24 July 2024
Microfiber shed choices impact textile release

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How Manufacturing Choices Influence Microfiber Shedding

Microfiber shedding from textiles has become a growing concern due to its potential environmental and human health impacts. Recent research published in the Frontiers of Environmental Science sheds light on how manufacturing choices can significantly influence the release of microfibers during the washing process. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds, utilized a washing simulator to test different densities of yarns in unknitted hanks and knitted forms to determine the amount of microfiber released when washed.

Key Findings of the Research

The study revealed that the entire process of textile production, including the way yarn is spun and the fiber composition, plays a crucial role in controlling microfiber release. Manufacturers were urged to include details of yarn spinning specifications and fiber types in product specifications to enable clothing designers to make more informed choices. The research highlighted that changes in fiber composition and yarn spinning systems could have the most significant impact in reducing microfiber release. However, these critical details are currently not commonly included in product specifications, making it challenging for brands to make informed decisions about which garments will shed more or less microfiber.

Environmental and Health Implications

Dr. Mark Taylor, a Research Fellow at Leeds’ School of Design, emphasized the need for further research into the environmental and health effects of microfiber release. While it is known that cotton produces more microfibers than polyester, the impacts of these fibers on humans and the environment remain unclear. The slow biodegradation of microfibers and their potential negative effects on marine life underscore the urgency of addressing this issue. Dr. Mark Sumner, a Lecturer in Sustainable Fashion, highlighted the significant pollution caused by microfiber release during washing in the UK, emphasizing the importance of including information about fabric knitting and yarn spinning systems in product specifications.

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Call for Action and Future Research Directions

The researchers are calling for more comprehensive measures to reduce microfiber shedding, including the incorporation of yarn characteristics and spinning system information in product specifications. By enhancing transparency in manufacturing processes and empowering clothing designers with relevant data, the industry can take proactive steps towards mitigating the impact of microfiber pollution. Further research is needed to deepen our understanding of the environmental and health consequences of microfiber release, enabling targeted interventions to minimize harm. Collaboration between academia, industry, and policymakers is essential to address this pressing issue and promote sustainable practices in the textile sector.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.frontiersin.org 2. www.sciencedirect.com 3. www.nature.com

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Microfiber shedding, Textile production, Environmental impact

Environmental impact of fashion
The fashion industry, particularly manufacture and use of apparel and footwear, is a significant driver of greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution. The rapid growth of fast fashion has led to around 80 billion items of clothing being consumed annually, with about 85% of clothes consumed in United States being...
Read more: Environmental impact of fashion

Textile
Textile is an umbrella term that includes various fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, filaments, threads, different fabric types, etc. At first, the word "textiles" only referred to woven fabrics.: 3 : 5  However, weaving is not the only manufacturing method, and many other methods were later developed to form textile structures based on...
Read more: Textile

Environmental issues
Environmental issues are disruptions in the usual function of ecosystems. Further, these issues can be caused by humans (human impact on the environment) or they can be natural. These issues are considered serious when the ecosystem cannot recover in the present situation, and catastrophic if the ecosystem is projected to...
Read more: Environmental issues

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