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The Use of Recycled Fibers in Fashion and Home Products

Introduction

As the textile, apparel, fashion, and retail industries move to become more sustainable, an area of interest is the use of recycled fiber, yarn, fabric, and product content in the development and production of new products. The decision to use recycled materials in products must occur during design and product development and continue throughout manufacturing processes. There are two stages in recycling —collection and processing. Recycled materials used in textile and apparel.

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The Textile and Apparel Industry

Since the Industrial Revolution when the production of textiles became mechanized through development and commercialization of related technology including the spinning frame, power loom, and cotton gin, there had been increasing abilities to produce larger quantities of yarns and fabrics. Yarn and fabric production moved from the home and small enterprises to large, industrialized factories. In the mid- to late 1800s, the sewing process also became mechanized with the invention and patenting of the sewing machine. From 1842 to 1885, the USA issued over 7300 patents for sewing machines and accessories.

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Additional technological advancements such as motorized cutting knives and pressing equipment introduced in the late 1800s contributed to the growth of the industry and supported the development of the factory system. Although menswear was the first market segment to move to ready-to-wear apparel, other market segments including children’s and women’s apparels soon followed.

Conclusion

In addition to technological developments in textile and apparel manufacturing, during the first half of the twentieth century, the development of regenerated and synthetic polymers suitable for use as textile fibers increased raw material availability. Production of manufactured fibers increased rapidly and by the 1980s the consumption of these fibers outpaced the consumption of natural fibers. Because of these many advancements, the production and availability of textiles and apparels increased dramatically

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