Scientists transform paper into fabric to potentially replace cotton

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-11-03 10:48:00 – Sweden

Swedish scientists have entered into a 3-year collaboration with the fashion industry to promote ‘The Forest Fabric’ project. The scientists at the Swedish University of Borås, are focusing on research to find ways to sustainably transform paper into fabric.

The project has already succeeded in creating fabric from paper and is now examining the potential to scale up the project. 

Tor Ahlbom, the textile producer of Svenskt Konstsilke, stated that they have succeeded in making yarn from paper and have also made a few pilot garments. Ahlbom also stated that the texture was similar to denim and it could be washed just like any other denim jacket. He further stated that they have succeeded in what they were hoping to accomplish so far.

Ahlbom says the key difference between fabric and other textiles made from tree-based materials such as viscose is that it does not require a large number of foul chemicals to produce.

Anna Berglund, one of two project coordinators, stated that the new material also requires less water and chemicals to produce if compared to cotton. Svenskt Konstsilke transforms paper made from Swedish-grown trees into yarns that can be woven or knit into fabric.

The Swedish brand, House of Dagmar has collaborated with the university to explore the ways the new material can be used in various garments. 

Berglund stated that so far it was a little rough to be designed into t-shirts or underwear however seemed very suited to be designed into coats or appeal to the home furnishings industry.

She further added that it was more sustainable than other fabrics and was a good substitution for cotton in the interior products industry. 

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