sustainable upholstery fabrics
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One of Fabraa’s goals is to have a circular product range. The question we ask ourselves is: what to do with those production scraps? We’re not the only ones wrestling with this question, it’s also one that our customers have often asked. We looked at all the available solutions and we launched a project in collaboration with Fontys University of Applied Sciences. We asked them to examine whether it was possible to recycle our fabric scraps (of mixed composition) and, if so, how. One of their findings was that they were able make a polymer by mixing fibres. So, it was possible to recycle leftovers, but not yet in large volumes.

It was time for bigger guns. That’s how we came into contact with Frankenhuis, a company with a great deal of expertise in textile recycling. A visit to their plant in Haaksbergen revealed that it offered the best recycling option available.

What Frankenhuis is good at
Frankenhuis reuses everything in the fabrics it collects. They are turned into fibres to make new yarns. Take a pair of jeans, for example: the fibres are used to make new jeans and the buttons and metals are melted down for reuse.

Our scraps are also put to good use. Not all fabrics can be reduced to fibres, but Frankenhuis has several other solutions. For instance, it’s not yet possible to turn fabrics with a backing into fibres of a satisfactory standard. It is, however, possible to shred the backing and turn it into punchbag padding. Another category is velvet fabrics, which are shredded and used in the car industry, providing excellent wall or door panels. A woven fabric without backing is already being turned into fibres. It is pulled apart by the extruder, turned into fibres and reused to make new yarns. We’re working with Frankenhuis to find a way of turning all fabric scraps into yarns we can use in our own industry.