Albstadt-based Mayer and Cie has supplied the University of Applied Sciences in Mönchengladbach with its MPU 1.6 model for its new Textile Mission Project. A group of researchers at the University have launched the project to develop environmentally compatible fleece fabrics. Manufactured in the conventional way, these fluffy fabrics release micro plastic that ends up in waters, oceans and soils and finally in the stomach of animals and humans. These fibers are so small that wastewater treatment plants may not be able to filter them out entirely and they may find their way into waterways and seas, or as sewage sludge onto fields. From there, it is possible the plastic works its way up the food chain.
The MPU 1.6 will help researchers to knit fabrics before carry out washing and filtration tests besides optimizing and developing textile surfaces that release smaller quantities of microplastics.
The MPU 1.6 knits plush, velour, terry and fleece fabrics. At present, conventional polyester spools are fitted on the machine. Two sets of material have been tested so far with more to follow.
The research does not aim to discourage the use of polyester although the team is looking into alternative fiber materials. It seeks a mass-market solution that includes polyester on price grounds alone.