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04 | 2008

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Fibers | Textiles More

Fibers | Textiles More Responsible Technologies 100% Ingeo draperies fabric by Lodetex Article contributed by Robert Green, Ingeo Fibers and Nonwovens Business Development Manager, Natureworks LLC 100% Ingeo continuous filament by Leitsu As with any new invention, there will be challenges when the variety of textile processes is considered that have been developed and refined over the years to produce final finished fabrics. When polyester was first produced, it was impossible to have it in anything but raw white! New chemistry and systems had to be invented to bring it to life. Now, NatureWorks’ Ingeo is the first new generic manufactured fiber for 20 years and is referred to as Polylactide or PLA for identification purposes. In just a few short years, the textile industry accelerated its understanding of how to process this new material from a standing start to a full competence in terms of coloration and finishing. Challenges still exist, but the nature and skills of NatureWorks’ best partners are proving that new science is like a river, it knows where it is going, and improvements in performance and efficiencies can be seen year on year. To produce Ingeo fibers Ingeo biopolymer resin is extruded into fiber for filament yarns or staple fibers for spun yarn production. Added to that, there are some specific nonwovens techniques that convert the PLA resin directly into a fabric, using its thermoplastic properties to create spunbondspunbond webs for a wide range of of end uses. The key advantage of Ingeo fiber over other man-made fibers is that is is made from plants instead of crude oil, and as such offers an immediate environmental point of difference that appeals to consumers today. This combined with some favorable comparative attributes achieved without additives, such as good natural moisture management, UV light resistance, quick dry, natural stain 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/08] Vol. 3

Fibers | Textiles for Sustainable Textiles 100% Ingeo draperies fabric by Lodetex resistance, distinctive hypoallergenic character, low odor retention and low flammability, shows that Ingeo has high technological performance proof points. Full details are available in comprehensive factsheets from NatureWorks’ website. Aesthetically, Ingeo can be smooth and sleek and silky in filament form, or soft and matt with a natural hand when developed in spun forms. This means that a wide variety of textile products are possible, reflecting consumer demand firstly for products that look and feel beautiful, but now come with performance and a compelling environmental message. Yarn counts possible range from 78 to 167 dtex 1 in flat and textured finishes as well as monofilament counts, and in staple cotton spinning, standard counts range from 8s to 40s 2 , for all applications including ring spun for denims and sports applications. The moisture content is 0.4 to 0.6% and according to recent testing; Ingeo outperforms standard polyester in wicking performance. In consumer use, garments are laundered at 50°C with a no-iron policy advised for best care. Ingeo therefore continues to gain acceptance in a wide range of applications. With the increased focus on global warming and the recognition of the finite fossil fuel resources Ingeo has been seen as a viable alternative to petrochemically derived products due to significantly reduced fossil fuel usage and a production process that is nearly greenhouse gas neutral. 1 Decitex (dtex) is the count grading for filament and spinning yarns recognized by all international bodies in the man-made fibres industry. It is defined as weight per length of the filament. 1 tex = 1 g / 1,000 m and thus 1 dtex = 1 g/10,000 m. Another unit of measurement for the fineness of filaments is Denier (den). 1 dtex = 0.9 den 2 Spinning count is a measure of fiber fineness and distribution developed by the English. It is defined as the number of hanks of yarn that can be spun from a pound of wool. A hank of wool is 560 yards long (560 yd/lb = 1.129 km/kg). In theory a pound of 62s wool could produce 34720 (=62*560) yards of yarn. (Wikipedia) Ingeo quilting by Thermore www.natureworksllc.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/08] Vol. 3 25

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