. Other silicones incorporated into coatings provide durability, by improving mar and abrasion resistance and by preventing tanning oils from migrating out of the leather. Leather tanned with appropriate silicones can also be made permanently waterproof, while maintaining its breathability.

Our leather finishing portfolio includes:

  • BLUESIL™ amino-silicone fluids and emulsions to give leather goods a smooth luxury feel and keep them looking good by improving mar and abrasion resistance.
    • Our offering includes specialty products such as BLUESIL™ FLD 1669 for carboxy-silicone leather tanning to make footwear and hiking boots waterproof yet breathable.
  • COMFORTSIL™ high-viscosity silicone emulsions offer a wide range of products designed to provide a shiny finish, durability, waterproofing and other specific advantages to simplify maintenance and increase durability. 
  • Ingredients in our different products are added to enhance specific characteristics 
    1. Carbinol-silicone ingredients modify polyurethane coatings
    2. Polyether silicones improve ease of application and uniform coverage of coatings
    3. Silicone gums and resins increase mar and abrasion resistance
    4. Silicone oils provide instant and lasting shine.

The full line of Elkem Silicones Textile & Leather finishing products and processing aids make manufacturing more efficient and cleaner, improve the quality of final products, reduce waste and energy consumption and facilitate recycling. They are safe for people and equipment and comply with the strictest national and international standards.

Why choose Elkem Silicones for your Textile & Leather finishing?

For many years we have been developing and producing our full-range line of BLUESIL™ and COMFORTSIL™ Textile & Leather finishing products, as well as our Silcolapse™ defoaming solutions to deliver very specific products to Textile & Leather processing customers worldwide. 

Since applications and the final characteristics desired by manufacturers and consumers differ greatly, our experts are always available to listen to you, to understand your products and advise you upstream and make sure that our solutions do exactly what's needed in your manufacturing processes. We always work closely with our customers to back them upstream in R&D and on-site to provide them with process and application guidance. Services also include assistance to obtain the health and safety certifications needed to comply with regulatory constraints.