Recycled Fabric: A Webinar

Yesterday I tuned into a cool webinar presented by

Textile Exchange

that was all information about recycled fabric.  It was free and open to anyone, and I was very grateful for that.  I was also impressed by the presentation itself.  It was informative without being boring; the background and processes were described with enough science but so much as to be overwhelming to those of us who are not scientists.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Global fiber production is comprised of about sixty percent synthetic materials (derived from byproducts of crude oil) and forty percent natural materials (fiber that either comes from plants or animals)
  • Total global production of textiles in the world has tripled in the last thirty years
  • Quality of fibers cannot be improved during the recycling process; if a material originally used a low-quality dye, or has been contaminated in other ways, it will continue to carry those qualities into its next reincarnation
  • Natural fibers can be recycled by a mechanical process which involves sorting by like colors, then chopping in a variety of ways, and then eventually carding and re-spinning
  • Synthetic fibers can be recycled mechanically or chemically (in which case they are actually melted down and re-formed...while this can have an environmental impact, it also allows for closed-loop opportunities)

I really appreciated this webinar, and I appreciated that it was free and open to everyone.  If this topic interests you, check out the

Textile Exchange

website for more information, resources and links.