From wood to textile

Do you know what small fashion brand Allvar has in common with gigantic furniture maker IKEA and iconic textile producer Marimekko? They´re all investing in the developing of new kinds of cellulose based textiles. With an aim to find a sustainable alternative to cotton etc.

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Allvar Hipster by Stefan Söderberg (founder of fashion brand Hope) for Allvar (2017), made from pine and spruce trees from FSC certified forests in the Ångermanland province in Sweden. Timber from these forests are sent to the biorefinery Domsjö Fabriker by the forest company Holmen. Most of the trees selected are those too weak to be used as construction timber. In the biorefinery, the wood is separated into its different parts: ethanol, resin, lignin and cellulose. Allvar underwear are made from the cellulose. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allvar is the first brand of textile products with a certain origin in the Swedish forests. The minimalistic style of both product and packaging lends Allvar a chance to be recognized at the international fashion scene. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allu dress by Marimekko (2014) was the first Marimekko product to be made of Ioncell fabric. Photo copyright Marimekko.

Since some years Marimekko has been part of a research project led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki developing the Ioncell-F method, by which birch cellulose can be used to manufacture a biodegradable textile fibre. Marimekko now takes the step to make a market entry of wood-based textiles made of pulp-based fibre spun with Spinnova technology. Finnish fibre technology company Spinnova is currently the only company in the world able to convert pulp directly into textile fibre without chemical solvents.

Swedish forest

Ikea in partnership with H&M and the Swedish green-tech company Tree to Textile has embarked on a project to develop techniques for the making of cellulose based textiles. When and how is yet to be presented.

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