“We have the textile pulverized into particles and we can combine it with other materials in various ways,” explains Ludmila Fridrichová from the Faculty of Textiles of the Technical University in Liberec. It was there that they developed a prototype of the device, thanks to which old clothes can still be used.
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For example, a university machine cuts an old shirt into materials and then fabricates it.
Diakonie Broumov, who collects, sorts and recycles used textiles from households in the Czech Republic, came up with the idea of using textile waste.
“They gave us a development request. They wanted to develop a board made of textile material,” explains Roman Knížek, head of the Textile Evaluation Department of the Faculty of Textiles at the University of Liberec.
The principle is simple. Old clothing, including buttons, zippers, collar reinforcements, etc., will be crushed and poured with resin by the machine.
“The material can be painted, covered with foil, pressed and poured into molds and given shape,” says Knížek. The result can also be recycled, the machine simply grinds it again.
What will last?
Diakonie Broumov sorts up to 500 tons of textile waste per month, of which roughly 20 percent still ends up in landfills and incinerators, says the chairman of the association, Pavel Hendrichovský.
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“We sort the good stuff, the materials that are still needed. For example, silon material can be used for green roofs, silon can absorb water with clay for up to 30 years, that’s interesting. But we also have to sort out those that are unusable, and nobody wants those multi-species,” he explains why the diaconia initiated the development of a new use of old materials.
Scientists are now examining the physical properties of the textile recycle, for example its resistance to higher temperatures.
“It will depend on the use of that textile waste. Now we were processing waste from the company Deva, which is used by firefighters, there we are already at relatively high temperatures,” suggests Knížek from the University of Liberec, adding that it may be a substitute for plastics.
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