Date of Award
Master of Science
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Apparel Merchandising & Design
Negative environmental impact regarding overconsumption and textile waste is a major sustainable issue facing the apparel and textiles industry. Increased consumption stemming from fast fashion has led to an increase in overall textile production and therefore, waste. Oftentimes, textile waste ends in landfills or is incinerated, therefore contributing to pollution and environmental burden. While nearly all textiles have the capacity to be repurposed or recycled, recycling at the fiber level (such as chemical recycling) is limited in industry practice.
This experimental study was conducted to explore an alternative textile recycling method for the production of single-fiber content nanofiber textiles. Chemical recycling was assessed to determine the processes and percentages needed for successful fiber blend separation in order to develop a scientific protocol. The outcome of this protocol produced a solution for electrospinning a nano-textile. Additionally, electrospinning techniques were assessed to determine the quantity of solution and spinning time required to produce a recycled nano-textile that maintained similarity in weight (mass density) to the preliminary non-recycled textile. Results from this study documented the findings for chemical processing and nano-textile production, and a protocol combining the chemical recycling processes with electrospinning of recycled fiber blends was created.
The purpose of this research addressed the concept of life cycle circularity through the recycling of textiles. This research provided valuable feedback regarding the potential to remove textile waste from traditional waste streams for circular lifecycles through chemical recycling. Chemical recycling processes incur minimal to no fiber degradation through repetitive recycling, while electrospinning provides an opportunity to minimize the use of fiber blends through maintaining enhanced fiber properties.
Courtney Jo Barbour
Barbour, Courtney Jo, "Assessing alternative textile recycling methods: Combining chemical processing with electrospinning technology for life-cycle circularity" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 17955.