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Seaweed dyed with biomaterials. Photo: Department of Seaweed
04.10.2022

The Future of Natural Textile Dyes

  • Lab-grown Pigments and Food By-Products

As the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industries becomes clearer, the demand and need for sustainable alternatives is growing. One international research group aims to replace toxic synthetic dyes with natural alternatives, ranging from plants to microbes to food waste.
 
Walk into any clothing store and you'll find a rainbow of fluorescent shirts, pastel sweaters and blue jeans that rotate in and out of style each season. The colours of each garment are pristine, eye-catching and identical, but there are consequences hidden in those racks of colourful clothes.

  • Lab-grown Pigments and Food By-Products

As the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industries becomes clearer, the demand and need for sustainable alternatives is growing. One international research group aims to replace toxic synthetic dyes with natural alternatives, ranging from plants to microbes to food waste.
 
Walk into any clothing store and you'll find a rainbow of fluorescent shirts, pastel sweaters and blue jeans that rotate in and out of style each season. The colours of each garment are pristine, eye-catching and identical, but there are consequences hidden in those racks of colourful clothes.

Our planet and the factory workers producing our clothes are paying a steep price: toxic chemicals used in the synthetic dyeing process pollute waterways and soil.
Introduced in the 1860s, synthetic dyes and pigments have become commonplace in the textile industry. These dyes are part of the reason why clothes of every colour imaginable are so readily available: they offer quick and easy alternatives to the natural sources of colour that used to be the only option.

While this synthetic process has become normalised, using natural pigments to dye textiles has been part of human history for thousands of years.
BioColour suggests it's time to revisit and reimagine this long history.

Associate Professor in Design at Aalto University and member of the BioColour research group Kirsi Niinimäki explains, ‘We’re looking back in history to see how we can bring the information we had before synthetic chemicals existed to the current day, but also how we can apply it in a more modern way by working with the [textile] industry.’

BioColour is an international research consortium of designers, material scientists, biologists, mathematicians and engineers. These researchers from Finnish, American and Brazilian universities and research institutes work together to find non-toxic and biodegradable natural alternatives to synthetic dyes and pigments.
 
Natural dyes at an industrial scale
BioColour’s research isn't just about identifying and testing natural colour sources, it's also about working with the textile industry and consumers to bring widespread change to the new normal of synthetic colours.

One such example comes from Finnish design house Marimekko. Using dyer’s woad, a plant native to Finland, the project tested this alternative to synthetic indigo, a dye that's created using toxic chemicals like formaldehyde.

This collaboration revealed an additional perk of natural dyes: as a Finnish design house, by using a plant cultivated in Finland, Marimekko could tell a local story with dyer’s woad that wasn’t possible with synthetic indigo.

Such collaborations are an opportunity to challenge and learn from each other, says Niinimäki. While BioColour challenges industry partners to work with different methods and recipes that draw on historical practices, industry partners put dye recipes to the test outside of precise laboratory conditions.

‘In a laboratory, it’s possible [adjust] processes, but when we go to the industry, it’s not possible to precisely modify the recipes,’ says Niinimäki, ‘we have to accept the industrial processes and what comes out of them.’

The textile industry isn't the only source of collaboration: Food and agricultural industries create massive amounts of biowaste that spell untapped potential of natural dyes. By-products such as onion skins and willow bark from these industries can be used to dye clothing, creating new side streams and reducing waste.

Though the details are still secret, Niinimäki also described an ongoing collaboration with a food company that aims to investigate how much pigment can be extracted from food waste material. They will also test the durability of said colours.

Changing attitudes towards colour
Ensuring consumers are willing to purchase naturally dyed textiles is vital in the quest to replace synthetic dyes. Yet, consumers still find this concept to be a strange one, according to Niinimäki.

Synthetic dyes are appealing because they provide long-lasting and identical colours between each garment. As Niinimäki points out, however, that ‘sameness’ is one of fast fashion’s problems.

‘Blue is a trendy colour, but why does everything have to be the same blue? Even in mass production, why can’t we accept that there might be different kinds of blue? Why does everything have to be the same?’

Natural dyes, which are not as stable, may look different from garment to garment and even fade over time.
These fading colours don't need to be seen as a negative, however.

Niinimäki believes fading colours open the door to an attractive new type of design: garments could be designed to reveal new patterns as certain colours fade over time.

While BioColour’s consumer studies aim to identify and change current attitudes to colours and textiles, other researchers in the group are investigating the durability and longevity of natural dyes. Fading colours may offer interesting design potential, but they aren't the only option.

Drawing on history to invent the future
Natural sources of colour aren't limited to plants and mushrooms—the world of microbes offers huge potential for the future of dyes and pigments.

Bacteria can be a source of non-toxic biodegradable pigment and a method of helping dyes to stick to textile fibres. Using bacteria in the natural dyeing process harkens back to the slower pace of fashion, as it can take weeks of growing and feeding the bacteria.

This use of bacteria in the dyeing process has inspired BioColour collaborators from the VTT Technical Research Centre to investigate lab-grown colourants. Their research explores how the DNA of microbes can be modified to produce a variety of different pigments that could be scaled to wider textile production.
 
Lab-grown colourants are a particularly promising future because, as Niinimäki explains, there is limited land to cultivate plants for dyes. Climate change is and will continue to change our environment and cause food and water insecurity. This means resources will need to be diverted to food cultivation.

These pigment-producing microbes expand the possibilities of non-toxic, biodegradable dyes while saving land and resources in the process.
While it may be drawn from history, the research behind natural dyes is anything but old news.

Source:

Aalto University, Finland; Kirsi Niinimäki, Associate Professor

Photo: Unsplash
27.09.2022

Study: More investment needed in fiber-to-fiber recycling infrastructure

Fiber-to-fiber textile recycling legislation and policies are steadily increasing and are one of the key strategic components to support the transition to a circular economy in the fashion industry.

At the same time, the demand for an infrastructure for collecting, sorting and recycling end-of-life textiles is likely to increase across the EU. Adapting this infrastructure will require significant investment. In order to plan these holistically in the future, it is necessary to understand both the characteristics of the used textiles available on the European market and the business case for monetization through recycling.

Fiber-to-fiber textile recycling legislation and policies are steadily increasing and are one of the key strategic components to support the transition to a circular economy in the fashion industry.

At the same time, the demand for an infrastructure for collecting, sorting and recycling end-of-life textiles is likely to increase across the EU. Adapting this infrastructure will require significant investment. In order to plan these holistically in the future, it is necessary to understand both the characteristics of the used textiles available on the European market and the business case for monetization through recycling.

Fashion for Good, the global initiative for sustainable fashion presented on September 27, 2022 the final report on the project "Sorting for Circularity Europe", which was launched in May last year with the aim of filling knowledge gaps and studying materials in depth. The project aims to analyze the types of waste generated, the quantities available as raw material for recycling, and the potential for channeling textile waste as raw material for innovative solutions. The report provides preliminary meaningful information on the basis of which informed decisions can be made for further investments, policy developments and next steps towards a circular economy.

