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Hightech Fibers that are green at heart

Everyone’s talking about organic products; they’re used in hair and skin care and, thanks to Evonik, even for clothing.

Food, creams, and shampoos that are labeled organic have long been part of German households. In wardrobes, however, green alternatives are the exception rather than the rule. But Italian yarn producer Fulgar and Uwe Kannengiesser of the Resource Efficiency Segment hope that this will soon change.

Fiber noodles from a “pasta dough machine”

Fulgar has developed a biobased fiber that it has named EVO®. EVO® is produced from Evonik’s VESTAMID® Terra, a biopolyamide obtained entirely from the seeds of the castor oil plant. “The plant is not edible and grows in arid areas that are unsuitable for agriculture. So in using it as a raw material, we’re wasting neither food nor land,” says Uwe Kannengiesser of Evonik’s Consumer Goods market segment. VESTAMID® Terra has the appearance of small fusible plastic beads. Fulgar heats it, as a result of which it fuses to a soft mass; from this, a 40-meter-long monofilament system spins the EVO® fibers. The whole thing works like a pasta dough machine: The polyamide dough is pressed through a screen into thin strands of fiber. These are then drawn out, which gives them their characteristic property. If drawn only slightly, the fiber remains elastic; if, on the other hand, it is stretched too far, it loses the ability to contract again and becomes rigid. The fiber thus behaves like a rubber band.

Wrinkle-free miracle fiber

Fulgar sells the EVO® fibers, wound on giant spools, to textile manufacturers, who weave them into organic fabrics. While the term might conjure up images of scratchy felt slippers and coarse-woven Aladdin pants, nothing could be further from the truth. EVO® fabric is high-tech: light, stretchable, breathable, quick drying, odor inhibiting, and permanent press. A true miracle fiber that’s green at heart.