Textile Technology section


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Fashion for Good: Full Circle Textiles Project aims at textile recycling

Textile recycling is a key focus for the platform Fashion for Good, Amsterdam/Netherlands, as a crucial lever in driving the fashion industry towards closed loop production. A systemic change towards circularity will ultimately reduce the environmental impact of textile waste and potentially eliminate the dependence on virgin materials entirely. As much as 73% of clothing produced is sent to landfill or is incinerated, and of all new clothing made, less than 1% of material used comes from recycled sources.
On September 10, 2020 Fashion for Good initiated "Full Circle Textiles Project: Scaling Innovations in Cellulosic Recycling" – a first-of-its-kind consortium project.
Focusing on cellulosic fibers, this project aims to validate and eventually scale promising technologies in chemical recycling from a select group of innovators to tackle these issues. Leading global organizations Laudes Foundation (Zug/Switzerland), Birla Cellulose (Mumbai/India), Kering (Paris/France), PVH Corp. (New York/USA) and Target (Minneapolis/USA) have joined Fashion for Good to explore the disruptive solutions with the goal of creating new fibers and garments from used clothing.
The project’s overall aim is to investigate economically viable and scalable solutions for cellulosic chemical recycling to enable a closed loop system converting textile waste from cotton and cotton-blend materials, to produce new man-made cellulosic fibers.
Over an 18-month period, project partners will collaborate with innovators, Evrnu (Seattle/USA), Infinited Fiber Company (Espoo/Finnland), Phoenxt (Berlin/Germany), Renewcell (Stockholm/Sweden) and Tyton BioSciences (Danville/USA), to validate the potential of their technologies in this still nascent market. The recycled content produced by 4 of these innovators will be converted at Birla Cellulose’s state-of-the-art pilot plants to produce high quality cellulosic fibers. From there, fibers will move through the project partners supply chains to be manufactured into garments.

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Monforts: new Montex finishing line for Acafintex

One of the highest capacity stenters from the manufacturer of textile machinery A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, Mönchengladbach/Germany, has been delivered to Finos Acabados Textiles, S.A. De CV (Acafintex), Puebla/Mexico. The newly installed Montex finishing line for plant in Puebla has a total length of over 71 m.
With a width of 3.8 m, the new line is equipped with 12 double TwinAir drying chambers to meet the requirements of specific technical textiles to a European customer. The line is equipped with an integrated heat recovery system and also benefits from an exhaust air cleaning system to ensure the most resource-efficient processing available on the market.
With Optiscan Auto-Balance, the distance between the fabric and the dryer nozzles can be controlled through variable-frequency fan motors and CCD chip evaluation. As a result, the evaporation rate of the stenter and its energy utilization are always fully optimized. Contact-free drying eliminates the possibility of fabric marking or stitch draft.
In combination with an existing Montex stenter, the new line has expanded finishing capacity at Acafintex to 20 million lm/year.
Acafintex operates as a commission dyehouse, finishing both knitted and woven fabrics for local companies in Mexico, in widths of 100-360 cm. The company also produces its own fabrics for both the fashion industry and for the uniforms market. The business of finishing materials for technical textiles and for the automotive industry is increasing.

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Weber Ultrasonics: less operation costs in textile production

Textile treatment becomes more cost-efficient, more sustainable and it can also save resources with the new solution, developed jointly by the provider of ultrasonic technolgy Weber Ultrasonic AG, Karlsbad/Germany, and the manufacturer of machinery for textile finishing Geratex Machinery Pvt. Ltd., Vadodara/India. This innovation uses the specific characteristics that ultrasound displays in a liquid bath.
The physical phenomenon of cavitation plays an important role here, with the energy it produces increasing the absorption capacity of the various materials. Compared with conventional washing and finishing methods, the auxiliary chemicals used for desizing, bleaching, dyeing, mercerization and soaking are therefore more intensely and evenly applied to fabrics and, most importantly, penetrate more deeply. Also, in contrast with traditional textile treatment that does not use ultrasound, this method reduces the volume of chemicals needed by an average of 30%.
Thanks to the adjusted cavitation energy, textiles can also be treated at significantly lower temperatures – at just 60°C instead of the normal 90-95°C. The resulting energy savings are up to 50%.
The innovative ultrasonic solution comprises a transducer to ensure the gentle, consistent treatment of fabric. The fully digital Sonopower 3S ultrasound generator has been adapted for this. Equipped with a number of special technologies and a cutting-edge 32-bit processor, it is able to carry out configurations automatically, monitor them continuously and keep them constant throughout.

