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A STUDY ON RECYCLING THE FABRIC SCRAPS IN APPAREL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY HAZIR GİYİM SEKTÖRÜNDEKİ KUMAŞ KIRPINTILARININ GERİ DÖNÜŞÜMÜ ÜZERİNE BİR ÇALIŞMA

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286 TEKSTİL ve KONFEKSİYON 23(3), 2013
(REFEREED RESEARCH)
A STUDY ON RECYCLING THE FABRIC SCRAPS IN
APPAREL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
HAZIR GİYİM SEKTÖRÜNDEKİ KUMAŞ KIRPINTILARININ
GERİ DÖNÜŞÜMÜ ÜZERİNE BİR ÇALIŞMA
Özlem KURTOĞLU NECEF¹, Necdet SEVENTEKİN², Maşuk PAMUK3 *
¹Ege University, Emel Akın Vocational School, Izmir, Turkey
²Ege University, Department of Textile Engineering, Izmir, Turkey
3Uniteks, Izmir, Turkey
Received: 08.05.2012 Accepted: 11.04.2013
ABSTRACT
In an increasingly health and environmental awareness of world, consumers and apparel manufacturing industries have been
looking for environmentally friendly clothing. The aim of the paper is to investigate the usability of recycled garments which were
manufactured by evaluating fabric scraps. Ne 28 50% recycled cotton-50% polyester yarns were produced from fabric scraps of a
clothing company and compared with Ne 28 50% cotton-50% polyester yarns. Single jersey fabrics were knitted with these yarns and
garments were sawn with these fabrics in the same production conditions. The physical properties of yarns, fabrics and garments were
compared with products that made from virgin materials. The test results indicated that there is not a distinctive difference between
recycled and virgin garments qualities. As the result of this study, it can be stated that recycled garments produced from fabric scraps
can be used in apparel manufacturing industry.
Key Words: Apparel manufacturing industry, Recycling, Reusing, Fabric Scraps.
ÖZET
Dünyada artan çevre bilinci ile tüketiciler ve hazır giyim üreticisi firmalar çevre dostu giysilere yönelmişlerdir. Bu çalışmanın
amacı, kumaş kırpıntılarının değerlendirilmesiyle elde edilen geri dönüşümlü giysilerin kullanımının araştırılmasıdır. Bir hazır giyim
firmasının kumaş kırpıntılarından Ne 28 %50 geri dönüşümlü pamuk-%50 poliester iplikler elde edilmiş, Ne 28 %50 pamuk-%50
poliester ipliklerle karşılaştırılmıştır. Bu ipliklerden aynı üretim şartlarında süprem kumaşlar örülmüş ve bu kumaşlardan giysiler
dikilmiştir. Geri dönüşümlü ipliklerin, kumaşların ve giysilerin fiziksel özellikleri, yeni materyallerden üretilen ürünlerin fiziksel
özellikleri ile karşılaştırılmıştır. Test sonuçları, geri dönüşümlü giysilerin kalitesi ve yeni materyaller kullanılarak elde edilen giysilerin
kalitesi arasında belirgin bir fark olmadığını göstermektedir. Çalışmanın sonucunda, kumaş kırpıntılarından elde edilen geri dönüşüm
giysilerin hazır giyim sanayiinde kullanılabileceği belirlenmiştir.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Hazır giyim sanayii, Geri dönüşüm, Geri kazanım, Kumaş kırpıntıları.
Corresponding Author: Özlem Kurtoğlu Necef, ozlem.kurtoglu@ege.edu.tr, Tel: +90 232 311 30 52 Fax: +90 232 342 60 53
1. INTRODUCTION
Recycling waste is one of the most
important environmental tasks that
face the world, to reduce
environmental loading and promote
the most effective use of resources (1).
Ecological consciousness and
increased environmental awareness
are growing steadily world-wide among
manufacturers, retailers and
consumers, who are all being
encouraged to recycle waste and buy
products made from recycled
materials. Recycling can be defined as
the process of treating things that have
already been used so that they can be
used again (2). Recycling is not only a
word for saving the energy and water,
but also a magic word for a
sustainable life in the world (3). The
activities of this industry must be
economically competitive and
environmentally beneficial (4).
Although textile and apparel
manufacturing industry is one of the
biggest consumer intensive sectors,
recycling practices in this sector are
not satisfactory (5). Along with
increasing global awareness of
environmental problems, consumers’
awareness of sustainability has risen
as well (6). Consumers are seeking
recycled garments and producers are
exploring ways to meet these
demands.
