textile recycling methods

textile recycling methods

Textile recycling is a crucial aspect of sustainable practices in the textiles & nonwovens industry. Through various methods such as mechanical, chemical, and closed-loop processes, textiles can be repurposed, reducing waste and environmental impact.

Mechanical Textile Recycling

Mechanical textile recycling involves breaking down textiles into fibers, which are then used to create new fabrics or products. This method typically involves shredding, cutting, or tearing the textiles into smaller pieces, followed by the extraction of fibers. The resulting fibers can be spun into yarns or used in nonwoven products.


Shredding is a common process in mechanical textile recycling, where textile waste is broken down into smaller pieces or fibers. These fibers can then be converted into yarns or blended with other materials to create new fabrics.


Carding is a process that aligns and separates textile fibers to create a web of fibers, which can be further processed into yarns or nonwoven fabrics. This method is commonly used in recycling wool and cotton textiles.

Chemical Textile Recycling

Chemical textile recycling involves breaking down textiles using chemical processes, such as depolymerization or solvolysis, to recover the raw materials for the production of new textiles or other products. This method is especially useful for blended or mixed fiber textiles, which are challenging to recycle using mechanical methods.


In depolymerization, the chemical bonds in the textile polymers are broken down into monomers or basic chemical units, which can then be used to create new polymers for textile production. This process enables the recovery of high-quality materials from textiles that would otherwise be discarded.


Solvolysis is a chemical process that uses solvents to break down textile fibers into their constituent components, allowing for the recovery of valuable materials. This method is particularly effective for recycling polyester and other synthetic textiles.

Closed-Loop Textile Recycling

Closed-loop textile recycling, also known as circular or sustainable textile production, involves creating a continuous cycle of material use, where textiles are recycled back into new textiles with minimal waste and resource consumption. This approach aims to minimize the environmental impact of textile production and consumption.

Fiber-to-Fiber Recycling

Fiber-to-fiber recycling is a key component of closed-loop textile recycling, where used textiles are transformed into new fibers that can be used in textile production without compromising quality. This process reduces the reliance on virgin materials and promotes a more sustainable approach to textile manufacturing.

Reverse Logistics

Reverse logistics in closed-loop textile recycling involves collecting used textiles, processing them to recover fibers or materials, and integrating them back into the production of new textiles. This approach requires effective collection and sorting systems to ensure the efficient recycling of textile waste.

Textile recycling methods play a pivotal role in sustainable practices within the textiles & nonwovens industry. By implementing mechanical, chemical, and closed-loop processes, the industry can reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to a more circular economy.