Denim Fabric Cotton Recovery by Mechanical Warp-Weft Separation

This project aims to develop a novel mechanical method to conduct separation of denim fabric without use of water or chemicals and recover the warp (cotton) and weft (cotton blended with synthetic) weaving components in the denim structure. It tackles the difficulty of recycling denim due to the blending composition of synthetic yarn in the weft yarn, which causes degradation of recycled yarn quality and lower recycling efficiency due to presence of materials such as spandex. Since the amount of warp yarn in Jeans is the majority, it would be effective to separate warp yarn from the weft yarn for the recovery of cotton.

This innovation is a response to the fast-growing denim market size, as well as the urgency of recycling post-consumer textile product. The overall market size for denim valued at 90 billion US dollars in 2019, while the demand for cotton has risen 3.1% between 2015 to 2019. Production of virgin cotton requires large agricultural and water resources, together with extensive consumption of fertiliser and pest control chemicals. It is expected that the success of this project can create close loops where post-consumer textile products are disintegrated and then reprocessed back into yarn and recycled into product subsequently. 

Project Name (ITF)
Denim Fabric Cotton Recovery by Mechanical Warp-Weft Separation
Project Number (ITF)