Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 15

BEFORE COMPOST
AFTER COMPOST
(3 DAYS)
A modified plastic (left) breaks down after just three days in standard compost (right)
and entirely after two weeks. Photo: Ting Xu/UC Berkeley.
Composting plastic quickly
M
ost compostable plastics, made primarily of the polyester known as
polylactic acid (PLA), end up in landfills and last about as long as any
other plastic. But University of California, Berkeley, scientists have invented
a way to make them break down more easily within a few weeks, using
just heat and water. The new process involves embedding polyester-eating
enzymes in the plastic as it's made. The enzymes are protected by a simple
polymer wrapping. When exposed to heat and water, the enzyme releases the
wrapping and starts breaking down the polymer into its building blocks-in
the case of PLA, reducing it to lactic acid, which can feed the soil microbes in
compost. The polymer wrapping also degrades.
Temporary tote
is made from
fruit peelings
ThermoPlume insulates with
synthetic, recycled material
N
ew York-based advanced
materials technology company
PrimaLoft®
Inc. has launched a
new version of its down-alternative
insulation first introduced in 2017.
The new ThermoPlume®
synthetic
Selk'bag produces its Nomad wearable sleeping bag with
PrimaLoft®
ThermoPlume®
insulation. Photo: Selk'bag.
fill is made entirely of postconsumer
recycled materials but
delivers thermal performance that's
comparable to down by mimicking
its fluidity, hand feel and aesthetics.
The company says the product also
has the water-repellent properties
of PrimaLoft fibers to provide a soft,
compressible thermal output, even
in wet conditions. Particularly well
suited for outdoor apparel, more than
70 brands are using the microfiber
insulation in their product lines for
the upcoming fall/winter season.
erlin, Germany-based design
students Lobke Beckfeld and
Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten have
developed a handbag or tote that
dissolves in water, will biodegrade
or can be recycled. The Sonnet155
is made from two post-industrial
waste materials: fruit skins left
over from juice production and
short cellulose fiber waste from
textiles. Although it has the look
of a handbag, it will last about as
long as a paper bag. The bag's key
ingredient is pectin, extracted from
the cell walls of the waste fruit
that acts as a natural binder. This
is reinforced with cellulose fibers
that are too short to be turned into
fabric. Combined with warm water,
the mixture cures in a mold and can
be sewn into a bag in about a week.
When it wears out, the material can
be dissolved in warm water and
recast to make a new bag of the
same quality. Photo: Sonnet155.
B
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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 4
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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - Cover3
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