Fashionable forest fibres

Wooden clothes. Are they stiff? Itchy? Boring? Not at all. In fact, wood is a natural and renewable material that is perfect for manufacturing fabrics.

Viscose and lyocell fibres from wood are soft and strong. They can be spun, dyed and woven in an infinite number of variants. Only the designers’ imagination sets the limits.

The process is quite simple. First, the wood is shredded into smaller pieces and boiled into cellulose pulp. The pulp is then sent to a textile factory where the fibres are separated. In the third step, the fibres are spun into threads, which are then woven into a fabric. Finally, the fabric can be used to make textile products such as clothing.

Today, lyocell is probably the best material for the manufacture of clothing aimed at the growing group of environmentally conscious customers. In addition to the material’s fantastic properties, it is manufactured in an environmentally friendly and circular process where 99 per cent of the chemicals are reused, and the small amount that is left is broken down in biological treatment plants.

Another good news is that the Swedish forest industry, together with other stakeholders, has developed a technology for recycling textile blends. With the new technology, fibres of viscose, cotton and polyester can be separated and recycled, representing a real breakthrough for the global fashion industry.

Did you know that…

- only 1% of all textiles are recycled, because so many fabrics are made from mixed materials?

- about 60% of all clothing is made from oil-based materials such as polyester and acrylic?

- textiles made from wood pulp can be recycled and turned into new clothes?

- a normal-sized tree is enough for 200 pairs of trousers?

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