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Investigation of the physical properties of the recycled fiber and yarn towards a sustainable system

The increasing area of interest in the use of recycled fiber, yarn, and fabric by the textile, apparel, fashion, and retail industries is driven by the need for development of sustainable system.  In the past, focus has been laid on textile fabrics made from the virgin yarn only but recently the recycle of textile waste has been the center of focus due to the enormous economic and environmental benefits[1-5].

Mosharraf Group producing recycled yarn.
Figure 1: Mosharaf Group producing recycled yarn.

Challenges

Despite numerous research on the use of recycled fibers, the recycling of fabrics waste is not a popular one and lacks in appropriate knowledge on the information such as the quality of recycled fiber and yarn.

Objectives and scope of the work

  • Conduct a literature study on the fabric waste and identify the different types of waste
  • Prepare fiber from the fabric scrap through the opening mechanism (Using shredding machine)
  • Investigate the physical properties of recycled yarn such as strength, fineness, maturity ratio, elongation, uniformity etc.
  • Measure yarn twist (TPI), thickness and thin place (uniformity), count strength Product etc.
  • Conduct an economical and system reliability analysis to quantify the monetary profit as well as the environmental benefits.

We propose to investigate the physical properties of the recycled fiber and yarn towards development of a sustainable system that can provide both economic and environmental benefits. The overall project configuration is planned to go through a multiple set of activities. Fabric scraps in term of waste is first identified and collected and then processed to make recycled yarn to study the physical properties as well as the factors or parameter affecting the properties. The key novelties of the approach is follows:

Materials:     Fabric scraps, virgin fiber

Equipment’s:  Shredding machine, Blending, carding, drawing, and spinning machine, HVI instruments, AFIS, Optical Microscope, Uster evenness, Twister, SEM, Tensile strength testing etc.

Cloth scrap recycling method [6]

  • A method for recycling scrap cloth materials comprising the steps of:
  • Moistening cloth scraps;
  • Placing said cloth scraps into a shredding machine;
  • Applying moisture to said scraps while said scraps are shredded by said shredding machine in order to maintain a predetermined level of moisture in said scraps;
  • Opening said moist shredded cloth scraps into scrap fibers;
  • Selecting premium variety virgin cotton fibers;
  • Pre-gin contracting said premium variety virgin fibers;
  • Opening and cleaning said premium variety virgin fibers; and
  • Blending, carding, drawing, and spinning 10-25% virgin fibers around 90-75% said scrap fibers

Below are the specific project tasks for the proposed efforts:

  • Identify different types of waste and quantify the recyclable amount of fabric
  • Quantify the loss due to fabric waste and the cost of quality due to the recycling
  • Collect fabric scrap and do the opening using a well establish method ( see opening method) to get recycled fiber
  • Characterize the fiber using optical microscope for the dimensional and the structural analysis
  • Prepare recycled yarn using both the rotor and the ring process
  • Prepare a mixed yarn by using a product mixture of virgin fiber and the recycled fiber
  • Characterize the as-fabricated yarn to quantify the strength, fineness, maturity ratio, elongation, uniformity etc.
  • Collect data and analyse it for the results and discussion.

The data have been analysed for better understanding the textile wastes that can be recycled:

Pie chart showing different types of waste and the percentage of waste contribution.
Figure 2: Pie chart showing different types of waste and the percentage of waste contribution.

Sources of fabric defect that are responsible for the rejection in dyeing section:

  1. Due to shade checking
  2. Shrinkage test
  3. Spirality check
  4. GSM test

Factors that affect the creation of fabric scraps in the form of waste in cutting section:

  1. Efficient design of the marker and the marker efficiency.
  2. Types of print such as ‘check and strip’: Due to the print marker efficiency becomes degraded as the alignment of print features is very critical.

These wastes are recycled and used in Ring rollers (CARD and COMBED). But after that rotor waste is found nearly about 12%, which is still not being used. This is our target to use it again.

Activity 03: Requirements for the sustainable developmentA schematic diagram showing the connection of sustainable system with four domains.

Characterization

  • Structural characterization of fabric and fiber waste
  • Knit Fabric waste collection
  • Recycled yarn fabrication
Photograph images showing (a) knit fabric wastes, (b) dyed polyester fiber, (c) recycled fiber and (d) is the finished products.
Figure 3: Photograph images showing (a) knit fabric wastes, (b) dyed polyester fiber, (c) recycled fiber and (d) is the finished products.

Fabrication of recycled yarn:

recycles yarn
Figure 4: A schematic process flow diagram showing the processing steps for the fabrication of recycled yarn.

Algorithm of development of recycles yarn:

An algorithm showing the decision parameters towards development of recycled yarn.
Figure 5: An algorithm showing the decision parameters towards development of recycled yarn.

 

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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