In a series of researches, recycling of
paper, glass and plastic were
investigated, but there has been no
widely published research about textile
and apparel manufacturing industry.
In a study carried out by Güngör (5),
the life cycle stages of a bathrobe in
details including the waste potential,
energy usage and environmental
effects of each stage were examined.
TEKSTİL ve KONFEKSİYON 23(3), 2013 287
At the end of the research it was
determined that growing,
manufacturing, consumer usage, and
recovery stages of a 100% cotton
bathrobe might cause some
environmental effects.
In a study conducted by Swinker and
Hines (7) the consumers’ selection
patterns of textile products made from
recycled fibers were evaluated by using
a quasi-experimental design. 125
undergraduate students evaluated six
identical sweatshirts and six identical
carpet samples that were labelled with
two manipulated information cues, price
and fiber content. Results showed that
apparel and home textile products
made from recycled fibers will be
sellable if priced competitively with
products made from virgin fibers.
Niinimäki and Hassi (8) prepared a
survey included a set of design and
manufacturing strategies for the textile
and apparel manufacturing industry
that could reduce the environmental
impact of textile and clothing
production and consumption.
Chen and Burns (9) evaluated
processes used to produce cotton,
wool, nylon, polyester, rayon, lyocell
(Tencel®), leather and their potential
environmental impacts using selected
criteria. They stated that the
assessment of the environmental
impact of a product is a complex issue,
and solutions cannot be achieved
without action by the government,
industry, and the consumers.
The apparel manufacturing industry
can create many environmental
problems, including large quantities of
harmful waste that are generated at
every stage of the apparel
manufacturing process. Especially,
cutting department waste is a primary
environmental concern and accounts
for a large percentage of waste. The
aim of this paper is to investigate the
usability of recycled garments which
were produced by evaluating fabric
scraps. For this purpose, Ne 28 50%
recycled cotton-50% polyester yarns
were produced from fabric scraps that
were obtained from cutting process of
a clothing company and compared
with Ne 28 50% cotton-50% polyester
yarns. Single jersey fabrics were
knitted with these yarns and t-shirt
samples were sawn with these fabrics
in the same production conditions. The
physical properties of recycled yarns,
fabrics and garments were compared
with products that made from virgin
materials.
2. MATERIAL AND METHOD
2.1. Material
The fabric scraps used in the study were
collected from a clothing company,
which exported knitted garments to the
famous brands of the world. During
recycling process, the clothing company
worked with a recycling company which
also manufactured some products such
as carpet, blanket, and furniture padding
of recycled and virgin fiber mixtures. In
the study, the recycling company worked
as a subcontractor of the clothing
company.
To compare recycled yarns, Ne 28
50% cotton-50% polyester yarns were
used.
2.2. Method
In this study, fabric scraps which were
generated in cutting process were
evaluated by using recycling
technology. Primarily, all the fabric
scraps were collected and sorted
according to their yarn count, color,
fabric type, composition and amount.
The clothing company collected not
also its own scraps but also its’
subcontractors. For preventing any
confusion fabric scrap labels, which
indicated the properties of the wastes
such as the yarn count, color, etc.
were prepared. During collecting
process the big fabric scraps were
shredded or pulled apart into small
fractions and the similar colors were
sorted within the company tolerances
values. The importance of the sorting
is the fabric scraps should be in a
good condition and free of foreign
objects. When the amount of the fabric
scraps increased up to 3000
kilograms, they were transported to
recycling company. The fabric scraps
were shredded into small fibers and
blended with virgin polyester fibers
with the proportion of 1:1 and the
mixture fibers were carded in recycling
company. For equalizing, parallelizing,
blending and removing dust (10) card
slivers were drawn. Then, the slivers
were spun together to obtain Ne 28
50% recycled cotton-50% polyester
yarns by using rotor spinning. The
pictures of production steps are given
in Figure 1.
In order to analyze the usability of
recycled yarns, they were transported
to the clothing company and compared
with Ne 28 50% cotton-50% polyester
yarns which the company mostly used
in mass production. Yarn
unevennesses, thick places, yarn
hairiness and yarn twist values of
these yarns were measured.
Thickness values were measured
according to TS 7128 EN ISO 5084
standard by SDL ATLAS Digital
Thickness Gauge. The unevennness
of the yarns were measured by an
Uster Tester 4 and the yarn hairiness
properties of the yarns were evaluated
by using Uster Tester 5-CTT according
the ASTM D 5647 standards.
