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IFAST 2021

AITEX is the leader of the European Defence Agency (EDA) project, “Smart textiles in defence: looking at the soldiers of the future (STILE)”, whose endpoint is a proof of concept of a multifunctional smart textile model in defence. Due to its peculiarities, the STILE model is embedded within the dual use ecosystem, which is expected to get the attention of the EU industrial/research policy in the upcoming years.

Fórum Internacional IFAST

Within the scope of this project, the International Forum on Advanced and digitalised Smart Textiles (IFAST) took place online, on 15 and 16 June 2021, focusing on the development of advanced smart textiles in the European defence sector and on the foundation of a possible European future dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles. The IFAST International Forum had a broad participation of relevant stakeholders coming from governmental defence bodies, industry, academia and R&T communities, as well as European institutions and organizations, with 230 registered participants, coming from 24 EU Member States and EU associated countries, counting on the presence of representatives of different Institutional and Governmental Bodies, such as the European Commission, the Ministries of Defence of various EU Member States, and the European Defence Agency. Initially planned in Lisbon, the event was organised in online format, due to the covid restrictions. IFAST was composed of an Exhibition Centre, where industries, academia and research organisations presented their products, services and projects in the areas of smart, advanced and digitalised textiles, by means of virtual booths, and a Conference Area, in which several keynote speeches were given, the results of the STILE Project were presented and two panels were organised:

  • Panel 1. Foresight on advanced and digitalised smart textiles in the European defence sector.

Smart Textiles are a new generation of materials and systems with advanced multifunctional properties which, given their ability of being integrated into uniforms and platforms, have drawn the attention of defence stakeholders. In this context, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has incorporated the Smart Textiles into the Strategy Research Agenda (SRA) of the CapTech Materials & Structures. This panel reflected on the envisaged evolution of the smart textiles in the upcoming years and their role and potential applications within the European defence field.

  • Panel 2. Visualising a European dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles.

The field of Smart Textiles can be applied to both the military and civil sectors, being therefore defined as a dual use technology. This enables a wide range of potential cross-fertilising exchanges between both sectors. Due to the increasing interest toward dual use applications at European level, this panel contemplated different perspectives about developing a European dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles, analysing the advantages and challenges of making a programme on this matter available as well as the potential roadmap that should be defined and followed to achieve its implementation.  

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juguetes

On 14 April 2021, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) published Toy Safety Standard EN 71-3: 2019 + A1: 2021: Migration of certain elements. All CEN members must adopt and publish their own national standard by 31 October 2021.

– The main change from one version to the other is the adaptation to the new legal migration limits for aluminium in all three categories.

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

2250 mg/kg

560 mg/kg 

28130 mg/kg

habitación de niños con juguetes

– In addition, the new version also incorporates the following changes:

  1. Mention that it is up to the user to decide whether their toy is included in the scope of any of the parts of the EN 71 series.
  2. Mention that the following technical reports have been published in relation to the EN 71 series.

 – CEN/TR 15071 ‘Safety of toys – National translations of warnings and instructions for use in EN 71 series’.

  – CEN/TR 15371 Parts 1 and 2 ‘Safety of toys – Interpretations’.

  – CEN/TR 16918 ‘Safety of toys – Children’s mouthing behaviour in contact with toys’.

  – CEN ISO/TR 8124-8 ‘Safety of toys – Age determination guidelines’.

The current version EN 71-3: 2019, which was harmonised in October 2019, continues to provide a presumption of conformity with the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC until the new version is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. (OJEU).

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IFAST 2021

ifastThe International Forum on Advanced and digitalised Smart Textiles (IFAST) will take place online, on 15 and 16 June 2021, with the objective to evaluate the development of advanced smart textiles in the European defence sector, aiming at laying the foundation of a possible European future dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles.

