Fast fashion is leading to a mountain of clothing being thrown away each year and has a huge impact on the environment. In 2020, about 18.6 million tons of clothing .up in landfill. Clothing is hard to recycle due to its complex nature of materials; it also takes nearly 200 years to decompose in a landfill, during which it releases harmful greenhouse gases.
Thus, designing garments for durability and longevity, as well as using sustainable materials is critical to minimize clothing ending up in landfills.
One of the emerging ways for designing durable textiles is the use of coatings and finishings to make textiles repellent to dirt, odour, water and more. These fabrics play a major role in military and healthcare sectors where durability is critical.
What are the key sustainability benefits?
Coatings and finishes make the textiles longer lasting, stronger, and more weather resistant. In medical fields, they are used to create antimicrobial coatings to enable reuse of medical textiles such as PPE and face masks.
For sustainability, use of coatings prevents a garment from entering the landfills, thus minimizing GHG emissions.
How does this work?
Different types of coating procedures are there for textiles. One of the procedures most used is direct coating, which is based on the application of one or various layers of polyurethane, PVC, acrylic resins, etc. paste, over the textile substrate, using a scraper, knife, cylinder, etc.
With emerging needs for sustainable textiles, various sustainable coatings are explored by fashion brands such as water based coatings.
For durable finishing of textiles, two processes are followed - Dip process and tumbling process.
Dip process involves dipping the garment in suitable chemical, rotating, hydro extracting and tumble drying. It is then steam pressed to set the creases.In tumble method, the garments are placed (inside out) into a machine with a sealed (not perforated) cylinder and application of recipe by either pumping or spraying.
Fibre2Fashion's webinar on sustainable textile finishing innovation
Fibre2Fashion in collaboration with Dow materials science company is hosting a webinar on durable water repellents, which bring benefits that fashion designers need from fabric solutions to combine stylish look, easy-care, and durability while meeting consumer expectations.
All about touch – Huafeng’s new haptic cushion technology
World Congress on Textile Coating (WCTC), Huafeng’s director of innovation and creation Thomas Schmidt introduced a number of new innovations the company is currently developing, including haptic cushion coating.