Figure 1. The pictures of recycled yarns production steps
288 TEKSTİL ve KONFEKSİYON 23(3), 2013
Single jersey fabrics were knitted by
using these yarns in the same
production conditions. The knitting
process was completed with constant
machine settings in the same tightness
value and the samples were kept
under the standard atmospheric
conditions for 24 hours for the
relaxation. Spirality, pilling resistance,
shrinkage values from length and
width of the fabrics were tested.
Pilling was measured by Martindale
according to TS EN ISO 12945-2
standard for 2000 cycles. The pilled
fabric specimens were compared with
standard pilling test images to determine
the pilling grade on a scale from 1 (most
severe pilling) to 5 (no pilling).
The consumers used the recycled
products in garment form so at the last
stage of the study t-shirt samples were
sawn with these fabrics by using the
same sewing parameters. For
assembling the garments, 100%
polyester sewing thread (ticket number
120) used at the lockstitch sewing
machine.
During usage of the garments to
analyze whether there is any problem
such as seam puckering, change in
dimensions of garment or not, spirality,
color fastness to washing at 40 Cº,
shrinkage from length and width
values were tested. Washing fastness
tests were made for determining the
change in colors of a dyed or printed
textile product, when exposed to
various washing conditions. They were
made in Linitest according to ISO 105
C06 standard and the changes of color
in samples were evaluated by grey
scale.
All measurements were carried out
under the standard atmospheric
conditions and they were repeated five
times.
For the evaluation of the statistical
significance of the effects of recycled
and virgin materials on yarn properties
independent sample T-Tests were
applied by using PASW 18 statistical
program. In order to determine
whether the parameters are significant
or not, p values were examined
according to significant level of
α=0.05. Miran (11) emphasized that if
the “p” value of a parameter is greater
than 0.05 (p>0.05), it means that the
parameter is not important and should
be ignored. The test results of studied
yarns are given in Table 2.
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
For the verification testing, five
samples for each specimen were
tested and averages of the test results
were calculated.
The test results of yarn unevennesses,
thick places, yarn hairiness and yarn
twist values are given in Table 1. The
test results revealed that lower yarn
unevenness and thick places values of
the recycled yarns can be a sign for
the quality of the yarns. However, yarn
hairiness were relatively higher in the
recycled yarns. Therefore; it could be
said that recycled yarns have better
yarn unevenness value and for the
number of thick places, whereas they
have higher hairiness as a
disadvantage. As the twist values were
analyzed, it was seen that virgin yarns
had lower twist values, which made
them softer. The level of twist, that
created a stiffer yarn structure, was
higher in the recycled yarns, due to the
short fiber content in the yarns.
As it can be seen in Table 2, statistical
analysis results demonstrated that the
influence of the recycled and virgin
materials on yarn unevennesses, thick
places, yarn hairiness and yarn twist
values were statistically significant. It
could be said that material type had
also an important effect on yarn
properties.
The test results of fabrics are
presented in Table 3. The results
exposed that shrinkage percentage
values both length and width were
found lower than the target parameter
values (±%5) of the clothing company,
therefore the recycled fabric’s quality
was found acceptable for apparel
manufacturing process. Tendency to
increase pilling for recycled fabrics
was higher than the virgin fabrics. The
fibers used in recycled fabric were
shorter that the other fibers used in
virgin fabric, so it becomed more
difficult to obtain better value in pilling
tests. However, they had lower
spirality percentage value, which
supplied an advantage during the
production and made them preferable
and compatible against virgin yarns.
Table 1. The physical properties of recycled and virgin yarns
Material type Yarn unevenness Thick places +50% Hairiness Twist(T/m)
Recycled yarns 12,16 81,3 5,81 984
Virgin yarns 13,15 91,0 4,68 850
Table 2. Influence of recycled and virgin yarns on yarn properties
Factor Yarn type Mean Square T value Degree of
freedom Significance
Recycled 12,16
Yarn unevenness Virgin 13,15
-6,546 8 0,000
Recycled 81,30
Thickness Virgin 91,00
-16,784 8 0,000
Recycled 5,81
Hairiness Virgin 4,68 3,626 8 0,007
Recycled 984,20
Twist Virgin 850,40
24,976 8 0,000
* statistically important according to α=0,05
TEKSTİL ve KONFEKSİYON 23(3), 2013 289
Table 3. The physical properties of recycled and virgin fabrics
Material type Recycled fabric Virgin fabric
Shrinkage percentage values-length (%) -1,8 -1,6
Shrinkage percentage values-width (%) -2,6 -4,4
Pilling resistance 3-4 4
Spirality (%) 3,1 3,4
Table 4. The physical properties of recycled and virgin t-shirts
Material type Recycled t-shirt Virgin t-shirt
Shrinkage percentage values-length (%) 2,4 2,1
Shrinkage percentage values-width (%) 1,1 1,7
Color fastness to washing at 40 Cº 5 5
Spirality after washing at 40 Cº (%) 4,9 2,3
The test results of the recycled and
virgin t-shirt samples are given in
Table 4. The test results revealed that
there was not a distinctive difference in
shrinkage percentage length values.
