Like other industries, textile and apparel also have demand for new materials to improve the quality and performance of their products. This article will introduce some new materials in textile and apparel manufacturing that might be popular in the near future.
Why are new materials necessary for textile & apparel manufacturing?
The textile & garment industry has been always looking for new materials to improve the traditional processes, performance, and quality of textile products. Global brands realize that if they can explore innovative materials and apply them successfully to their products, they would significantly boost their image and market share. Thus, new materials are essential and normally developed to enhance functionality, versatility, and eco-friendliness much higher than traditional materials.
What are the latest innovative materials in textile & garment manufacturing?
Recycled polyester should be mentioned first due to its eco-friendliness and feasibility. Recycled polyester is made from consumer plastic waste, including water bottles and other discarded materials. This material is made by converting plastic waste into polyester fibers, which are then used for different textile production like clothing, bedding, and home furniture. Recycled polyester is a sustainable and eco-friendly material because it can reduce plastic waste and carbon footprint in textile manufacturing. It can be blended with other fibers like cotton to improve the fabric’s performance. Various global brands have been applied this material to their products.
Another innovative material which is developed recently is Tencel™ Lyocell. Tencel™ Lyocell is a sustainable and eco-friendly material which is made from wood pulp sourced from responsibly managed forests. The manufacturing process converts wood pulp into fibers to produce various textile and garment products. The characteristics that make this material widely accepted are softness, durability, and breathability, making it an ideal material for summer outfits. Eco-friendliness is another plus point of Tencel™ Lyocell as it is biodegradable that decomposes quickly without releasing harmful chemicals into the environment.
Nanotechnology is also one of R&D priorities in textile manufacturing. Nanotechnology manipulates the properties of materials at the nanoscale level to strengthen their functionality. Nanocellulose is a typical example of innovative materials using nanotechnology. This is a light and strong material made from plant fibers that have been broken down to the nanoscale level. Sustainable Nanocellulose which is biodegradable, renewable, and eco-friendly are used to produce various clothing and packaging materials.
The next material is Conductive textiles which are able to conduct electricity. By combining conductive fibers like silver or copper into fabric structure, conductive textiles can be used to measure and monitor physiological signals like body temperature, heart rate, etc. Outfits made by conductive textiles can light up, change color, or play music accordingly to the movements of users.
The last name in this list is bio-based materials which are made from bamboo, hemp, corn-based fibers to replace traditional petroleum-based materials which are non-renewable and have negative impacts to the environment. Low carbon footprint and biodegradation are the competitive advantages of bio-based materials compared with traditional materials which are less sustainable and eco-friendly.
Quality and performance are still the final check points of textile inspection.
The final objective of R&D is to provide the highest satisfaction to end-users. Therefore, new materials also must follow testing and inspection process to ensure they can fulfill the quality requirements of the brands. If you have any concerns about the quality of your textile and garment products, please contact us for professional advice and support.