The event is organised within a European Defence Agency (EDA) project, “Smart textiles in defence: looking at the soldiers of the future (STILE)”, targeting the reach of a proof of concept of a multifunctional smart textile model in defence. Due to its peculiarities, the STILE model is embedded within the dual use ecosystem, which is expected to get the attention of the EU industrial/research policy in the upcoming years.

The event will gather relevant stakeholders coming from governmental defence bodies, industry (dual use), academia and R&T communities, as well as European institutions and organizations.

The IFAST forum is composed of an Exhibition Centre, where industries, academia and research organisations can have a free booth (virtual stand) to showcase their products, services and projects in the areas of smart/advanced/digitalised textiles, and a Conference Area, organised in the following panels:

  • Panel 1. Foresight on advanced and digitalised smart textiles in the European defence sector. 
  • Panel 2. Visualising a European dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles.

The conference will take place on 15 June 2021, while the exhibition centre will be accessible on 15 June and the morning of 16 June 2021.
Participants are offered a free opportunity to provide an abstract and a poster, using the ad hoc templates that can be downloaded in the IFAST website (https://www.ifast-stile.eu/abstracts/).

The participation to the IFAST Exhibition area (15 June and morning of 16 June) will be based on the submission of an abstract describing the company products, services or projects.

Participants are also welcomed to ask for a place in the pitching session (that will take place in the morning of 16 June). Since the time slots for pitches are limited, the IFAST Organising Committee will make a selection on the basis of the abstracts submitted by the pitch applicants, based on their originality, technical quality and scientific merit. Participants requesting a virtual booth will get priority in the selection. Those participants, whose abstract will not be selected for the pitching session, will be offered to show a poster in a specific booth within the IFAST Exhibition area. Therefore, the exhibitors are kindly asked to submit also a poster, in case their abstract will not be selected for the pitching session.

Participants can also submit only an abstract, without any other option.

All the abstracts received with the proper content and format presentation will be included in a book of abstracts related to the Conference and Exhibition areas, which will be published after the IFAST event (with ISBN). The deadline to submit the abstracts/posters is 1 June 2021.

Only abstracts/posters coming from registered exhibitors will be considered for the booths, pitch session and book of abstracts.

In addition, the participants can become partners of the IFAST exhibition centre, under the commitment to submit an abstract and to contribute to the dissemination of the event through their network. Partners are offered a free opportunity to get their logo published on the IFAST website.

Further information about the International Forum IFAST (e.g. programme, speakers) can be found on the website https://www.ifast-stile.eu.

The registration is already open and can be made through the IFAST website at the link https://www.ifast-stile.eu/registration/

The participants are kindly invited to use the contact form on the website in order to receive more information on the above mentioned opportunities (e.g. booth, abstract/poster, pitch, partnership, registration) or sending an email directly to the functional mailbox info@ifast-stile.eu.

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zero waste

The textile sector is responsible for an extremely diverse range of waste, both in terms of its composition and its format. These materials could be considered as raw materials with high added value in different transformation processes, both in the textile sector and in other production sectors.

The best known models of circular economy applied to textile waste are the manufacture of regenerated yarns and nonwovens for applications such as thermal and acoustic insulation. However, textile waste, duly sorted and processed can be used in various technological processes, such as the formulation of plastic and elastomeric compounds, development of construction materials, manufacture of decorative elements, furniture and new solutions for other sectors such as packaging, favouring the intra and intersectorial circular economy.

In addition to dealing with the different applications of textile waste, the presentation details an approach to the lines of research developed by AITEX in collaboration with industrial partners in recent years in the field of circular economy applied to various textile waste. The combination of innovative recovery techniques and the subsequent use of different textile waste has resulted in added-value solutions. Success stories and technical and economic feasibility studies are highlighted, and the definition of the Up- and Down-cycling concepts is developed in depth.

 

Faldón logotipo IVACE
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R+D Projects

11th May 2021

AITEX has started up a programme of cooperative research with the award-winning artists from the second call of the RE-FREAM project to collaborate on sustainable finishes and dyes in the development of a new clothing range: Loreto Binvignat Streeter: “Sustainable Evolution” development of sustainable clothing dyed with micro-organisms.

