Hohenstein is driving textile sustainability ahead with microfiber analyzes


The testing service provider and research partner in the textile industry in Hohenstein has completed the development of its new method for analyzing microfiber waste from textiles. Using dynamic image analysis, the method quantifies the dropping behavior and shows previously unachieved data with practical effects on material development in the entire supply chain.

The new method is the result of four years of research at Hohenstein, which was published in a dissertation by the senior researcher Jasmine Haap. The research team developed, refined and validated an analytical method that goes beyond current approaches to measuring scale mass to quantify fiber count, length, diameter and shape. Further analysis can reveal the distribution of these attributes and even produce separate results for cellulosic fibers (such as cotton) and non-cellulosic fibers (such as polyester). This analysis is currently available exclusively from Hohenstein.

With this level of detail, researchers can now quantify more precisely which types of fiber and material designs contribute most to the release of microfibers, which leads to informed decisions in the development of more sustainable textiles that waste less time.

Synthetic microfibers are tiny plastic parts that get into the water when subjected to mechanical stress, especially when washing. Wastewater containing microfibers eventually flows through the wastewater into larger bodies of water.

Synthetic microfibers attract harmful substances and pollutants from the environment, damage marine life and enter the food chains of larger fish and humans. The dynamic image analysis of wastewater is non-destructive, so that additional tests, such as B. the filtration, can be carried out for further analysis. In filtration, the most common method to date, the wastewater is filtered out of the laundry and the remaining particles are weighed.

In November 2019, Hohenstein joined the Microfibre Consortium as a contributing research member.


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