La minute de la texturgie n° 53 - June 2023
(créer de nouvelles matières sensibles en combinant textures textiles et hautes technologies)
The gossip of “texturgie”: creating new sensitive matters by combining textile textures and high technologies
Digital tool enabling partners to choose sustainable dye
Today, 90% of clothing is synthetically dyed, but the toxic effects and ecological impact are extremely harmful to humans and the environment. However many alternative dyes from natural sources such as plants, microorganisms, algae and recycled materials are available.
Amsterdam-based Fashion for Good is launching the Dyestuff Library, a digital tool enabling partners to choose sustainable dyes based on competitive performance and environmental metrics for commercial use.
Dyestuff Library; © LindaBulic
Revisiting the work of textile knitting
Yu-Mei Huang is a Taiwanese-born textile artist specialist in knitted structures. Her East Asian heritage and multi-cultural background is reflected within her research practices. Yu-Mei describes the movement created as a metaphor for the movement and transitions within her own life. She applies her skills to applications on the human form and she makes objects through structural explorations.
She created installation and performance for a dancer: the knitted textiles expanded and contracted in relation to the movements of the dancer.
Knitted structures Yu-Mei Huang for Coca-Cola ; Photographer: Poyen Chen
Process removes spandex from polyester apparel
The quality of the recycled product deteriorates when PU elastomer fibers are included. Therefore, it is important to remove PU elastomer fiber from discarded polyester clothing.
Japanese fibre manufacturer Teijin Frontier claims to have developed a new technology capable of removing spandex from used polyester clothing so that it can be recycled more effectively. A new processing agent can be used to remove polyurethane (PU) elastomer fibre during the pre-treatment phase of the chemical recycling process. The same agent also removes chemical contaminants, such as dyes, optimising the polyester decolourisation process.
Recycled polyester material by new method: © Teijin
La minute de la texturgie n° 52 - March 2023
RegioGreenTex will support tangible solutions at SME level
Led by EURATEX, the project brings together 43 partners from 11 European regions, with 24 SMEs pioneering innovative solutions to recycle textile waste. Together the SMEs cover various value chain segments of circular textiles (sorting, recycling from material to fibre, removal of contaminants, processing of recycled fibres to new textile materials).
This instrument focuses on strengthening economic cohesion in the EU by helping businesses work with innovation actors in other regions.
Illustration du procédé utilisé par Recyc'Elit pour recycler le polyester ; © Recyc'Elit
Project tracks wool from sheep to fabric
With increasing cost pressure and competition in the wool fabric market, traceability is becoming a prerequisite to proving authenticity and origin. Swiss traceability solutions provider Haelixa has linked up with Australia's The Woolmark Company (TWC) and Italian wool mill Vitale Barberis Canonico (VBC) to successfully track Australian wool from sheep to final fabric.
In this case, a single DNA has been applied to greasy wool and a second DNA marker to scoured wool. The first DNA identifies the origin of the Australian wool, while the second determines the manufacturer where the wool has been further processed.
Prove product origin and traceability; © Haelixa
The Rise of Regenerative Farming in Fashion
“Sustainable,” “responsibly sourced,” “organic,” and “recycled” are cropping up throughout the fashion industry. These claims respond to growing demand from consumers. “Regenerative farming”—an approach to farming that aims to restore soil health and reduce emissions—is one such claim. Several global brands are highlighting the use of regenerative farming techniques to neutralize the impact of fashion production on the environment.
The notion is that farmers utilize a holistic environmentally friendly approach to sustainable food and fibers in one combination. These fibers can later be used by major brands that are turning towards regenerative fashion for their consumers.
Cotton fields in Texas. Photography by Megan Betteridge, Shutterstock.
La minute de la texturgie n° 51 - January 2023
Toward standardization for e-textiles
As the e-textiles industry continues to grow, it will be essential to have consensus-based international standards to support the industry to ensure reliability of materials and products and best practices used in design and manufacturing. Two IPC task groups are working on standards for conductive yarns and woven, knitted and braided e-textiles. This new standard will also benefit new standards activities focused on embroidered e-textiles.
An individual or organization wishing to participate in the development of standards is invited to join one of the task groups.
Multilayered knit textiles developed by MIT. Photo: MIT
Embroidery as low-cost solution for making wearable electronics
Embroidering power-generating yarns onto fabric allowed researchers to embed a self-powered, numerical touch-pad and movement sensors into clothing.
“You can embroider our yarns onto clothes, and when you move, it generates an electrical signal, and those signals can be used as a sensor,” Rong Yin (NCSU) said. “When we put the embroidery in a shoe, if you are running, it generates a higher voltage than if you were just walking. When we stitched numbers onto fabric, and press them, it generates a different voltage for each number. It could be used as an interface.” The study was published online in Nano Energy.
