Olé to the new rag and bone men!

Posted by on set 27, 2011 in ITMA | 1 comment

I’m old enough to remember the ‘rag and bone men’.

In the north of England, they used to scour the streets on their horse and carts in search of old clothes. This was in the 1970s, when that region still had a very vital textile industry. As a kid I was happy to trade my family’s old cast-offs for a balloon.

Now the rag and bone men are back, and in fact, can be considered ‘eco warriors’ – at the cutting edge of sustainable thinking.

Recycling is big business, and Italian textile machinery builders – particularly those in the traditionally textile-intensive area of Biella – have perfected the processes for converting virtually any fibrous waste into textile products for a number of industrial end-uses.

WoJo, for example, is a new high-quality fabric for interior design made possible by technology developed by Dell’Orco and Villani.

The recycled fabric is a combination of 70% New Zealand Laneve wool and 30% used jute coffee sacks and was recently unveiled on highly-stylised chairs at Starbucks in the UK.

WoJo fabric is now used in a range of seating and reflects the coffee chain’s professed commitment to environmental stewardship.

Dell’Orco & Villani has a long history of manufacturing textile waste recycling equipment and company chief Sergio Dell’Orco, along with his US partner and sales rep Frank J. Levy, had already developed a breakthrough process for the separation of carpet face fibre from polypropylene backing. Their specially-formed company – Post Consumer Carpet Processing Technologies (PCC) – received the World Energy Globe Award in recognition of this.

Each line of PCC machinery can reclaim up to 30 million pounds of used carpet annually. The equipment separates oil-based fibres from carpet backing so that both materials can be reused. Other Italian companies such as Cormatex, Bombi and Bematic are now actively involved in such projects and report major interest in their technologies here in Barcelona.

It’s a given that the production of industrial goods will always have some kind of impact on the environment, I guess, but it’s very clear that the majority of the textile machinery builders here at ITMA – as well as the suppliers of chemicals, fibres and auxilliary products – are now taking their obligation to minimising this very seriously.

Prior to the show, I was involved in the production of ‘The Green Guide to ITMA’, but I’m now aware that such a guide can only touch the surface of things. As an industry leader, for example, Oerlikon is striving to rationalise its entire technology platform through its e-save programme which aims for the optimisation of all raw materials and a marked reduction in emissions via process efficiency.

Chemicals leader Clariant, meanwhile, continues to surprise with its new products.

Today, the company introduced its Blue Magic formulation for cotton and other cellulosic fibres which can reduce water consumption and energy by up to 50%, while halving the process time required. Clariant’s innovations are well worth investigating here in Barcelona.

And from Spain, Jeanologia is a smart young company which is achieving great success with its laser finishing system for denim. As opposed to the conventional sandblasting technique which has been maligned by environmental groups like Greenpeace, the company’s Twin HS laser technology provides the vintage look while at the same time cutting power consumption by an estimated 62% and reducing the time to achieve such effects by 55%.

source: ITMA

Related contents

Bookmark this on Digg
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on FriendFeed
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on BuzzURL
Bookmark this on Yahoo Bookmark
Buzz This
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Google Bookmarks
Post to Google Buzz

Leave a Reply