Moreover, color fastnesses to washing
at 40 Cº values were completely the
same for both samples. It was
observed that shrinkage percentage
width values of recycled garments
were lower than the virgin garments
that could be advantage for the
subsequent processes. Only the
results of spirality after washing at
40 Cº values were higher in the
recycled garments as a disadvantage
but they were lower than the target
parameters values (±5%) of the
clothing company.
4. CONCLUSION
The increasing consumer environmental
awareness and ecological
consciousness have led the apparel
manufacturing industry to recycle
waste and manufacture products
environmentally beneficial. It was
believed that the quality of garments
made from recycled textile materials
would be considerably lower than the
quality of products made from virgin
materials.
The main objective of this research is
to investigate the usability of recycled
garments that produced from fabric
scraps generated in cutting process of
a clothing company. Ne 28 50%
recycled cotton-50% polyester yarns
were produced from fabric scraps and
compared with Ne 28 50% cotton-50%
polyester yarns. Single jersey fabrics
were knitted with these yarns and t-
shirt samples were sawn with these
fabrics in the same production
conditions. The physical properties of
recycled yarns, fabrics and garments
were compared with the virgin
products.
The test results indicated that although
material type had also an important
effect on yarn properties statistically,
the results of recycled fabric and
garment samples were found lower
than the target parameters values of
clothing company. It could be stated
that there is not a distinctive difference
between recycled and virgin garments.
The quality of recycle garments is not
lower and recycled garments produced
from fabric scraps can be used in
apparel manufacturing industry.
This study will be helpful to the
development of recycling and this
technology helps to create new
opportunities for apparel
manufacturing industry.
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1. Lou, C.W., Lin, J.H., Su, K.H., 2005, “Recycling Polyester and Polypropylene Nonwoven Selvages to Produce Functional Sound
Absorption Composites”, Textile Research Journal, 75 (5), pp: 390-394.
2. Larney, M., Van Aardt, A.M., 2010, “Case study: Apparel Industry Waste Management: A Focus on Recycling In South Africa”, Waste
Management & Research, 28, pp: 36-43.
3. Tarakçıoğlu, I., 2008, “Organik Pamuk ve Tekstil Sanayii”, İstanbul Ticaret Odası, İstanbul, p: 247.
4. Wang, Y., 2006,Carpet Recycling Technologies”, School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology,
5. http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~yw6/Fiberrecycling/Recycling%20in%20Textiles%20YWang%20Ch6.pdf (16.11.2011).
6. Güngör, A., Palamutçu, S., İkiz, Y, 2009, “Pamuklu Tekstiller ve Çevre: Bir Bornozun Yaşam Döngü Değerlendirmesi”, Tekstil ve
Konfeksiyon, Yıl 19 Vol: 3, pp: 197-205.
7. Gam, J.H., Banning, J., 2011, “Adressing Sustainable Apparel Design Challenges with Problem-Based Learning”, Clothing and Textiles
Research Journal, 29 (3), pp: 202-215.
8. Swinker, M.E., Hines, J.D., 1997, “Consumers’ Selection of Textile Products Made.
9. from Recycled Fibres”, Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 21, pp: 307-313.
10. Niinimaki, K., Hassi, L., 2011, “Emerging Design Strategies in Sustainable Production and Consumption of Textile and Clothing”,
Journal of Cleaner Production, 19, pp: 1876-1883.
11. Chen, H.L., Burns, L.D., 2006, “Environmental Analysis of Textile Products”, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 24 (3), pp: 248-261.
12. Klein, W., 1987, “A Practical Guide to Combing and Drawing”, The Textile Institute, p:60.
13. Miran, B., 2010, “Temel İstatistik”, İzmir, p.240.
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Güngör, A., Palamutçu, S., İkiz, Y, 2009, "Pamuklu Tekstiller ve Çevre: Bir Bornozun Yaşam Döngü Değerlendirmesi", Tekstil ve Konfeksiyon, Yıl 19 Vol: 3, pp: 197-205.
A Practical Guide to Combing and Drawing
  • W Klein
Klein, W., 1987, "A Practical Guide to Combing and Drawing", The Textile Institute, p:60.