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Recyclable cotton yarn

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TODE20190904001
Publication Date: 4 September 2019


A German university offers a solution to recycle more cotton yarn than can be done today and to make it re-useable for high quality products. This is achieved by adding synthetic fibers that will dissolve again in the recycling process to the cotton. Applications are in the textile industry. Licensees are sought.


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.

Advantages and Innovations

The blending of the yarn with water soluble fibres makes it possible to recycle more cotton than has been possible to date with conventional methods. Higher quality products can be produced. There is an environmental benefit through increased recycling.

Stage Of Development

Concept stage

Stage Of Development Comment

Technology Readiness Level 3.
A prototype is to be built and tested as part of a project

Requested partner

Partners from clothing industry, filament yarn industry and spinning mills are sought for license agreements to apply the patent. The partners would contribute to environmental sustainability and resource efficiency by using the technology.

Cooperation offer is closed for requests