Improving cotton knits

Enzymes can be used to remove dead cotton and protruding fibers from cotton fabric in a process called biopolishing. The effect is permanent even after 30 washes. The clean surface without fuzz and pills retain its original color and keeps looking new for longer. As dead cotton is not dyed easily, it also helps reducing undyed spots in cotton knits.

The cost of biopolishing is only a fraction (< 5 %) of the value it delivers to the consumer. A Novozymes consumer survey shows that 90 % consumers are willing to pay 10% more for their knits if they are biopolished, compared to not being treated. Globally, approximately 30 % of cotton knits are biopolished, so there is still a huge opportunity for many brands to improve the quality of their knits.  

Biopolishing the most sustainable way – with Novozymes unique enzymes

Biopolishing can be done in different steps of textile manufacturing process - either in the knitting mill or in garment and fabric washing laundries. Novozymes has, in both cases, unique solutions which allow textile manufacturers to produce textiles in the most sustainable and cost-efficient way.

In textile mills, this involves combining biopolishing with bleach-clean up in the dye bath. This process is patented by Novozymes and enabled by using a cellulase, which is working at neutral pH and is compatible with the salts and dyestuff present in the dyebath. This so-called CombiPolish® process saves approximately 15 percent of the total water used and 15 percent of the time for making cotton knits.

The CombiPolish process has won innovation awards from the Society of Dyers and Colourists and is recognised as an industry-better practice by both China Knitting Industry Association and the Bangladesh based NGO PACT (Partnership for Cleaner Textiles).

For garment and fabric biopolishing Novozymes have developed biopolishing enzymes that work at low temperatures and neutral pH enabling the laundries to wash the fabric and garments without additional heating and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals.

Learn more about Biopolishing 

Give retailers the great-quality cotton that textiles consumers demand with Cellusoft®. Novozymes neutral cellulases provide the most gentle and sustainable way of doing biopolishing and these enzymes give less weight loss and strength loss compared to traditional acid cellulases.

Benefits of Cellusoft®

  • Works at the gentlest processing conditions
  • Low weight and strength loss
  • Can be used before, during and after dyeing


Cellusoft® info sheet

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