Flexible, durable, and washable triboelectric yarn and embroidery for
self-powered sensing and human-machine interaction; © NCSU
Cost-effective sea snail purple dye
Also known as Phoenician purple, royal purple, imperial purple, or imperial dye, Tyrian dates back several millennia to the bronze age. Ancient dye producers all but drove the murex species to extinction along the coasts of Phoenicia and across the Mediterranean.
Conagen, based in Bedford, Massachusetts, has successfully scaled up the production of its sustainable, cost-effective Tyrian purple by fermentation. Fermentation and bioconversion technologies enable to offer true-to-nature products. By leveraging bioengineering and commercial manufacturing capabilities, Conagen is unlocking Tyrian purple’s great potential as an accessible and sustainable dye.
Bolinus brandaris purple dye murex snail; © Wikimedia Commons
La minute de la texturgie n° 50 - November 2022
New surface textiles for the built environment
Applications include single piece stretch fabrics that simulate solid structures, walls and ceilings, enabling digitally printed designs or plain textiles to fabricate spatial areas.
Arkutex © CMYUK products bestow a premium feel to a locality. They add value to interior spaces too, by incorporating features including backlit walls and panels, while additional elements such as acoustic grade sound management, lighting, H-VAC, and telecoms systems can be safely and easily integrated.
Wolverhampton Wanders - Digital Imaging Service (DIS) UFabrik Eco Backlit. © CMYUK
New hyper viscoelastic fibre with high strain-rate sensitive properties
Rheon Labs (based in Battersea, London) has completed an extensive six-month project with Fibre Extrusion Technology (FET) to further develop Rheon – a reactive polymer that dynamically stiffens when subjected to force.
Creating a fibre with unique strain-rate sensitive characteristics could be as radical a change in the market as the initial introduction of stretch fibre with the launch of Lycra. The textiles would have a multitude of beneficial properties and provide significantly less compression in the garment than conventional materials, substantially improving user comfort, support and performance.
FET/Rheon Labs: Success completion of collaboration trials
Dornbirn-GFC 2022: creating a sustainable fibre industry
The case for monomaterial garments and designing for recycling as the only way to effectively combat fast fashion is becoming stronger all the time.
A conference session focused on the existing and upcoming recycling technologies for fibres, with speakers from Erema, Gneuss and Rieter, underlined the difficulties of dealing with mixed fibre textile waste, as well as highlighting the future shortage of recycled PET polyester for textile manufacturing, as PET bottle companies absorb existing capacities.
Fibres designed for recycling, sustainable fabrics; © moject.de
La minute de la texturgie n° 49 - September 2022
When is a material a textile? When is a textile a fabric?
The unprecedented scope of new materials in development—by academia, government-funded technology groups and start-ups—is challenging traditional concepts of fabric formation.
E-textiles are progressing from “devices” mounted on a fabric structure, to semiconductors that are fully integrated into fibers. Sustainability is driving a wave of bio-based “grown” textiles, advances in paper-like nonwovens that biodegrade, and wearable films and synthetic skins. Inventive software is helping to create 3D-printed textiles, new architectural materials and “digital textiles”.
All fabrics are textiles, but it may be said that not all textiles are fabrics. Some, however, have the potential to change the textile industry as we know it. New materials are challenging our traditional concepts!
The MINIMA MAXIMA installation in Kazakhstan by Marc Fornes. Photo: THEVERYMANY Studio
70% of textile waste could be fibre-to-fibre recycled
One of the most sustainable and scalable levers available is fibre-to-fibre recycling – turning textile waste into new fibres that are then used to create new clothes or other textile products. This space is characterised by fast-paced innovation and a race toward scale. Once fully mature, McKinsey estimates indicate that 70% of textile waste could be fibre-to-fibre recycled.
The identified bottlenecks preventing scale are significant and will require several stakeholders to act boldly. Textile recycling in Europe will not reach a favorable state by 2030 unless major action is taken quickly.
Textiles for Automotive Applications Using Recycled Fibres; © Fibre2Fashion
Plan Bee to manufacture biomaterials
Researchers in New Zealand have found a species of solitary bee that doesn’t make honey but produces a remarkable bioplastic to waterproof their nests and protect their larvae from the environment.
Using the bee’s genetic blueprint, Humble Bee Bio is developing a method to manufacture this material sustainably, and at scale using microbes. Humble Bee Bio has extracted the code and is trying to re-create it in the laboratory. Next, the company will attempt to synthesize plastic-like materials, focusing on four different types of biomaterials that can be turned into fibers and finishing for fabrics.
The Hylaeus bee, also known as the Australian masked bee. Photo: Humble Bee
La minute de la texturgie n° 48 - June 2022
A major step forward in the development of sensitive electronic skin
Electronic skin anticipates and perceives touch from different directions for the first time. A German research team has explored a new avenue to develop extremely sensitive and direction-dependent 3D magnetic field sensors that can be integrated into an active matrix e-skin system.
The research team (Chemnitz University of Technology) has succeeded in integrating the 3D magnetic field sensors with magnetically rooted fine hairs into an artificial e-skin made of an elastomeric material into which the electronics and sensors are embedded – similar to organic skin, which is interlaced with nerves.