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Loepfe: WeftMaster SFB increases weaving productivity

Nowadays productivity and maximizing return on investment is important worldwide. The textile quality control provider Loepfe Brothers Ltd., Wetzikon/Switzerland, has launched the new WeftMaster SFB. It represents the first of several planned technology products aimed at maximizing productivity in weaving mills.
The WeftMaster SFB weft thread brake has now been upgraded with new electronics to control up to 4 brakes. Designed for fitting to projectile and rapier looms, it controls the tension for all yarn types and thus minimizes weft thread breaks. Braking start is optimized through precise projectile detection allowing increased loom speeds and promoting higher output.
The WeftMaster SFB brakes also feature reduced yarn abrasion and higher wear resistance.


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More information: Loepfe weaving solutions

Heat-MX: further insulations in compliance with Clean Recycling Initiative

To make all of its product categories fully in compliance with the Clean Recycling Initiative, the supplier of thermal insulation products, Heat-MX Worldwide, Laval/Canada, has completed a major upgrade project. The products comply to the initiative in thermal insulation material technology and can be cleanly recycled without any use of chemicals.
As a result, the company’s product categories Compact MX, iDown and nDown are now in line with the other product categories, i.e. Loft MX, Stretch MX and Vegan Down MX, which have always complied with this important environmental program.
Heat-MX is a brand of innovative thermal insulation material offering a wide range of products based on performance and application needs of such consumer products as apparel, footwear, sleeping bags and home textiles.
nDown is patent-pending technology which matches or even exceeds the performance of natural down feather material without using any animal-based ingredients. The technology can be easily adopted for a wide range of products using down feather material, e.g. apparel, sleeping bags, home furnishing textiles.
iDown is a patent-pending technology which also provides many performance benefits for a wide range of products using down feather material.


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More information: Heat-Mx

Manufy: European sourcing platform for apparel industry

Due to the global corona pandemic, uncertainty is rising concerning if and when trade fairs will take place again. For this reason, European apparel manufacturers are searching for online possibilities.
The start-up company Manufy, Amsterdam/Netherlands, an online platform for sustainable fashion sourcing, was launched in 2019 after a group of Dutch entrepreneurs saw that there was a lack of representation of European manufacturers on online marketplaces.
Manufy aims to connect European buyers, manufactures and freelancers in an efficient, transparent and – most importantly – sustainable way. By doing this, the company hopes to strengthen the European textile and apparel industry and create more support for local sourcing. It sees a sharp rise in the number of manufacturers.
The platform is open only for European manufacturers. To gain access, manufacturers must have sustainability certifications and pass screening by the Manufy team.


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More information: Manufy online

RadiciGroup: focus on sustainability with set up of a non-profit consortium

The manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Gandino/Italy, has announced the founding of Radici InNova, a non-profit consortium. The new company’s main object is the development of new research and innovation projects for the chemical, high performance polymers and advanced textile solutions sectors, in accordance with the Radici Group sustainability strategy.
Radici InNova renews and strengthens RadiciGroup’s commitment to a development model that balances economic profitability with environmental sustainability and social equity.
By leveraging international competencies and targeted relationships with 3rd parties, Radici InNova will manage and coordinate all the Group’s strategically essential research activities, with the objective of strengthening the role of innovation as a driver for RadiciGroup development. Furthermore the new company will actively foster the continual improvement of products and processes, while optimizing the use of resources and lowering the environmental impact of its activities.


