Only a small percentage of cotton is currently recycled.
The invention of a German university addresses this issue and describes a recyclable cotton yarn.
To date the fiber length of conventional yarns is shortened by the recycling process to such an extent that these yarns can no longer be reused for high-quality textile products. With the invented yarn, a certain proportion of synthetic fibers made from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is added to the natural cotton fibers during spinning, which can be dissolved again with hot water during recycling. This means that the yarn loses strength on the textile surface and can then be mechanically disintegrated more gently. The recovered cotton fibers are shortened to a lesser extent by this.
The invention thus makes it possible to spin cotton yarns that can be opened up considerably better into individual fibers. As a result, higher quality products can be produced from expensive raw materials such as cotton. Industrial partners are sought for license agreements to apply the technology. An application in the textile and jeans manufacturing industries, which are concerning themselves with the topic of sustainability and want to get involved there, is conceivable because very large quantities of cotton that is dyed in the same way are used here.