Overall, the Sorting for Circularity Europe study concludes that in six European countries - Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom - 494,000 tons, or 74%, of low-value post-consumer textiles are readily available and suitable for closing the loop in the apparel and textile sector each year.

This presents promising opportunities for value recovery through mechanical and chemical recycling, diverting textiles from less circular uses such as downcycling to nonwovens, insulation or filling materials, the wipes industry and incineration. This equates to a potential value gain of EUR 74 million per year if sorted textiles are reintroduced into the textile value chain.

By using innovative near-infrared (NIR) technology to determine the composition of garments - a task traditionally performed manually - the project analyzed 21 tons of used clothing. The on-site surveys took place over two periods, fall/winter 2021 and spring/summer 2022, to account for seasonal changes in garments entering sorting facilities. The project focuses on textiles that cannot be reused in their original form and are therefore considered "non-reusable" and textiles that can only be resold at low prices = "low-value reusable textiles".

Cotton is the predominant fiber with 42%, although a relevant share of this category could be elastane. Cotton is followed by a high proportion of material blends (32%), of which almost half are polycottons (12%). Based on three characteristics: material composition, presence of interfering factors such as zippers and buttons, and color, 21% of the materials studied were considered suitable for mechanical recycling, while 53% appeared suitable for chemical recycling. However, the removal of interfering materials for chemical recycling must be technically and financially feasible, otherwise only about one-fifth of the total potential feedstock would be eligible for chemical fiber-to-fiber recycling.

The amount of low-value textiles collected is expected to increase, partly due to increasing consumption and disposal, but also due to new legislation, such as the Waste Framework Directive, which requires separate collection of textiles across Europe by 2025. However, the current and future potential of these textiles for the circular economy is difficult to exploit; raw material prices for current uses (e.g. wipes) are sometimes more economical than fiber-to-fiber recycling prices. This could change if current recycling technologies are scaled up and further investments are made to integrate operations such as automatic sorting and the removal of impurities in the sorting process.

Overall, a solid business case for low-value textile sorting is needed to maintain and increase sorting capacity in Europe. This also highlights the need for increased investment in infrastructure that can sort and prepare textiles for reuse and recycling. To support the maintenance and further expansion of this sorting capacity in Europe, policy and future legislation will play a key role in ensuring the environmental, social and financial sustainability of these stages of the apparel and textile value chain.

Based on the project results, the authors make the following recommendations:

For collectors, sorters and recyclers

  1. Use of the sorters' handbook and the report "Sorting for Circularity Europe" as a guide to conduct further trials and to continue building knowledge on fiber composition, sorting and recycling processes. This could be further supported by local authorities, industry and civil society dealing with textile or household waste streams.
  2. Open access to trials and data that can support and guide investment in the necessary infrastructure.
  3. Update and use the recycler database to increase knowledge of mechanical and chemical recycling destinations.
  4. Joining digital platforms such as Reverse Resources and Refashion Recycle to tap into and connect the supply of and demand for post-consumer textiles.

For brands and manufacturer
74% of low-value used textiles could be used as raw material for recycling. While this is a significant proportion, there still remains 26% that cannot be recycled due to their composition, the presence of multiple layers and/or non-removable contaminants.

  1. Priority for the design of an appropriate life cycle.
    For products designed for longevity, there should be a strong focus on durability and long-term performance. Ultimately, recycling textiles in line with the waste hierarchy should be the last resort and not the goal in itself.
  2. Further commitment to adopt circular design practices that prioritize mono-materials, reduce disruptive factors as much as possible, and include recycled fibers in the product portfolio, as required by the Ecodesign Regulation for sustainable products in the European Union.

For policy makers
Sorting companies in European countries run the risk of not being able to continue their business as usual if the share of these low-quality textiles in the collected volumes continues to increase. In addition, current sorting and logistics costs may pose a financial challenge for chemical recyclers to acquire these textiles in large volumes.

  1. Consider the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes with sufficient financial support to alleviate pressure on the business base of sorting companies to manage future volumes of collected textiles.
  2. Introduce an environmental subsidy to lower the price of recycled fiber as the industry expands. This subsidy could alleviate cost pressures on recyclers, potentially facilitating the purchase of non-renewable raw materials at prices competitive with other commercial destinations such as wipes.
  3. Introduce legislation at different stages of the clothing and textile life cycle to influence the potential for recycling the non-depletable portion of PCT (post-consumer textiles), such as the introduction of mandatory eco-design requirements that include a fiber-to-fiber recyclability perspective for products.
  4. Assessment of any unintended consequences that might result from setting mandatory targets for preparation for reuse and recycling (to be considered by the European Commission by 2024).
  5. Align rules on sorting criteria for reuse and recycling across the EU to help harmonize standards and requirements of the sorting industry for preparing textiles for reuse and recycling.
  6. Examining how digital labeling and product passports can improve the traceability of materials in the textile value chain at the end of their useful life in the long term.

For consumers
Purchasing and disposal decisions also have an impact on the end of the use of textiles. Priority should be given to purchasing products made of a single material or blends that are limited to two components, as well as aesthetic decorations and accessories. Clothing and home textiles must be disposed of according to regulations. To extend the life of products, repairing, reselling and exchanging are options.

Source:

Fashion for Good; Circle Economy

Photo Pixabay
13.09.2022

Dissolvable stitches that improve clothing recycling

Resortecs has developed an innovative solution that helps solve a widespread fashion industry challenge: how to recycle garments more effectively.
 
The challenge relates to stitched clothes such as jeans or jackets, that need to be taken apart before their constituent materials can be recycled. The existing disassembly process is time-consuming and costly, as the garment and its components are held together by a synthetic high-strength thread, which in most cases is polyester. Before recycling, the garment has to be separated and the thread removed, otherwise the quality of the recycled product will be compromised.

Resortecs has developed an innovative solution that helps solve a widespread fashion industry challenge: how to recycle garments more effectively.
 
The challenge relates to stitched clothes such as jeans or jackets, that need to be taken apart before their constituent materials can be recycled. The existing disassembly process is time-consuming and costly, as the garment and its components are held together by a synthetic high-strength thread, which in most cases is polyester. Before recycling, the garment has to be separated and the thread removed, otherwise the quality of the recycled product will be compromised.

Resortecs has designed a new type of thread that makes the disassembly process easier. Their threads are available for different melting-points (150° C, 170° C and 200° C) and dissolved using a commercial oven. The choice of thread depends on the type of garment that is being taken apart. The Resortecs® solution allows up to 500kg of garments (=>1000 pairs of jeans) to be dismantled at the same time.

Why it’s an example of the circular economy
Currently less than 1% of all garments are recycled to a high quality. The rest are downcycled, incinerated or landfilled, translating into a loss of USD 100 billion worth of material annually.

The production of new materials to replace those that are landfilled or incinerated, accrues significant environmental and social impacts, including massive freshwater consumption, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, 2.4% of the world’s arable land is cultivated with cotton, but growing cotton accounts for 24% of the world’s annual demand for insecticides.

