The rug and carpet manufacturing industry is a traditional sector and one in which innovation mostly involves design and texture rather than the use of new materials or processes, which tend to be more concerned with meeting the requirements of certain sectors such as the car industry and construction.
In the textile industry, the functionalisation of fabrics has become a very useful way for companies to remain at the forefront of innovation using a range of technologies to confer new properties on fabrics. The result is that the manufacturer can offer fabrics with added-value factors to stand out from the competition with unique customised products.
The advantages of functionalising textiles have led to developments in more technical and innovative applications in health care and cosmetics, where price is not such an important factor and where it is easier to detect niche markets in almost any textile field. One of the potential beneficiaries of the trend is the rug-making sector.
Environmental protection is becoming ever more important and sustainability, biodegradability and recyclability are factors which the consumer is taking more into account when deciding on their purchase.
The concept of sustainability has evolved from a linear economy through a circular economy model and now embraces the cradle to cradle concept which not only aims at zero waste but also that the product can be used as raw material in other sectors, particularly in rugs and carpets.
The core goal of ECO&TECNO CARPET II is to create functional rugs and carpets which use materials and processes to enhance the recyclability of the product and to undertake research into the revalorisation of the waste created at each stage of manufacture to lengthen its lifecycle and create an added-value factor.
It was designed as a two-year project and for 2019 the goal is to consolidate and optimise the results of the first year and explore new work lines, including the use of printed finishes.