Synthetic Fiber Recycling

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Synthetic Fiber Recycling

Now a days the popularity of synthetic fiber made apparels increasing. Synthetic fibers are man made and considered as cost effective. In 2015, approximately 64% of readymade garments made by synthetic fiber.

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Polyester, Nylon, Acrylics & Elastane are the most used synthetic fiber in textile industry. Characteristics like durability, wrinkle resistant, water repellent, quick drying, easy wash creates huge demand of synthetic fiber made apparels in fashion industry specially for outerwear and sportswear.
However, comparing with natural fiber, synthetic fiber never considered as environmental friendly. The main reason is the high rate of global resources consumption for manufacturing virgin materials. Synthetic fiber derived from petroleum or natural gas which needed a lot of water and energy to produce.
Therefore, sustainable synthetic textile recycling management can be appropriate solution.

Recycling technology for synthetic fiber and blended fiber can be classified in two type:

1. Chemical Recycling
The apparels or other textile waste cutting down into small pieces for Chemical reaction. For synthetic fiber like 100% polyester, those small pieces decomposed through chemical process from where the material again can be used to regenerate new product.
Chemical recycling technology suitable for blended fiber fabric recycling as the fiber can be separated by chemical process. Some Recent research demanded that, it is possible to dissolves cellulose and after certain filtration process regeneration of new product from cellulosic fiber is possible.

2. Mechanical Recycling
Traditional Recycling technology usually cutting up the material or disassembled the garments for mechanical process to breakdown the fiber. It is also known as garneting*. The properties of outcome materials depends on the waste. Normally waste from pre consumer stage can be respun to regenerated new fibers. Medium quality fibers and low quality fibers are normally used to make lower grade fabric.


Polyester is now the single largest fiber group in the world. About 65-70% Polyester produced for textile and rest of 35-30% used for bottle (PET) manufacture. Researcher proved that it is possible to producing polyester material using used bottle (PET- polyethylene terephthalate) which is most important commercial polyester polymer in global material economy. At present there are many companies producing their polyester made apparels by using recycled PET. Polyester can be recycled both physical and chemical way. In physical method, The Post consumer PET waste can be directly melted to convert other product. Chemical method has extensive feature. The process start with cutting polyester waste in to small pieces and then create chips for decomposed to form dimethyl terephthalate, which can repolymerized for regenerating new yarn or filament.

Patagonia: This company started selling 100% recycled polyester made outdoor apparels from 1993.

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