There are many factors that contribute to the low rate of garment recycling. One key contributor is the high cost associated with disassembly, which due to complicated and durable designs is a predominantly manual process. Furthemore, according to industry research including data from garment recycling companies in Pakistan, between 30 - 52% of denim is lost during disassembly.

In the Resortecs® process only 10% maximum of textile material is lost, and the integrity of the textile is not damaged, meaning that new garments can use a higher percentage of recycled material. Furthermore the process makes the garment dismantling process much easier and five times faster. This improves the effectiveness and economic viability of recycling, particularly in countries where labour costs are high.      

Business and environmental benefits
Resortec’s enabling technologies reduce the use of virgin materials which can save costs and reduce exposure to unpredictability in resource prices and changing regulations. In the past years, consumer trends have shifted towards more environmentally conscious choices, including the use of recycled materials. And because 50% of carbon emissions and 75% of water use occurs in the production and material processing stage, this model also hugely reduces negative environmental impacts.

The journey continues
There are no silver bullets in the circular economy and often a product might be described as ‘circularish’, to reflect the continuing journey of improvement.

For Resortec’s technology to realise its full potential, other actors in the fashion system need to play their part. For example, reverse supply chains (sorters and recyclers) must adapt and optimise their operations to suit these new solutions. Designers and brands also need to understand the limitations and push the limits of circular design, for example by designing/specifying reusable buttons and zips. Policy makers need to send the right signal to the market, such as France’s forthcoming anti-waste law which bans disposal of unsold clothes into landfills.
          
As well as system changes, there are also potential improvements in the technology. Currently Resortecs uses a plastic based thread, which when melted should ideally be recovered and re-spun rather than discarded. The thread could also be sourced from recycled or regenerative production methods.

There is clearly already a growing appetite for Resortec’s technology which is already being piloted by 25 international fashion brands with at least one Resortec-enabled product already on the market. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, simple but powerful innovations such as this can help unlock the potential of a circular economy for fashion. 

Source:

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Photo: pixabay
30.08.2022

High-tech membrane turns salty into sweet

  • Microporous polymer membranes as source of hope

Water is commonplace. And yet many of its amazing properties, which are crucial for the emergence and maintenance of life, are still not properly understood. The interdisciplinary Centre for Molecular Water Science (CMWS) at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) aims to change this.

Streams splash, waves roar, rain pelts, the bathroom tap drips. Water is a faithful companion; as a grandiose spectacle of nature, as the basis of all life, or even as a damp nuisance. In the eyes of science, however, H2O remains a mystery. Although it consists of only three atoms – two hydrogen, one oxygen – this simple constellation results in unusual properties:

  • Microporous polymer membranes as source of hope

Water is commonplace. And yet many of its amazing properties, which are crucial for the emergence and maintenance of life, are still not properly understood. The interdisciplinary Centre for Molecular Water Science (CMWS) at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) aims to change this.

Streams splash, waves roar, rain pelts, the bathroom tap drips. Water is a faithful companion; as a grandiose spectacle of nature, as the basis of all life, or even as a damp nuisance. In the eyes of science, however, H2O remains a mystery. Although it consists of only three atoms – two hydrogen, one oxygen – this simple constellation results in unusual properties:

Instead of whizzing around the room in gaseous form at room temperature like other comparable substances, water remains liquid in drinking cups and flower vases. Instead of becoming more viscous under high pressure, water becomes thin. Instead of sinking into the depths, icebergs float majestically across the polar seas. And without the water's own capillary forces, plants would not be able to supply themselves with nutrients.

Science now counts more than 50 of these water anomalies that are essential to our existence. "If water weren't so strange, we wouldn't exist," says Anders Nilsson from Stockholm University, one of the world's most renowned water researchers. Yet few of these anomalies are well understood and much basic research is still needed to unravel the properties and interactions of water molecules.

Water has its greatest density at a temperature of 4° Celsius. That is why water sinks downwards at this temperature. For water with temperatures above or below 4 degrees Celsius, the density decreases again - it expands and rises upwards. Even in the frozen state, water expands: For example, water that is 4 degrees warm can be found at the bottom of a lake, while the lake freezes over from above. This is also the reason why icebergs float on the surface of the water in the ocean. This unusual property of water is called "density anomaly".

This research is to be bundled in a new, globally unique centre: Together with partners from all over Europe, DESY is planning to build the Centre for Molecular Water Science, or CMWS for short. It will shed light on the topic from a wide variety of disciplines: Physics, biophysics, medicine, climate research, astrochemistry, environmental technology.

CMWS will also further develop technologies that meet our most basic need when it comes to water: To drink it. According to UNICEF, 2.2 billion people worldwide do not have regular access to clean water. That is why research is being done worldwide on technologies that could improve the situation. One source of hope is microporous polymer membranes. They can be used to remove even the most finely dispersed and dissolved pollutants from water. And they can desalinate seawater without having to heat it to 100 degrees.
 
Volkan Filiz's department at the Helmholtz Centre Hereon in Geesthacht is investigating such membranes. In principle, they function like a sieve and a magnet at the same time: "When we use them to filter polluted water, bacteria and viruses are held back due to their size while the water slips through," Filiz explains. "In addition, we can functionalize the membrane with quaternary ammonium compounds that bind pollutants such as heavy metals. Some heavy metals like arsenic and chromium are always negatively charged in water. That's why we make sure the membrane is positively charged and holds on to these pollutants through interactions." For many pollutants in water, the right materials and pore sizes are known to filter them out. Polymer membranes can also be used to effectively rid water of oil by using oil-repellent materials.

Membranes for the treatment of salt water into drinking water are not porous. They are as dense as cling film, but still contain nanometer-sized gaps through which the small water molecules fit, whereas salts do not. "However, you have to press the water through the membrane with a lot of pressure," admits Filz. Nevertheless, the energy input is lower than with conventional seawater desalination, for which the water is distilled with heat and the water vapor is collected. "Currently we are looking for the most energy-efficient combination of membrane and distillation processes." This so-called membrane distillation then works in principle like a Gore Tex jacket: It does not let water through, but the water vapor produced by heat does.

One of the main reasons why such membranes have not long since become established worldwide is their short shelf life. Wherever they are used as water filters, a biofilm forms over time that breaks them down. "Reducing this so-called fouling is one of our most important fields of research," says Filiz. The aim is to increase the service life of the membrane and thus improve its economic efficiency. Great hopes are pinned on polydopamine here. This is the natural adhesive with which mussels strongly adhere to rocks under water. Applied to a membrane, it has a hydrophilic effect; it interacts readily with water but repels foreign matter.

In order to develop optimal filters for a wide variety of purposes, researchers need to understand the interfacial effects between the polymers and the water in detail. This requires, not least, investigations at the atomic level, which the large-scale research facilities of the Helmholtz Association can provide. The CMWS Water Centre will bundle this research, attract water experts from all over the world and network them with each other. "Water is one of the key topics for the future," says Anders Nilsson. "The centre will enable us to decisively deepen our knowledge of it."