IMG_7642 2

Alexander Bello: “NeoBotanical Tailoring”. The artist is currently working on the development of a clothing collection with natural dyes using innovative and sustainable technologies.

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Tim van der Loo and Sandra Nicoline Nielsen: “New Blue” have created a new concept based on the reuse of clothing, mainly denim, to create new fabrics that are cut into smaller pieces and then reassembled using embroidery, creating new fabrics. During the co-research process they will mainly work with technologies to give new functionalities to garments and to create new designs.

The following companies and associations are participating in the co-research that is being carried out in the Valencia Hub: CARE APPLICATION, a technology-based company located in Alcoy, PROFACTOR, a research centre in Steyr, Austria and HARATECH, an engineering company located in Linz, Austria. More information at: https://re-fream.eu/new-artists-awarded-welcome-to-re-fream/

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

30th March 2021

Oekotex standard 100 logo

As usual, at the beginning of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association updated the applicable test criteria, limit values and requirements for its range of certifications and labels. The following new standards for OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 come into force on 1 April 2021 after a three-month transition period:

Changes in limit values

– PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and salts belonging to perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds as well as PFOA-related substances that were still under observation in 2020 are again included in the criteria catalogues Appendices 4 and 6 of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100. – PFOA and salts Sum: 0.025 mg/kg – PFOA-related substances Sum: 1.0 mg/kg Note: already in force since 9th September 2020.

– The limit value for Bisphenol-A (PC I-IV) in the criteria catalogues Annex 4 and 6 of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 is reduced to the following – Bisphenol-A: 100 mg/kg (PC I-IV)

– For film materials with incorporated calcium bicarbonate/carbonate or talc, which do not have direct skin contact, the pH value range is 4.0-10.0.

– A limit value for the total content of heavy metals and the content of extractable (heavy) metals in fittings made of glass (PC II-IV) of 0.1% is introduced. This concerns lead and cadmium. The new footnote on page 3 is as follows: For fittings made of glass 0.1 %.

In general, the strict requirements for waste in textile materials also place less burden on the environment, employees and consumers. In many cases, STANDARD 100 limit values go beyond national and international requirements. Therefore, the strategy of OEKO-TEX® has been to be proactive in the field of consumer protection as a pioneer and not to wait for legislation.

This means that any article or product certified to the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD and ECO PASSPORT also complies with the limit values of Appendix XVII of the REACH Regulation.

Recycled materials

As of this year, a unified approach for integrating recycled materials into the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 framework is being introduced. This uniform approach requires a minimum amount of recycled content, different test programmes depending on the origin of the material and the definition of the necessary background information. The label that is issued can be used to inform consumers about the recycling efforts that have been made on the product. Recycled materials are difficult to certify. With their previous life, these materials pose different challenges than normal virgin material. For this reason, these materials are treated differently within the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and receive a special mention in the scope of the certificate.

Self-assessment

Due to COVID 19-related travel restrictions, personal on-site visits are almost impossible. To temporarily overcome this situation, a self-assessment process was implemented. Self-assessments are a temporary solution for our clients to obtain a certification without having to stop the on-site visit.

After a three-month transition period, the new STANDARD 100 by OEKO – TEX® test criteria and limit values will become mandatory for all certifications on 1 April 2021.

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX® test criteria, please contact info@aitex.es.

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SUSTAINABILITY AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

11th May 2021

The environmental impact of the textile sector has become one of today’s most worrying issues. The huge amounts of waste created, coupled with a low recycling rate (only 1% is transformed into new garments) is one of the critical aspects in the production process of companies in the textile value chain. Likewise, the vast amounts of water and chemicals consumed, the emission of microplastics and the emission of greenhouse gases, together with the aforementioned, urgently require new technological developments to create sustainable options.

environmental impacts
  1. Waste generation

The global production of textile fibre has doubled in the last 20 years, reaching an all-time high of 111 million tonnes in 2019 [1] and maintaining growth forecasts for 2030. This increase, together with the current consumption model, leads to the generation of vast amounts of textile waste; in Spain alone it is estimated that annual clothing waste is 900,000 tonnes [2].

