Natural Skin

Plant-Dyed Cellulose Tubular Nets

The production of plastic net bags began around 40 years ago in order to package fruit and vegetables in such a way that they remained visible. The textile engineer András Siveri has been active in developing and producing plastic net bags for more than 15 years. His memories of how his grandparents in Hungary used hemp and linen bags to package the farm products moved him to ponder if it would be possible to manufacture bags from natural materials that nevertheless met today’s quality standards. Until now three patents have been developed in conjunction with the Verpackungszentrum Graz. By means of the double-twist technology, it is possible to produce highly tear-resistant nets with a material savings of up to 40%. The advantages of natural-fibre nets can be found along the entire value chain, from the use of renewable resources and the material savings in production to disposal through composting. At the same time, new income possibilities for agriculture and forestry are created, as well as new job opportunities in Europe’s textile industry. #

Concentration on the Natural Resource Wood
Wood is an important renewable resource domestically and, compared to other natural materials, offers the advantage of an optimal use of land with a minimal consumption of water. The production of Lyocell fibre by the Austrian company Lenzing AG demonstrates an almost closed-cycle process, which has been awarded the European Environmental Prize. In collaboration with a German net producer, the manufacture of tubular nets from cellulose thread was begun in early 2012. A joint effort with a leading retail chain for packaging organic fruit and vegetables is currently in the works.

The Use of Plant Dyes
As part of the research project ‘Colors of Nature’, conducted at the Institute for Textile Chemistry and Textile Physics at the University of Innsbruck, plant dyes are being examined and the fundamentals for their use in industry worked out. The centuries-old tradition of using plant dyes was completely replaced by chemical substances during the course of the industrial revolution. Plant dyes are obtained from renewable resources or waste materials (such as onion skins or various peels or rinds) and represent an important step in the direction of a sustainable textile industry.

Both the bio-net process and plant dyes are research and development projects that are being pursued as part of the ‘Factory of the Future’ programme of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transportation, Innovation and Technology and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

Awarded the bronze “Umwelttechnologiepreis Daphne” and “Energy Globe Styria”.

yellow = goldenrod (packaging for: lemons), orange = red onion skins (packaging for: onions),beige = nutshells (packaging for: potatoes)

Project Partners:

András Siveri, textile engineer (BIO-NETZE)
The services of Prof. Thomas Bechtold, head of the Institute for Textile Chemistry and Textile Physics at the University of Innsbruck, could be secured for the collaborative work on the use of plant dyes.

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