Source:

Frank Grotelüschen / Jan Berndorff – Helmholtz Association

(c) Gestamp
23.08.2022

Green fiber-reinforced composites instead of steel for chassis parts

Gestamp, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and its project partners are facing the scientific challenge to implement mass production of green fiber chassis parts. The broad Eco Dynamic SMC consortium brings together expertise from the aerospace, automotive and scientific industries.

Mobility demands are subject to constant change. Due to new emissions regulations and increasing electric mobility, lightweight construction and safety continue to be drivers for future automotive and mobility applications. The sustainable use of limited resources and the mandatory reduction of CO2-emissions during the production process and the lifetime of the vehicle are now the focus of development, in addition to the performance of the individual parts of a vehicle.

Gestamp, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and its project partners are facing the scientific challenge to implement mass production of green fiber chassis parts. The broad Eco Dynamic SMC consortium brings together expertise from the aerospace, automotive and scientific industries.

Mobility demands are subject to constant change. Due to new emissions regulations and increasing electric mobility, lightweight construction and safety continue to be drivers for future automotive and mobility applications. The sustainable use of limited resources and the mandatory reduction of CO2-emissions during the production process and the lifetime of the vehicle are now the focus of development, in addition to the performance of the individual parts of a vehicle.

Gestamp is comitted to create a vehicle that is better for the environment and safer, to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. The focus is on the production of a lighter car, so that it emits less emission during its use. For this reason, Gestamp, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and several other consortium partners have collaborated to make the ECO Dynamic SMC project a tangible reality.

Thanks to its good material properties, recyclability and worldwide availability, steel is still often the material of choice in the automotive and mobility industry, and will certainly continue to be so in the future. However, the trend is also towards new materials that expand the range of materials and fulfill the motto "the right material in the right place". Fiber-reinforced composites offer excellent lightweight construction potential and safety features. The use of recyclable materials leads to a good balance between energy consumption, profitability and sustainability.

Fiber-reinforced materials are currently used in large numbers for body parts, but not for chassis components in the automotive or aerospace industry. The Eco Dynamic SMC project addresses this issue by developing a closed engineering loop for an automotive chassis control arm for a high volume production and a suspension part of a motor glider, substituting steel with fiber-reinforced material with the aim to implement the CF-SMC Technology for dynamic and safety relevant chassis components in high volume productions.

Initiated in October 2021 and funded by the German Ministry of Energy and Climate Protection, Eco Dynamic SMC (Grant Number: 03LB3023A) will address the scientific problem of developing a comprehensive continuous engineering process for fiber composite reinforced components that meet OEM approval procedures. The broad Eco Dynamic SMC consortium brings together expertise from the aerospace, automotive and scientific industries. Cooperation between universities, academic institutes and companies from various relevant sectors promotes the transfer of technology and experience across industry borders. Gestamp is the head of the consortium of Eco Dynamic SMC project.

Today, a continuous development process is established for metals and the procedure is defined based on available material data for manufacturing, product simulations and specific material parameters addressing e.g. formability, durability, stiffness, strain rate behavior or weldability.

Starting with the development of a digital shadow from the raw material manufacturing to be aware about the fiber content and weight of the material stack before the transfer into the tool. Substantial material characterization will be the groundwork for the integration of the material properties and fiber orientation from manufacturing process into the product development simulation. At the end of the development, a prototype will be manufactured and tested as component and on a test vehicle to evaluate the mechanical and acoustic behavior.

In the second project stream, a suspension part for a motor glider is developed by following the same strategy of the closed loop of process and product engineering.

In addition to the development cycle, the Eco Dynamic SMC project is dedicated to other core aspects such as a good CO2 balance, a recycling concept, optimized use of materials, reduced energy consumption and the careful use of resources.

Eco Dynamic SMC Consortium
The project consortium consists of: Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DG Flugzeugbau GmbH, Koller Formenbau GmbH, Schmidt & Heinzmann GmbH & Co.KG, Toray Industries Europe GmbH, Vibracoustic SE, Gestamp Autotech Engineering Deutschland GmbH.

Associated Partners: BMW AG, Premium Aerotec GmbH

Gestamp
Gestamp is a multinational company specialized in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for the main vehicle manufacturers. It develops products with an innovative design to produce lighter and safer vehicles, which offer lower energy consumption and a lower environmental impact. Its products cover the areas of bodywork, chassis and mechanisms.

The company is present in 24 countries with more than 100 production plants, 13 R&D centers and a workforce of nearly 40,000 employees worldwide. Its turnover in 2021 was 8,093 million euros. Gestamp is listed on the Spanish stock exchange under the ticker GEST.

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT
The main campus houses more than 100 laboratories, pilot plants and test centers on a total area of 21 hectares. The research orientation enables us to combine research and development activities in this area with large demonstration plants. The focus is on the scalability of processes, on the transfer of research results from the laboratory to the pilot plant scale, and in some cases on pre-series application.

Customers and project partners are chemical and process engineering companies, automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, the plastics processing industry, material manufacturers, recycling companies, companies from the energy and environmental sectors, customers from the security industry, the construction industry and the aviation sector.

Source:

Gestamp; Fraunhofer ICT

(c) Photographer & visual artist Patrick Klein Meuleman
09.08.2022

Second Skins: e-Textiles redefined

As part of the European STARTs project Re-FREAM, designers, technologists and scientists researched together on future as well as sustainable technologies for the textile industry. In the research focus area of e-Textiles, the fashion tech expert Malou Beemer from the Netherlands worked with an international team consisting of Profactor, EMPA, Wear It Berlin and Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM on adaptive garments that can adapt to the practical and social needs of users.

As part of the European STARTs project Re-FREAM, designers, technologists and scientists researched together on future as well as sustainable technologies for the textile industry. In the research focus area of e-Textiles, the fashion tech expert Malou Beemer from the Netherlands worked with an international team consisting of Profactor, EMPA, Wear It Berlin and Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM on adaptive garments that can adapt to the practical and social needs of users.

Malou Beemer approaches garment sustainability though her deep understanding of the social functionality of garments. Her research reflects on how design can change the way we want, wear, and discard fashion. Could smart garments be equipped to improve and maintain their desirability? Her modular Second Skins garment system combines adaptive parts which create a personal light symphony. Its composition responds to the aesthetic need for novelty, for interaction, and for standing out.

Beemer started with deconstructing the idea of the garment itself. First, she explains, “we stepped away from the idea that a garment always has two legs or two sleeves”. Instead, the team decided to visualize it as components. The next step was researching the activation of responsive and reactive textiles elements, which could be modulated to create novelty.

With a main focus on evening and party wear, a category showing high single use behavior, the choice fell on color changes based on LED patterns. With her Re-FREAM partners, she conceived a garment consisting of a base layer integrating LED lights with IZM Fraunhofer, a diffuse layer which alters the light with Profactor, and a top layer which gives a final shape to the garment as well as allowing for further updates. Wearers can upload LED color patterns, then modulate them with a tap sensor. Due to the construction and modular bonding technique the garment can be repaired when needed or even completely disassembled and the end of life.