  1. Low recycling rate

The recycling rate for textile waste is very low. More than 85% of products discarded by consumers end up in landfills or incinerators and only 13% is recycled in some form after use. Most is transformed into other lower value items such as rags, insulation or filler material and less than 1% is recycled into new fibre. Therefore, in order to comply with the new regulations, it will not be enough to ensure the selective collection of textile waste, but will require the research and development of technologies that enable the recycling of the fibres with the aim of maintaining their value for as many cycles as possible.

  1. High water consumption (water footprint)

Textile production uses a lot of water, as well as land to grow cotton and other fibres. It is estimated that the global textile and clothing industry used 79 billion cubic metres of water in 2015, while the needs of the entire EU economy amounted to 266 billion cubic metres in 2017. To make a single cotton T-shirt, estimates indicate that 2,700 litres of fresh water are needed – the amount of water a person drinks in two and a half years.  [3]

  1. Use of chemicals

Chemicals are used in virtually all textile production processes, from fabric preparation and bleaching to finishing. Although at the legislative and regulatory level the use of permitted chemicals is well controlled (e.g. REACH regulation in Europe), the pollution load of these chemicals is still a major problem, especially for water treatment. It is estimated that between 1.5 and 6.9 kg of chemicals are used in the production of 1 kg of garments [3], meaning that the amount of chemicals used is greater than that of the textile product itself. Hence, the development of technologies to reduce chemical consumption, and generate as low a pollution load in effluents as possible, is critical.

  1. Water pollution and the emission of micro-plastics

According to estimates, the dyes and finishing products used in textiles are responsible for about 20 % of global drinking water pollution. The laundering of synthetic materials releases about 0.5 million tonnes of microfibres each year, which end up in the oceans. Synthetic laundry accounts for 35% of the primary microplastics released into the environment: a single load of polyester clothing can shed 700,000 microplastic fibres that can find their way into the food chain. [4]

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint)

The fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, more than international flights and shipping combined. According to the European Environment Agency, textile purchases in the EU in 2017 generated around 654 kg of CO2 emissions per person. [3]   To help reduce these impacts, AITEX places its full array of technical facilities and resources at the disposal of the textile industry. Through the development of R&D projects, obtaining certifications that accredit good practices and specific training in sustainability and circular economy, companies will be able to reduce their costs and implement new sustainable business models. For further information, please contact Ana Rodes, Head of the Technical Unit of Circular Economy and Sustainability of AITEX by email arodes@aitex.es or visit our website aitex.es/sustainability.  

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R+D Projects

11th May 2021

The modern consumer is increasingly demanding brands that combine quality, sustainability, personalisation and technological support, while being environmentally and ethically responsible. The importance we as a society place on new lifestyles, access to more information, concern for the environment, wellbeing and health are changing consumer habits. This is why in recent years, the search for new biodegradable materials has become a challenge for materials science. The CosmeTec20 project arose from this challenge and aims to replace synthetic polymers and create encapsulated systems that are stable over time, and develop natural nanofibre veils and natural encapsulated systems for use in cosmetic products. More specifically, the project expects to achieve the following results:

  • Create natural skin caviar with active ingredients of interest to the cosmetics industry for use in skin and hair care.
  • Development of encapsulated essential oil systems for use in cosmetotextiles
  • Create nanoparticles with cosmetic active ingredients of natural origin
  • Create prototypes of nanofibre veils
  • Validation of the products with user panels
cosmetec
cosmetec2

To learn more about the research carried out in the project click on the link: https://www.aitex.es/portfolio/cosmetec20/ File: IMDEEA/2020/10

This project is supported by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE, and is co-financed by EU ERDF funds, within the Operational Programme ERDF of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.