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More information: RadiciGroup

Zünd: automated textile cutting for efficient workflows

Consumers enjoy the affordability of tailor-made clothing and custom-made upholstered furniture. With more design and configuration options available, manufacturers are streamlining their production processes through automation and increased flexibility. With MindCut Studio, the producer of flatbed cutters Zünd Systemtechnik AG, Altstätten/Switzerland, offers a modular software solution that largely automates digital textile cutting – from capturing materials, to creating production markers, and facilitating parts removal – in a well-designed, thoroughly integrated, comprehensive digital workflow.
In the first step of the process, a camera system captures the material, its exact position and dimensions. It makes no difference whether the fabric is patterned, plain, or digitally printed. For printed textile applications, an Over-Cutter Camera (OCC) system captures all registration marks simultaneously. In case there are no register marks, the OCC can alternatively record the position of images based on printed outlines. If no cut data is available, there is an option to generate it automatically in MindCut Studio. Material defects can be marked in advance to avoid being noticed only after cutting.
The system can also automatically recognize patterns and any distortions that may have occurred. When compensating for distortions, the dimensional accuracy of the parts and their exact placement on patterned fabric are precisely maintained. The software also provides pattern-matching options, regardless of whether the textile has a stripe pattern or is plaid.


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More information: Zünd Software

FibrXL: bio-based high-performance fiber

To create a more sustainable future in the technical textile industry and to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within 10 years, the supplier of fibers FibrXL Almere/Netherlands, has introduced the first bio-based ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber, a bio-based Dyneema fiber manufactured by DSM Protective Materials LLC, Greenville, NC/USA, as of October 2020.
For the production of the new bio-based UHMWPE Dyneema fiber, a by-product from the wood pulp industry is used as a sustainable resource to produce renewable ethylene feedstock. Based on the mass balance approach, the bio-based fiber is manufactured in such a way that the final product is identical to the fossil-based yarn. Bio-based Dyneema fiber will help customers further reduce their carbon footprint while continuing to rely on the same established performance.
In August 2020, FibrXL organized a hackathon that marked the start of their ambitious approach towards a brighter and greener future called Project Helix. Together with industry partners covering the complete value chain from yarn spinners, manufacturers, logistic partners, recycling companies and related authorities they shared experiences, insights and visions to jointly shape the future conditions to stay successful in business.


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More information: FibrXL bio-based

Stoll: collaboration with meepl for combining sustainability with personalization

The retail technology company meepl ⎜ Fision AG, Zurich/Switzerland, and the manufacturer of flat knitting machines Stoll, a business unit of the Karl Mayer Group, Obertshausen/Germany, have partnered to offer made-to-measure knitwear for the fashion industry on a global scale.
This collaboration will be a first for the knitwear fashion market – combining sustainability with personalization. Coupling meepl’s 3D body scanning app with Stoll’s “knit and wear” innovative technology will provide a customer-centric solution to tailor-made clothing production. It will allow knitwear to be customized on an automated and scalable level, using meepl’s highly accurate measurements fed straight into the “knitelligence” software controlling Stoll’s machines.
meepl’s smartphone-enabled 3D body scanning technology uses body reconstruction algorithms to produce an almost 100% accurate body image from just 2 pictures, instantly obtaining up to 100 measurements of the body. With this body scanning technology the consumer’s personal body measurements can easily be connected to the knitelligence platform. The platform automatically adjusts the knitting pattern based on the body measurements being provided making it possible to knit tailored garments in a very short time without any manual intervention.
The partnership will offer a benefit for the end-user in terms of both accuracy of sizing and quality of fit, leading to a level of automatic customization of knitwear which can be scaled to a high level.
Over the last few years, there has been a notable global increase in demand for knitwear products, with a recent report recognizing knitwear as a major segment of the fashion industry.



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More information: Stoll Sustainability