Beemer uses the customization of garment colors, patterns, and structures to enhance garment lifespans. She defines sustainability through longevity: the goal is garments that update, perhaps for decades. Her wearable tech designs also aim to enhance social interactions with others. A particularly innovative aspect of her concept is her aim for new levels of garment agency. She envisions clothing which cares for us, according to our social and aesthetic needs. Instead of passive and polluting garments, Beemer envisions fashion as a second skin, with different layers which can shift properties. Allowing for such inbuilt versatility gives garments an active role in their survival, as well as in ours.

Together with the Fraunhofer team, Beemer created two undergarments integrating PCBs (printed circuit boards) and LEDs: one that centered more around the neck, and one more centered around the ribs, below the bust. The Second Skins project uses hardware modules developed by IZM. IZM developed an Arduino-based modular hardware platform that enables easier, more flexible and more reliable integration of e-textile prototypes and small series into textiles. Modules already available include various sensors (temperature, proximity, pulse, IMU) as well as actuators, RGB LEDs, ADC, µC, Bluetooth and more. In addition to the conventional sewing of the modules using electrically conductive yarn, all modules also offer the possibility of integrating them mechanically and electrically in a single step using the proprietary e-Textile Bond technology developed at IZM.

Here, for example, Smart IMU modules record the wearer's body language and movement data, and proximity sensors are also integrated. The sensor data obtained can be used to control individual lighting effects of the RGB LED display, through which the wearer communicates non-verbally with her surroundings. All modules can be freely placed on the garment during the design process. For power supply and communication with the process unit, a textile 4-wire IIC bus conductor made of a thermoplastic insulated hybrid conductor of stranded material and reinforcing textile fibers is embroidered onto the undergarment, thus connecting the modules. The electrical connection between the module and the textile bus is then made using the e-Textile bonding technology described above, which provides reliable but also repairable contacting without the need for additional additives such as pastes, fluxes or the like. Due to the remeltability of the thermoplastic adhesive, the module can also be thermally removed from the carrier again. The inner layer between the upper and lower garment contains thin textile layers that allow masking of the lighting effects by means of 3-D printing or lamination, thus allowing the user to customize the lighting design.

Further Links:
https://www.maloubeemer.com/project/second-skins-re-fream/
https://re-fream.eu/pioneers/second-skins/
https://www.izm.fraunhofer.de/en.html

Foto: Pixabay
20.06.2022

Techtextil 2022: Innovation Awards for Automotive, Medicine & Apparel

After a Corona-related break of three years, the leading trade fairs Techtextil and Texprocess are once again presenting the renowned Innovation Awards. The award-winning new developments from areas such as New Products, Sustainability and Automation demonstrate: Textile innovations and technologies provide impulses for many branches of the industry and promise market and sales success far beyond their own sector. 13 winners from seven categories will be honored at a public awards ceremony at Techtextil and Texprocess on 21 June, 2022.
 

After a Corona-related break of three years, the leading trade fairs Techtextil and Texprocess are once again presenting the renowned Innovation Awards. The award-winning new developments from areas such as New Products, Sustainability and Automation demonstrate: Textile innovations and technologies provide impulses for many branches of the industry and promise market and sales success far beyond their own sector. 13 winners from seven categories will be honored at a public awards ceremony at Techtextil and Texprocess on 21 June, 2022.
 
As is the case for many other industries, times are challenging for the textile industry: the consequences of Corona, the Ukraine war, strained supply chains, sustainability issues, rising energy prices and recruitment problems - the industry is under pressure from many sides. But more than almost any other industry, it is also very adept at meeting these challenges with new ideas, developments and business models. This year's Innovation Awards at the leading trade fairs Techtextil and Texprocess are another example of this. With their new products, materials, solutions and processes, the 13 award winners are demonstrating in an exemplary manner that textile innovations are the ideal way to create market opportunities and boost future business revenues, out of the challenges of the present.

Techtextil Innovation Award and Texprocess Innovation Award
The Techtextil and Texprocess Innovation Awards will be presented on 21 June, 2022 in Hall 9.0. Textile innovations selected by international expert juries will be awarded prizes and presented publicly on the four days of the trade fair in Hall 9.1 (Techtextil) and 9.0 (Texprocess), in some cases for the first time.

World's first: first woven heart valve without postfabrication
In the "New Product" category, the Techtextil Innovation Award goes to the Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology (ITM) at the Technische Universität Dresden. Together with medical product manufacturers and heart surgeons from the Cardiovascular Center Würzburg and the Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, textile researchers from the ITM have succeeded in developing the world's first woven heart valve that does not require a single seam or other joining technique. "Our new development should also help children with heart valve defects in the future by growing with the heart of the young patients - avoiding repeated surgical interventions," says Dr.-Ing. Dilbar Aibibu, research group leader for biotextiles and medical textiles at ITM. Worldwide, cardiovascular diseases are among the most common causes of death; several million people die from them every year. When patients receive heart valve replacements, artificial mechanical or biobased solutions are usually used. If ITM has its way, the woven valve, which won the Techtextil Innovation Award, should become a beneficial alternative in the future.

Reuse of waste from a natural source
In the "New Material" category, RBX Créations (France) receives the Innovation Award for a novel cellulose fiber made from hemp waste. The material, named Iroony®, was developed with regard to the following question: Hemp is now grown either to make fiber or to produce hemp oil - but could not the two be combined? RBX Créations has now succeeded in developing a process for extracting cellulose from the waste of oilseed hemp. Spun into textile fibers, it can be used to produce sustainable textiles, packaging and other "green" products. The award is given to RBX Créations for its continuous and successful efforts to convert waste from a renewable source into a valuable cellulose fiber that meets the highest sustainability standards.

Fiber shielding technology for hospitals, electric cars and server farms
The Techtextil Innovation Award in the "New Technology" category goes to Aachen-based FibreCoat GmbH and Deutsche Basalt Faser GmbH from Sangerhausen (Saxony-Anhalt) for the joint development of an aluminum-coated basalt fiber. It combines the strength of basalt with the electrical conductivity of aluminum. According to FibreCoat, electromagnetic shielding as wallpaper in buildings in hospitals or server farms, among other places, should be up to 20 times cheaper than with conventional aluminum foil thanks to the new development. Another attractive and particularly fast-growing market is shielding solutions for electric cars. Robert Brüll, CEO of FibreCoat: "For a young company like ours, winning the Techtextil Innovation Award is an important milestone. We are honored to receive this prestigious award from the independent jury of experts. In particular, the confidence of our customers and visibility gained as a result are crucial for a start-up like FibreCoat on the road to market success."
 
More sustainable hygiene products such as diapers
Kelheim Fibres GmbH from Kelheim in Bavaria and the Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI) in Chemnitz receive the Techtextil Innovation Award in the "New Concept" category for the development of novel, thermally bonded nonwovens based on cellulose for the production of reusable products with high absorbency. Consumers should no longer have to choose between high-performance or environmentally friendly products. Nature and performance of hygiene products go hand in hand thanks to the innovation of Kelheim, STFI and the Berlin-based start-up SUMO. Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Director New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres: "It is a great honor and pleasure for us to receive the Techtextil Innovation Award together with our partners. We see the award not only as a distinction for the project presented, but also as recognition of our innovation strategy. After all, in dialogue with partners we can react more quickly to current trends, develop in a more targeted manner and accelerate the commercialization of innovative solutions."