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R+D Projects

11th May 2021

Some of AITEX’s lines of research are dedicated to the development of added-value textile solutions. Below is a summary of this research:

  • Development of high performance weft knitted fabrics.
  • Research on social, market and product trends in home textiles.

DEPUNT: DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEXTILE SOLUTIONS FOR FURNITURE AND TRANSPORT APPLICATIONS   More and more companies in the furniture and automotive sectors are opting for high-performance weft knitted fabrics for their products, due to the advantages they offer compared to traditional woven fabrics. The DE_PUNT project has developed a textile using state-of-the-art weft knitting technologies because of its interesting technical properties of mechanical performance, thermal comfort, breathability and low weight, coupled with its important advantages in sustainability: no textile waste is created in its manufacture and being of a single material, recyclability is greatly enhanced. This type of fabric is also much easier to customise with interesting designs. The successful conclusion of the project has enabled research to be carried out into different high-performance textile structures using knitted fabric weaving with applications in furniture and the transport sector. To learn more about the research carried out in the project click on the link: https://www.aitex.es/portfolio/de_punt/ 

depunt

HABITAT 2020 – SOCIAL, MARKET AND PRODUCT TREND RESEARCH AS A BASIS FOR STRATEGIC DESIGN FOR HOME TEXTILE COMPANIES The HABITAT sector, which includes ceramics, lighting, decoration, furniture and textiles, is under constant pressure from influences such as the articles that consumers will want to find in the shops that manufacturers will have to offer. HABITAT 2020 has promoted strategic design among companies in the textile-home sector, as a way of integrating and interrelating with the rest of the habitat sectors, all of whom need prospective qualitative and quantitative information on trends for the development of innovative ideas, which can then be transformed into textile products for different markets such as CONTRACT and HOME FURNISHING. To learn more about the research carried out in the project click on the link: https://www.aitex.es/portfolio/habitat-2020/

habitat 2020

Source: DaytripStudio

These projects are supported by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE. (FILE: IMAMCI/2020/1)

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R+D Projects

25th March 2021

In 2020, AITEX focused some of its research lines on advanced manufacturing, customisation and digitalisation, creating extremely interesting industrial results in the following lines:

  • Development of smart textiles for gamification
  • Development of smart textiles that monitor physiological and biological parameters

The Institute has worked on the research and development of the following projects:

GAMIFY – RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF SMART TEXTILES FOR GAMIFICATION

In recent years, mobile technology has transformed our lives and smartphones have evolved, leading to new technologies, including gamification.

In this sense, AITEX is working on the GAMIFY project to research and develop smart textiles for gamification. The results obtained during the project include the integration of sensors into knitted garments and textile pressure sensors.

gamify

The sensorised fabrics monitor the user’s movements and activity which are then fed into a smartphone app that displays personalised information on how well the wearer is moving during training or rehabilitation.

In addition, pressure sensors have been developed into a touch panel with LEDs connected to the app for the rehabilitation of the arms, improving reflexes and arm mobility in athletes and the elderly.

BIENESMART 2- R&D OF SMART TEXTILES TO MONITOR PHYSIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS FOR ENHANCED WELLBEING

We are increasingly concerned about our health and technology can help mitigate this concern by collecting data to help make better decisions to improve well-being. The BIENESMART 2 project was designed to monitor people’s health by integrating sensors capable of collecting information on physiological and biological parameters in our clothing. Recent leaps in technology have enabled us to use smart textiles and wearable devices for remote and continuous monitoring.

Sensorised clothing simplifies the data collection of a range of variables, by monitoring vital signs and physical activity seamlessly and unobtrusively. All the information collected by the sensors is sent to a smartphone app for the wearer to view.

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These textile garments are designed to improve our health and wellbeing, but they also have other fields of application such as preventing sports injuries, improving performance and monitoring physical work. They can also be used in the workplace to monitor stress, ergonomics and worker wellbeing.

FILE: IMAMCI/2020/1

This project is supported by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.

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