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Fabrics from waste cellulose – how to wear old newspapers

TEAM:  Yibo Ma, Marjaana Tanttu, Shirin Asaadi, Michael Hummel, Herbert Sixta (Aalto University)


Upcycling is becoming an increasingly hot topic in our society. It is part of the new bioeconomy concept which promotes the production of value added products with a substantially reduced impact on the environment. Upcycling reduces landfills, harvest of trees, the use of chemicals, and the demand of water. Ioncell newsprint fibers were spun from a deinked newsprint/(DBNH)OAc dope by a dry-jet wet spinning method. The cellulose concentration of the dope was 13%. Filament jets were coagulated in water. The fibers were cutted into staples with a 40 mm length before washing. The yarns were spun from a 50:50 blend of  Ioncell newsprint fibers and commercial viscose fibers. The fibers were carded, drafted together, and ring-spun into a yarn. The spun yarn was knitted and a final product was prepared. Read more about Ioncell.


Ioncell newsprint fibers are strong even when wet. They feels soft and looks shiny. The cross section is circular. Fibers absorbs water and they are biodegradable.



Using newsprint as raw material for cellulosic fiber spinning opens up new possibilities to upgrade waste material to high-value added products. Fibres spun from newsprint are suitable for textile application, bio-composites applications and other technical fibres. The staple lengths of 40-60 mm fibers can be used for short-staple yarn spinning as 100% or blended with natural or man-made fibers, and the staple lengths of 100-135 mm for long-staple yarn spinning. Yarns can be utilized in various textile applications, e.g. in knitted or woven fabrics. The staple lengths of 25-60 mm fibers can be used in nonwovens. Continuous filaments can be utilized in technical applications.

Photos: Eeva Suorlahti


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