Waste from the automotive industry as a resource
Another Techtextil Innovation Award in the category "New Approaches on Sustainability & Circular Economy" honors a process that uses natural leather waste from the automotive industry to produce innovative textile coatings. It was developed by CITEVE, the Technology Center for Textile and Clothing in Portugal, and partners ERT Têxtil Portugal, CeNTI and CTIC (all Portugal). After CITEVE researchers discovered that cutting operations in the automotive industry generate a large amount of natural leather classified as waste, they sought a solution to reuse it. The expert jury recognizes the development as a successful industrial symbiosis: "Waste from one industrial sector is used here as a resource in another. The work of the CITEVE researchers thus supports an important trend toward a resource-efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable textile industry."

Compostable textile coating
The Techtextil Innovation Award in the category "New Approaches on Sustainability & Circular Economy" goes to the textile research institute Centexbel (Belgium) for a bio-based and compostable dispersion for textile coatings and printing inks. The new development does not require solvents and brings a completely new type of polymer for coatings and printing inks to the market. According to the expert jury, the innovation is an important step for the textile coating industry towards more products based on renewable resources.

Fashion from pineapple peel
The Italian company Vérabuccia is honored in the "Performance Fashion Award" category for an innovative production process for the fashion and design sector. The patented process is designed to transform fruit waste into fashion highlights. A first material is the so-called "Ananasse". According to Vérabuccia, the special feature of this is that unlike other plant leathers, which tend to imitate real animal leather, it retains the original appearance of a pineapple skin; this emphasizes the origin of the raw material. With the Techtextil Innovation Award, the jury honored the unconventional thinking of the young Italian label, whose originality proves that innovative and appealing fashion can be developed from surprising materials.
 
100 percent compostable binder for nonwovens
In the "New Technology" category, the company OrganoClick (Sweden) receives the Techtextil Innovation Award for the development of a 100 percent bio-based binder for nonwovens applications that is made from waste components and is therefore said to be fully compostable. The innovation is designed to replace plastic-based binders. Because nonwovens are often made from non-degradable plastics, the Swedish company specializes in developing compostable material alternatives from wheat bran, fruit or crab shells, among others. This convinced the jury of the Techtextil Innovation Awards: "OrganoClick receives the award for its efforts to find bio-based raw material alternatives to replace oil-based materials."

Formaldehyde-free & bio-based coating system
The third award in the category "New Approaches on Sustainability & Circular Economy" goes to Deutschen Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (DITF) from Baden-Württemberg and the company TotalEnergies - Cray Valley (France). Together, they have developed a novel, formaldehyde-free coating system. It is based on non-toxic hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) derived from biomass waste. These HMF-based dip formulations are capable of replacing formaldehyde-based adhesion promoters on a one-to-one basis. For background: in tires, conveyor belts or V-belts, rubber materials are reinforced by cord. The quality of such cord composite systems with high-strength fibers such as polyester, aramid or polyamide and rubber is determined by the adhesion properties of the fibers to the matrix. In the established manufacturing process, adhesion promoters made of resorcinol-formaldehyde-latex (RFL) are used. However, formaldehyde has been classified by the EU as a proven carcinogen and mutagen since 2014. The jury therefore welcomes the health and environmentally friendly new development. It contributes to a more sustainable textile industry and the reduction of harmful chemicals.

Source:

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

Photo: Baldwin
14.06.2022

Baldwin: Optimizing Productivity while Reducing Environmental Impact

After a long pandemic-related dry spell, the Techtextil and Texprocess trade fairs, which are expected to attract more than 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries in June 2022, are returning to Frankfurt with forward-looking formats.

Textination spoke to companies about their expectations of the fair and the product portfolio and innovations they will be presenting in Frankfurt in a few days' time.

After a long pandemic-related dry spell, the Techtextil and Texprocess trade fairs, which are expected to attract more than 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries in June 2022, are returning to Frankfurt with forward-looking formats.

Textination spoke to companies about their expectations of the fair and the product portfolio and innovations they will be presenting in Frankfurt in a few days' time.

Let’s talk about finishing technologies: Dr Wesley Clements, Global Leader of Engineering and R&D for Baldwin Technology Company Inc. gave us insights into the company's innovations serving the growing importance of sustainability in textile finishing and his expectations approaching Techtextil.
 

Dr Wesley Clements, what makes your company special and different - compared to competitors?
 
Baldwin Technology Company Inc., based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, was founded in 1918 by William Gegenheimer, who invented the Baldwin Press Washer, the first automatic press-cleaning system of its kind. We are a leading global manufacturer and supplier of innovative process-automation equipment, parts, service and consumables for the printing, packaging, textile, plastic film extrusion and corrugated industries. As a total solutions provider, we offer our customers a broad range of market-leading technologies, with a focus on improving the economic and environmental impact of production processes.

Baldwin designs the innovative and revolutionary non-contact Precision Spray Technology for fabric finishing and remoistening to save time, money and valuable resources. Our mindset is to increase the process speed, product quality and production control with great return on investment and the highest environmental care.

The Precision Spray Technology originates back in time when Baldwin innovated world-leading spray systems for the web offset industry. Now, 35 years later, this technology is further developed, tailor made to the specific requirements of the textile industry. Our expert team will ensure that our clients’ investment provides the expected return in operational efficiencies, uptime and quality.
 

How do you define Textile Leadership for your company?

We believe business could be the most powerful force for good in society if business leaders would care for the lives of those who make their business possible. Our deep care for people naturally extends to the environment as well. As we care for our people and our customers, we must care for the planet on which they live. One of the biggest challenges facing the textile industry today is the environmental impact in terms of energy, chemical and water consumption.

The issue brands face around sustainability is who pays for it. Fashion has stimulated a consumer appetite and demand for frequently changing collections at affordable prices. The expectation is the brands are the owners of the problem so they must absorb any costs.

An industry inertia against migrating away from old wasteful processes is not helping the perception. One process is the archaically wasteful pad-based finishing process of dipping fabrics into chemical baths. The resulting excess water, energy and chemistry consumption all run counter to the concept of sustainability.

But what if there was a way to reduce consumption of all three and increase efficiency, and reduce cost and produce a high-quality product? With our non-contact spray technology, our customers are always in full control of the chemical-to-water ratio throughout the production run, so there is never more usage than is actually required.
 

Which products/product innovations will you present at the fair?

Our TexCoat G4, a non-contact finishing system, will be of special interest for potential customers. Non-contact spray technology eliminates contamination of finishing chemicals by fabric particles and colors. As outlined below, this non-contact feature is the key to eliminating chemical waste and reducing energy consumption.

In fabric or chemistry changeovers, 100% of the chemicals are recycled with zero waste. In combination with reduced energy, water and chemicals consumption, TexCoat G4 ensures a sustainable and financially beneficial textile finishing process.