Highly integrated flexible microelectronic 3D; © Oliver G. Schmidt Research Group
AI-fooling poncho to confuse CCTV facial recognition algorithms
Since it was first developed in the mid 20th century, CCTV (closed-circuit television) has become a ubiquitous sight in towns and cities across the globe. However, these days modern CCTV doesn’t just record video footage, it also uses artificial intelligence with human detection and facial recognition algorithms to track our behavior and our emotions.
To protect people against this increased surveillance, German design studio Werteloberfell has collaborated with a team of technical partners to create apparel that messes with AI algorithms. The team’s first prototype takes shape as a glowing poncho called ‘ignotum’, which is latin for ‘the unknown’.
Prototype poncho Ignotum; Photo © WertelOberfell
A new future for coarse wool drafted around a performance filament
According to the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) it is estimated that anywhere from 40-50% of the global wool yield is such coarse wool. With TMC’s new technology, these coarse long wool fibres are drafted around a performance filament, creating an extremely fine yarn.
Herculan process opens the door for wool to be used in high abrasion and high impact zones in apparel such as socks, footwear, gloves, pants, outerwear, and many other potential applications. It’sone of the first products in the world to combine better performance benefits of wool with durability and sustainability for the apparel market.
New Zealand wool; Photo © TMC Ltd
La minute de la texturgie n° 47 - March 2022
Overcoming the limitations of smart fabrics with a manufacturing approach
An international team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge have produced a fully woven smart textile display that integrates active electronic, sensing, energy and photonic functions.This is the first time that a scalable large-area complex system has been integrated into textiles using an entirely fibre-based manufacturing approach.
The resulting fabric can operate as a display, monitor various inputs, or store energy for later use. It can also be rolled up, and because it’s made using commercial textile manufacturing techniques, large rolls of functional fabric could be made this way.
Smart sensors, energy harvesting and storage are integrated directly into
the fabric of the 46-inch woven display. © University of Cambridge
An increasing demand for clothing with a sustainable look
As in every season, the colors our customers choose for their patterns depend largely on their target markets. Nevertheless, as in all areas of the industry, a natural look is required. Fabrics should look as natural as possible. The color scheme plays an important role in this. Beige, white and cream in particular indicate minimal use of dyes and, therefore, give the impression of an environmentally conscious garment.
Yarn selection is of vital importance for the future of the lingerie industry.
© Neil Thorpe Lace Design & Draughting 2022
Cellulose fiber innovation of the year
The carbon fibres are obtained from the raw material wood in a novel and sustainable process designed by DITF. The HighPerCellCarbon® process involves the wet spinning of cellulose fibers using ionic liquids (IL) as direct solvents. The filament spinning process is the central technical part and it takes place in an environmentally friendly and closed system. The solvent (IL) is completely recycled. The cellulose fibers produced in this way are converted directly into carbon fibers in a further development step by a low-pressure stabilization process, followed by a suitable carbonization process. No waste gases or toxic by-products are produced during the entire process sequence.
HighPerCell and HighPerCellCarbon filaments derived from industrial wood pulp. Photo courtesy of DITF
La minute de la texturgie n° 46 - January 2022
Rental, resale, repair and remaking clothes already represent a $73 billion market
Circular business models such as rental, resale, repair and remaking already represent a $73 billion market and are expected to continue growing as customers become increasingly motivated by affordability, convenience and environmental awareness, according to new research from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Currently, however, these models do not always lead to environmental benefits for the fashion industry, particularly if they are seen purely as ‘add-ons’ to a traditional wasteful model as opposed to central to all business activities.
Clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2015, while the time we use clothes fell by more than a third.
Circular economy for the fashion industry; © Minilatam.com
Biolumen Lab: materalising data and science
Biolumen Lab is a classroom—an inflatable, cell-based one at that—for secondary school students to experience a week of science-based learning, generating curiosity and promoting science as a potential career path. This is done through extracting and sequencing DNA from plant and fungi. The resulting strings of numbers and letters are then used to control the light and sound environment of the Biolumen lab at the end of the week-long experience.
The structure, built by Canvasland of Levin, New Zealand, uses pad eyes strategically placed to create random bulbous sections on the inflatable to represent the cell.
Biolumen Lab Project; © Ant Nevin
Tapis Magique: a choreomusical interactive carpet
Tapis Magique is a pressure-sensitive, knitted electronic textile carpet that generates three-dimensional sensor data based on body postures and gestures and drives an immersive sonic environment in real-time. It unveils dancers' creative, unconventional possibilities of agency, intimacy, and improvisation over the music through a textile interface. It provides a canvas for dancers and sound artists to modulate sound, perform and compose a musical piece based on choreography and vice versa.
The knitted conductive lines are connected to a system hardware consisting of multiplexers, shift-registers, operational amplifiers, and microcontroller that sequentially reads each pressure sensing pixel and sends it to a computer.