Textile Technology section
Fraunhofer: coating textiles sustainably with chitosan
Textiles can be coated with the biopolymer chitosan and thus made water-repellent by binding hydrophobic molecules. This can also replace toxic and petroleum-based substances that are currently used for textile finishing. The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Stuttgart/Germany, and partners in the HydroFichi (Hydrophobic Finishing with Chitosan) project have researched how this can be done: A technology has been developed to provide fibers with the desired properties using biotechnological processes and chitosan.
Researchers have developed a way of producing chitosan from waste streams and using the biopolymer not only as a sizing agent in the processing of yarns, but also for the functionalization of textiles in the finishing process.
Chitosan is a renewable raw material that is derived from chitin; after cellulose, it is the second most common naturally occurring biopolymer. The properties of chitosan can be individually adapted by choosing the appropriate conditions. In sizing, for example, the effectiveness was shown in the significantly lower roughness of the yarns after weaving textile fabrics. In addition to simple coating with chitosan, which protects the fibers, the substance could be used as an anchor molecule to create cross-linking points for a wide variety of functional groups and thus to provide textiles with specific properties such as making them water-repellent. Chitosan can therefore function as a matrix material or template at the same time, and this can be done with a wide variety of fiber materials.
The values achieved with chitosan from insects were comparable to those from commercial crab shells. In the future, this fact will enable completely new possibilities of extraction in line with the bio-economy.
Martinelli Ginetto: merger with Manifattura Satta e Bottelli
The 100th birthday of the historic textile finishing company Manifattura Satta e Bottelli SpA (Satta), Nerviano/Italy, coincides with the merger with Martinelli Ginetto Group, Casnigo/Italy a world leader in the manufacture of yarns and fabrics for household linen and textile home decor.
With the acquisition of Satta, the Martinelli Group further strengthens its presence in the production chain by building on its European leadership in the textile finishing segment that is increasingly based on sustainability, innovation, and quality.
This relaunches Satta and projects it into a future that looks at modernizing production and upskilling its workforce, solidifying know-how built up in 100 years of activity.
This extensive experience, coupled with dyeing and process know-how, and a large fleet of machines suitable for ennobling wide-width textiles, is an important asset that allows for several innovative processes, such as the brand-new antibacterial and antiviral treatments.
Over time, the company has also invested in the update and expansion of a wastewater treatment plant, as a stepping stone for new projects related to sustainability.
With 130 employees, the Nerviano plant produces about 80 million m²/year of cotton, linen, and blended fabrics for third parties, intended for a wide variety of items, from percales to smooth satins and jacquards, quilts, and technical fabrics.
Hohenstein: 75th anniversary
Textile testing and research partner the Hohenstein Institutes, Bönnigheim/Germany, marks its 75th anniversary in 2021.
When Prof. Otto Mecheels laid the foundation for an internationally-renowned company in 1946 when he founded the Hohenstein Institutes, a textile school in Hohenstein Castle. His son, Prof. Jürgen Mecheels modernized the family business structures and expanded into new research and service areas such as textile finishing or professional laundries/dry cleaning. He helped to forever change textile safety with the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification system that protects consumers from harmful substances.
Since taking over in the 3rd generation in 1995, Prof. Stefan Mecheels has shown Hohenstein to the forefront of microfiber analysis, consistently developed its created standards for comfort and compression testing and worked to reduce the industry’s ecological impact. The testing laboratory in Hong Kong/China, which has been in operation since 2011, and the Hohenstein textile testing laboratories in Bangladesh and India, which were opened in 2018, ensure even greater market proximity.
Today, Hohenstein specializes in the testing, certification and research of all kinds of textile-related products. With a total of more than 1,000 employees at its headquarters in Bönnigheim and in more than 40 branches, contact offices and laboratories worldwide, the company faces the current challenges of the global industry. These include sustainability, digitalization of processes in the development of apparel and also the development, for example, a quality label for Tested Community Masks.