The exact amount of chemicals required is consistently and uniformly sprayed across the textile surface and applied only where it is needed – on one side or both sides of the fabric. As only the necessary amount of chemicals is applied, the wet pick-up levels are reduced by up to 50%, leading to 50% decreased water consumption as well as 50% less drying energy. With TexCoat G4 you don’t have to worry about chemical dilution in wet-on-wet applications or any bath contaminations. Moreover, there will be zero downtime in fabric changeovers.

In fabric or chemistry changeovers, 100% of the chemicals are recycled with zero waste. In combination with reduced energy, water and chemicals consumption, TexCoat G4 ensures a sustainable and financially beneficial textile finishing process.

To ensure total process control, the TexCoat G4 system features an integrated recipe management system with automated chemical- and coverage selection. As an option, TexCoat Data Center offers unprecedented tracking and control of the finishing process via real-time monitoring and tracking of critical system information. You will always have full control of your textile finishing process.
 

What goals do you want to achieve with the trade fair presentation?

That is an easy question. We, like most companies, are really looking forward to meeting our customers in person. Many customer visits have already been booked and we have a strong team there to support them. This includes our Textile Technologist Yiannis Vasilonikolos, who brings 20 years of dyeing and finishing experience into our team. Baldwin strongly promotes partnership with the suppliers of finishing chemicals to maximize success as the industry transitions from wasteful foulard technology to sustainable non-contact spray. We will be meeting with these partners and together we are working on joint projects with several customers. With a combination of our strong team and these partnerships, our goal is to ensure that our customers leave the show confident to adopt sustainable non-contact finishing technology.

Source:

The interview with Dr Wesley Clements was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing Partner of Textination GmbH

Photo: Kelheim Fibres / Stefan Kiefer
09.06.2022

Kelheim Fibres – Individual Solutions for a Healthy Lifestyle

After a long pandemic-related dry spell, the Techtextil and Texprocess trade fairs, which are expected to attract more than 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries in June 2022, are returning to Frankfurt with forward-looking formats.

Textination spoke to companies about their expectations of the fair, the product portfolio and innovations they will be presenting in Frankfurt in a few days' time.

Dr Marina Crnoja-Cosic kicks off the series. The chemist with a doctorate and many years of experience in fibre and application development has headed the New Business Development department of viscose speciality fibre manufacturer Kelheim Fibres since July 2020, at the same time strengthening its management team.

After a long pandemic-related dry spell, the Techtextil and Texprocess trade fairs, which are expected to attract more than 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries in June 2022, are returning to Frankfurt with forward-looking formats.

Textination spoke to companies about their expectations of the fair, the product portfolio and innovations they will be presenting in Frankfurt in a few days' time.

Dr Marina Crnoja-Cosic kicks off the series. The chemist with a doctorate and many years of experience in fibre and application development has headed the New Business Development department of viscose speciality fibre manufacturer Kelheim Fibres since July 2020, at the same time strengthening its management team.

Dr Marina Crnoja-Cosic, what makes your company special and different - compared to competitors?
Kelheim Fibres is the longest producing viscose fibre manufacturer in the world. The fact that we, as a medium-sized company, are able to compete successfully with much larger companies is due to our strong focus on specialisation. We do not rely on the production of large quantities of standard fibres but use our 85 years of experience and our technological expertise to create special fibres that have very specific functionalities - many of which are tailor-made to customer requirements. This makes us the technology leader in some areas, such as short cut, or the market leader in others, such as tampon fibres.
 
To be successful with special fibres and to remain so in the future, innovation is a central topic for us. We follow the Open Innovation approach and seek close exchange with all partners along the value chain, but also with scientific institutes. This - and also our own compact but effective organisation - ensures efficiency, speed and agility. New ideas are commercialised faster and through the cooperation of all partners we get results that work not only in our heads but in reality, at all stages of processing and with the end customer.

And finally, we produce exclusively in Germany. This means that our fibres are subject to strict German environmental legislation and at the same time contribute to a stable European supply chain.

How do you define Textile Leadership for your company?
For me, leadership is about leading the way, breaking new ground, inspiring others and 'taking them with us'.
Our guiding principle is to be the driving force behind the best individual solutions for a healthy lifestyle while protecting the environment for future generations.
          
This is exactly what we do with our Open Innovation concept: together with our partners, with customers and in networks, we actively search for "unmet needs", unfulfilled consumer needs, and create innovative products that meet these needs. Sustainability is a key focus in this process. Our fibres are made from renewable raw materials and are biodegradable, which puts them right on the pulse of the times. In contrast to purely natural fibres, however, we can specifically functionalise them during the production process. In this way, the consumer receives an environmentally friendly product, but does not have to make any compromises in terms of performance. We already offer a real alternative to petroleum-based products in a variety of different applications - and we are driven to develop further applications in which our fibres can contribute to the benefit of customers and the environment.


Which products/product innovations will you present at the fair?
We have a variety of themes in store: one focus is on wellbeing, a trend that has been gaining more and more fans, and not just since Corona. Textiles should not only protect us from the cold and prying eyes, they should actively increase our well-being. This is what our CELLIANT® Viscose does, for example, the first viscose fibre with an infrared effect sustainably integrated into the fibre. Textiles with CELLIANT® Viscose promote better blood circulation and a better oxygen supply to the cells. This leads to higher performance, faster recovery and better sleep.

The new Zzzleepwear collection from the renowned underwear manufacturer mey makes use of the properties of CELLIANT® Viscose. Incidentally, it is also an example of how the close cooperation of all partners involved accelerates the path from fibre development to the finished end product: There were only a few months between the presentation of the new fibre and the launch of the Zzzleepwear collection.

In addition, we present short-cut fibres that can give papers or wipes the desired properties in a very targeted way. With our short-cut technology we can, for example, produce fibres that provide the necessary strength in tea bags or fibres for flushable wipes, i.e., wipes that can be conveniently disposed of via the toilet without the risk of clogging. In both of these examples, biodegradability is again a key aspect - who wants to drink microplastics in their tea?

Another focus is on hygiene products, and here especially on feminine hygiene. We want to accompany women and respond to their individually different and changing needs. We have been the market leader in the tampon sector for decades. We use the resulting know-how for a whole range of other AHP, i.e., applications that require increased absorbency. Our fibres provide the basis for comfortable and at the same time biodegradable disposable articles. In addition, and in response to the needs of environmentally conscious consumers, we have now developed fibres for reusable hygiene products.

One example of this is our fibres for fully bio-based menstrual underwear. Here we have perfectly matched various speciality fibres to the different layers of period underwear: Fibres that quickly absorb fluid and wick it away from the body are used as well as fibres that absorb large amounts of fluid and do not release it again even under pressure.
 
