Aim of the project was to tackle the current textile waste problem with investigating chemical fibre-to-fibre recycling. In the recycling process, used textiles are chemically converted into new virgin-equivalent quality fibres, which then can be used in new yarns and textiles. The process enables a circular material resource.
A starting point is a classic white T-shirt made from 100% hemp. Hemp fibres are strong and durable, and the environmental impacts of the hemp are lower compared to cotton and polyester. At the end of its life, the material is shred, dissolved and spun into new Ioncell® fibres with using an environmentally friendly solvent called ionic liquid. The new fibres are fine and lustrous, with excellent textile fibre properties.
The research project was done in spring 2020 with Ioncell®-research team at Aalto University.