Textile Technology section
Myant: first commercial scale run of devices for Skiin
The textile computing company Myant Inc., Toronto/Canada, has partnered with URtech Manufacturing Inc., Toronto, provider of electronics manufacturing services, to produce the first commercial scale run of electronic components for Skiin, Myant’s textile-based solution for connecting people to care. By partnering with another Toronto-based company, Myant is creating a local ecosystem to accelerate innovation in textile. Manufacturing of the first production run of 15,000 Skiin Pods has commenced at URtech’s facility.
Textile computing involves the integration of electronics within textiles, creating new ways for people to interface with the digital world. Commercial scale applications of textile computing, such as the clothes made by Skiin that can measure wellbeing, are made possible only through collaboration between designers, engineers, textile specialists, electronics manufacturers, health practitioners, and other experts. Even in the rare instances when such expertise is available within the same organization, the teams and the infrastructure needed to support their work are typically disconnected and scattered across the globe, making rapid iteration and innovation practically impossible.
Myant has worked over the past decade to develop the end-to-end capability to innovate in textile computing. URtech brings a long track record of reliable EMS and OEM manufacturing experience. Both Myant and URtech are ISO 13485 certified for the manufacturing of medical devices.
Conscious Fashion Campaign: virtual hub for SDGs
A virtual hub to accelerate climate action and ambition from the global fashion industry convened by the Conscious Fashion Campaign in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Office for Partnerships, will take place from April 1-30, 2021. Discover the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – To Make Peace With Nature, is a virtual educational experience which will feature informational tools and resources from United Nations agencies, environmental organizations and fashion initiatives confronting the global climate crisis. The experience aims to support the Race to Zero campaign and rally the fashion industry for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. The on-line event will advocate for climate‑positive actions including climate risks in all decisions and working together with a common purpose.
Attendees will be able to access on-demand content showcasing documentaries, podcasts, and short films, learn about innovations and sustainable solutions to accelerate climate action and save and download documents, reports, and information, on demand at any time during the 30 days.
Discover the SDGs will focus on SDG 13: Climate Action and the UN Secretary General’s 2021 priority to make peace with nature. As the fashion industry embarks on its recovery from Covid-19, it is crucial that systematic change is prioritized across the value chain.
For further information: www.discoverthesdgs.com
Gregory: transparency in life cycle assessment
Sustainability does not have to take second place to functionality. For the backpack specialist Gregory Mountain Products, Salt Lake City, UT/USA, a data-based life cycle analysis (LCA) of the outdoor backpacks is the guideline for the entire production process.
A specially developed life cycle assessment tool measures the impact of the backpacks on the environment along the entire path from development to disposal. With the new Katmia & Kalmia trekking backpacks and the equally functional Resin daypack, the first 2 series were designed based on these analysis results. Made predominantly from recycled materials, their footprint is up to 58% lower than production with conventional polyamide.
Software developed in cooperation with Thinkstep, Stuttgart/Germany (now Sphera Solutions, Leinfelden-Echterdingen/Germany) analyses the LCA of the backpacks holistically and starts at the product development stage.
This takes into account the manufacture of the raw materials, refinement, production and transport, as well as use and end-of-life of the products. The software enables products to be evaluated and intelligent design decisions to be made which reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible.
In addition to the carbon footprint, 5 other parameters are taken into account in the calculation: Acidification (negative impact on soil, forest and water), water pollution, ozone formation, primary energy demand (energy extracted from the earth) and blue water consumption (net intake and release from production to end of life of the product).
Ralph Lauren: zero wastewater cotton dyeing system
The water used for fabric dyeing alone is pollution about 20% of the world’s wastewater. Delivering the world’s first scalable zero wastewater cotton dyeing system, Ralph Lauren Corp., New York, NY/USA, has established Color on Demand, a multi-phased system.
Designed to help address water scarcity and pollution caused by cotton dyeing, Color on Demand is a new system composed of a set of technologies that will enable the recycling and reuse of all water from the dyeing process, establishing the world’s first scalable zero wastewater cotton dyeing system. In addition to significant water savings, this system reduces the amount of chemicals, dye, time and energy used in the cotton dyeing process. This will enable significantly shorter lead times for making product color decisions.
To implement this approach, Ralph Lauren brought together 4 leading innovators in their respective fields, including Dow Chemical Co. Midland, MI/USA, a leader in materials science; Jeanologia, Paterna/Spain, a leader in sustainable solutions for garment and fabric finishing, with high expertise in garment dyeing and close loop water treatment systems; Huntsman Textile Effects, Singapore, a global chemicals company specializing in textile dyes and chemicals; and Corob SpA, San Felice/Italy, a global technology leader in dispensing and mixing solutions, to reimagine each stage of the coloring process and join this shared mission to create a more sustainable and efficient system for cotton dyeing.
As part of the first phase of Color on Demand, Ralph Lauren optimized the use of Ecofast Pure Sustainable Textile Treatment, a pre-treatment solution developed by Dow for cotton textiles. When used with existing dyeing equipment, Ecofast Pure enables the use of up to 40% less water, 85% fewer chemicals, 90% less energy and a 60% reduction in carbon footprint compared to traditional cotton dyeing processes. Ralph Lauren is integrating this process into its supply chain and will launch product using this technology later this year.