Another new development follows the same principle, namely the absorbent pad of the reusable Sumo nappy. Like the nappy itself, this insert consists entirely of bio-based materials and is washable.
In addition to putting together the ideal combination of fibres, we have also developed a new nonwoven construction together with the Berlin-based start-up Sumo and the Saxon Textile Research Institute STFI. With its open structure, it gives our speciality fibres enough space to absorb a lot of liquid, but at the same time it provides the necessary stability to survive many washing cycles undamaged. We have, so to speak, transferred nonwovens from the world of single use to the world of reusables, thus opening up new perspectives. In tests, the performance of this absorbent pad surpasses the alternatives - bio-based and synthetic - available on the market.

From Reusable, the logical path leads on to Recycling. We would also like to promote our cooperation with the Swedish textile recycling company Renewcell at Techtextil. We are working together on the large-scale production of high-quality viscose fibres from Renewcell's 100% textile recyclate Circulose®. This makes us a pioneer on the way to a completely closed European loop in which textile waste is turned into new Circulose® fibres.


What goals do you want to achieve with the trade fair presentation?
We want to see how the industry has evolved, what the current and future trends are and how the technical textile sector can respond to the issues of sustainability, circularity and the EU textile strategy - and what contribution our fibres can make to all these issues.

Techtextil is where the entire industry comes together, right across the supply chain. We meet our partners here from both the textile and nonwovens sectors. The scientific landscape is also very well represented. This makes Techtextil an event with a very high level of innovation.

We are specifically looking for partners here who want to follow our path of innovation and commercialisation together with us. And last but not least, we are very much looking forward to meeting our customers, partners, colleagues as well as representatives of science and the press once again in person.

Source:

The interview with Dr Marina Crnoja-Cosic was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing Partner of Textination GmbH

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
07.06.2022

Techtextil and Texprocess 2022: Highlights for international visitors

Techtextil and Texprocess 2022 are planning a strong re-start with future-oriented trade fair formats and over 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries. Highlights, such as the Denim Future Lab, the Performance Textiles in Fashion special show and the Techtextil respectively Texprocess Forum will present the high degree of innovation in the industry and offer a platform for exchange and further development.

Techtextil and Texprocess 2022 are planning a strong re-start with future-oriented trade fair formats and over 1,300 exhibitors from 51 countries. Highlights, such as the Denim Future Lab, the Performance Textiles in Fashion special show and the Techtextil respectively Texprocess Forum will present the high degree of innovation in the industry and offer a platform for exchange and further development.

The first edition of the leading international trade fairs since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic has reached a booking level of over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 51 countries, twelve international country pavilions and numerous joint stand participants. In addition to German exhibitors, companies from Italy, France, Turkey and Spain are most frequently represented. In exhibition halls 8, 9, 11 and 12, diverse and innovative products and processes will be presented to the global trade audience in June. With different formats and special shows, Techtextil and Texprocess offer an ideal setting for face-to-face meetings, encourage discussions and promote further development of the industry.

"We are delighted that Techtextil and Texprocess are finally making it possible for international decision-makers to exchange ideas again. The current situation is characterized by economic and social challenges, from pandemic-related influences to supply bottlenecks and raw material shortages. This makes it all the more important for the industry to come together in one place and find solutions together. We are pleased to be able to offer a platform for new and further developments, for example with the Techtextil and Texprocess Innovation Awards," reports Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Management Technical Textiles & Textile Processing.

Denim Future Lab: The denim production of the future
In hall 8.0, the future of the denim industry will be spotlighted. The Denim Future Lab highlights the industry's innovative approaches and presents advancements along many stages of the denim processing chain. How will denim be produced and processed sustainably? How can luxury denim be customized in the future? Innovative and progressive companies such as Jeanologia, Ugolini, Wiser Tech, Brongo and IEN Industrie S.p.A. will present trends such as eco-bleaching, eco-dyeing, upcycling solutions or individual design and finishing of luxury denim. The Speakers Corner of the Denim Future Lab offers the opportunity to exchange experiences with experts and invites to discussions. With the support of the Transformer Foundation and the exhibitors, topics such as greenwashing, chemicals in the production process as well as cotton and other fibers will be discussed in the Speakers Corner free of charge.

Performance Textiles in Fashion: Experiencing textile end products
At Techtextil, countless innovative textiles for a wide range of industries will be presented. To demonstrate the properties or possible applications, most exhibitors also show end products from the many areas of application, including apparel. The special show "Performance Textiles in Fashion" in hall 9.1 brings functional textiles and fashion to life for visitors. The special show will feature extraordinary and innovative garments.

Techtextil Forum and Texprocess Forum: What moves the industry
On all four days of the fair, the Techtextil Forum in hall 9.1 will offer exciting expert lectures and discussions on a wide range of topics relating to technical textiles and nonwovens. These include talks such as "Circular Economy in the Textile Industry - a Positioning", "Development of 3D-printed composite elements for personal stab protective clothing" or "Transforming Textiles to Testimonies - recycled solutions for architectural membranes". The patron of the Techtextil Forum is once again EURATEX - The European Apparel and Textile Confederation.
 
In the Texprocess Forum in hall 9.0, everything will revolve around current industry topics in the processing of textile and flexible materials. Expert presentations on topics such as Impact 4.0 / Future of Industry 4.0, Quality Management of the Future, Supply Chain Management, Digital Product Development and Sustainability Management are among the topics planned. As in 2019, the Texprocess Forum program will be organized by DTB - Dialog Textil-Bekleidung e.V. and VDMA TFL.

Both forums are free of charge. The presentations will be simultaneously translated DE/EN or EN/DE. Following the Techtextil Forum and Texprocess Forum, the presentations will also be made available "on demand" on the Techtextil and Texprocess Digital Extension platform.

Techtextil Innovation Award and Texprocess Innovation Award
A special highlight is the public presentation of the Techtextil or Texprocess Innovation Awards on 21 June 2022 in hall 9.0. Progressive approaches as well as new and further developments in the field of technical textiles and textile processing will be the focus. Textile innovations selected by an international jury of experts will be awarded and presented on all four days of the trade fair in hall 9.1 (Techtextil) or 9.0 (Texprocess). This is where the future of the textile industry comes together with promising and pioneering innovations.

Sustainability in focus
With Sustainability@Techtextil and Sustainability@Texprocess, visitors can recognize companies with sustainable products and approaches at first glance. Exhibitors who have successfully passed a review by an international independent jury are thus identified at the trade fairs. Techtextil and Texprocess thereby support the sustainable development of the textile industry. Innovative and sustainable fibers, yarns and fabrics as well as progressive processes, new cutting technologies, water-saving dyeing processes and other future-oriented processing technologies are thus highlighted.

Digital Extension: Experience Techtextil and Texprocess on site and digitally
For the first time, visitors can discover Techtextil and Texprocess virtually and benefit from new formats and exchange opportunities. Digital exhibitor profiles, matchmaking offers, 1-to-1 video calls or web sessions complement the on-site visit. Messe Frankfurt formats such as conferences or panel discussions are also digitally extended and can be accessed on demand afterwards. The Digital Extension of Techtextil and Texprocess is available to visitors free of charge from 13 June to 8 July.

The event Techtextil & Texprocess will be held from 21 to 24 June 2022.