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Tübingen – Dyeing and finishing specialist CHT has used recycled polyester flakes as the base chemistry for a new hydrophilic finish that improves the moisture wicking of sportswear fabrics and is said to give garments fast-drying properties and improved protection against dirt and oil.

The company says the new formulation is optimal for moisture management and thermoregulation in sports and active wear, socks and technical textiles.

Of the approximately 353 million tons of plastic waste worldwide, around 22 per cent of this waste ends up in the environment, according to figures from the OECD, which just 9 per cent of this plastic being recycled.

As both regulators and companies start to look at discarded plastic more as a starting raw material – rather than just waste – a range of potential end-uses in the chemical sector for post-consumer plastic are being evaluated.

This has led German firm CHT to launch its first textile finish based on post-consumer recycled polyester flakes to make the base chemistry for this new hydrophilic finish.

After the recycled PET flakes arrive at the CHT facility, they go through in-house processing where different hydrophilic additives are added to the recycled polyester base.

These polymers are then subjected to a high temperature reaction in an aqueous solution, before being emulsified into the final, hydrophilic formulation, which has been dubbed ‘Arristan rAir’.

When applied to fabrics via padding, exhaust, spraying the formulation covers the surface of the textile fibre with a microscopic thin film to give it excellent absorbency. This gives fabrics good moisture wicking and fast-drying properties, makes soils easier to remove during laundering and claims to prevent oily stains penetrating deep into the fibres.

The new finish is said to be optimal for both 100 per cent synthetic fabrics and blends with natural fibres.

“Since Arristan rAir is made out of recycled PET flakes, it is suitable for finishing recycled yarns and fabrics enabling varietal purity.” said Robert Zyschka, head of application field finishing from CHT. The company also confirmed to Ecotextile News the product is fully compliant to its own RSL list and has GOTS, bluesign and ZDHC certification

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