Assyst: Hans-Peter Hiemer new managing director
In the course of a general reorganization of the Human Solutions Group, Kaiserslautern/Germany, which also included the software developer Assyst GmbH, Aschheim/Germany, Dr. Andreas Seidl, the Group’s CEO, is withdrawing from the operational business. He will continue to be available to Assyst in an advisory capacity. Hans-Peter Hiemer is the new Managing Director of Assyst.
The process of greater independence for the individual companies of the Human Solutions Group, which was already initiated in 2018, is moving into the next phase: Human Solutions and Avalution have been acquired by Humanetics Group, Farmington Hills, MI/USA. Assyst is not affected by the acquisition.
Hiemer has known the apparel industry for around 30 years. As a consultant and manager, he has already worked for companies such as s.Oliver, the CBR Fashion Group, Orsay, Klingel, Zalando/Z-labels and Beeline. In recent months, he has supported Assyst's management in setting up an on-site administration.
Research and Markets: Covid-19 impact and recovery of textile industry
The global textile market is expected to grow from $595 billion in 2020 to $655 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10. 1%. The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the Covid-19 impact. The market is expected to reach $822 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6%.
Asia Pacific was the largest region in the global textile market, accounting for 51% of the market in 2020. Western Europe was the 2nd largest region accounting for 17% of the global textile market. Africa was the smallest region in the global textile market.
Advancements in wireless technologies and rising demand for connectivity is driving the demand for smart textiles. Smart textiles are fabrics capable of interacting with their environment. They have the ability to react to physical stimuli such as thermal, mechanical, electrical and chemical sources. Sensors, actuators and fabrics are the major components of smart textiles. The materials used in smart textiles include optical fibers, metals and conductive polymers. They are widely used in fashion, entertainment, medical, transportation, sports and fitness and military.
This analysis Textile Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030 has been published by Research and Markets Ltd., Dublin/Ireland.
Covestro: production of CO₂-based surfactants
Washing with CO₂ technology could be a major milestone on the road to the Circular Economy. The specialty chemicals producer Covestro AG, Leverkusen/Germany, came another step forward in the ongoing development of its innovation on this front: As part of the "DreamResourceConti" project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Berlin, the production of CO₂-based surfactants and how they can be used to produce sustainable detergents and cleaning agents is examined.
Together with its academic partners RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, and the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), both Germany, Covestro has now succeeded in replacing part of the ethylene oxide (EO) from petroleum needed for production with carbon dioxide, making surfactant materials much more sustainable.
In the future, up to 25% of the conventional ethylene oxide could be replaced by CO2. In addition, initial tests have shown that the novel CO2-based material can be used in standard formulations for detergents with comparable primary washing performance. In the further course of the project, a detailed characterization of the new materials by the TU Berlin will provide further insights into potential fields of application so that CO2 can be optimally utilized as a raw material.
ZKS: climate neutral yarn
Avoiding, reducing and, if there is no other way, offsetting the emission of climate-damaging CO2. With this approach, Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH (ZKS), Zwickau/Germany, a company of Peppermint Holding GmbH, Berlin/Germany, offers a complete service for a completely climate-neutral yarn.
For each customer, the exact carbon footprint of the yarn delivered to them can also be calculated: along the entire supply chain starting from the raw material.
The goal is to constantly reduce and avoid the environmental impact of products, raw materials, production processes and logistics. Therefore, bio-based, biodegradable and recycled raw materials are increasingly used. This should lead to CO2-neutral supply chains.
If technical limits are reached, the unavoidable emissions are offset in order to offer a climate-neutral product.
Andritz: new neeldepunch line for island-in-the-sea fibers to China
Mainly for the production of synthetic leather products the international technology Group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, will supply 4 new needlepunch lines to Chongqing Double Elephant Microfiber Material Co., Ltd., Chongqing/China. These lines are designed to process islands-in-the-sea fibers and are scheduled for installation and start-up in the 4th quarter of 2021. Once completed, the lines will produce 30 million m/year of microfiber nonwoven materials.
The production lines are equipped with an Andritz carding machine and the newly developed Profile crosslapper as well as the advanced-technology ProWid closed-loop system from Andritz. The system can monitor the weight uniformity (CV%) of the entire product online and predict the weight distribution changes caused by the bonding process. In addition, the web weight can be reduced by controlled stretching, which solves the issue of fiber accumulation at the edges caused by traditional crosslapping methods. Both the weight and the uniformity of the product can be automatically adjusted via the closed-loop function.
Tecnon OrbiChem: higher demand for cellulosic fibers in nonwovens
The cellulosic fibers market in early 2020 was seen as very buoyant although overall growth rates were not more than 2.5% in 2019. Now, in the light of Covid-19, the picture has changed. On a world basis, most synthetic fibers showed a reduction in demand in 2020. According to major cellulosics producer Sateri, Shanghai/China, a decline in demand for viscose textile fibers has been seen in the last year albeit compensated by a swing to the demand for, and production of, nonwovens. Even before this, in the period 2014-2019, there was healthy, double digit demand growth for cellulosic fibers into nonwovens.
Negative factors for demand for synthetic fibers include higher crude oil prices and higher freight costs worldwide. There is a more difficult climate too for expensive, high quality materials as consumers look to reduce costs post-corona. This gives synthetic fibers such as polyester, with comparatively low production costs, some advantage.
Following the report last year by market research organization Tecnon OrbiChem, London/UK, on cellulosic fibers based on the International Conference on Cellulose Fibres in February 2020, hosted by nova-Institute GmbH, Hürth/Germany, an outlook for cellulosic fibers developed in the past year based on reports at this year’s conference has been done.