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Making polyester eco-friendly with CiCLO additive technology

MSYG’s new yarn represents a sustainable, high-performance alternative to conventional polyester for both performance wear and medical personal protective equipment (PPE)

16th June 2020

Knitting Industry
 |  Valdese, NC



Polyester is possibly the world’s favourite fibre when it comes to manufacturing performance wear and other apparel. Polyester is durable, can be engineered to provide multiple performance characteristics, wears well, is in good supply and designers love it. But polyester and other synthetic fibres can also contribute to land and ocean pollution. That is about to change, says Meridian Specialty Yarn Group, Inc. (MSYG).

MSYG is now offering polyester yarns processed with CiCLO technology, which allows polyester fibres to break down in landfills and the ocean at rates comparable to a natural fibre like wool, the company claims.

MSYG is currently introducing yarns with CiCLO technology to hosiery markets, initially for performance and hiking socks. Yarns with CiCLO technology are also available to manufacturers of medical PPE for use making medical gowns, lab coats, medical setting curtains and other medical textiles typically made from polyester.

“Meridian’s new yarns with CiCLO technology can be treated with antimicrobials proven effective at reducing exposure to viral infections and have the same beauty, wear-ability, durability, functionality, and performance characteristics consumers expect from polyester,” the company says. “At the same time, when thrown away, CiCLO yarns reduce the persistence of synthetic textile accumulation in landfills and synthetic fibre fragments in the ocean.”

The yarn is being processed in the United States in MSYG’s new manufacturing plant in Valdese, North Carolina. The facility, which opened in July 2019, is said to be the most modern and up to date dyehouse in the US and equal to, or better than, any other yarn dyeing operation worldwide.

According to MSYG, the plant has been engineered to use dramatically less water and power than comparable textile operations and generates much less effluent as a by-product of the dyeing and drying process.

“The result is a high quality polyester yarn with all of the performance and PPE characteristics brands, consumers and front line medical professionals rely on, but with a verifiable sustainability story and reduced environmental impact,” MSYG says.

“This represents a breakthrough for the performance apparel and hosiery industries, which have been looking for sustainable alternatives to traditional synthetic fabrics,” said Tim Manson, president of MSYG.

“Fabrics made from yarns with CiCLO technology can be treated to have the same performance characteristics as the synthetic fibres and yarns now widely used in performance apparel, including outdoor hiking and running socks.”

CiCLO technology is a product of Intrinsic Advanced Materials, which was formed to develop and commercialize innovative and sustainable solutions for the textile industry. Its team is made up of scientists, engineers and textile industry veterans who are outdoor enthusiasts and feel passionately about protecting the planet.

The chemistry used to create CiCLO fibres is ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX certified, and Intrinsic Advanced Materials is a member of both the Textile Exchange and the Outdoor Industry Association. Extensive testing by reliable third-party laboratories over several years has proven that CiCLO technology fibres and yarns are effective at reducing synthetic fibre accumulation in landfills and microfiber pollution in the oceans,” MSYG concludes.

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group, Inc. (MSYG) is a leading specialty yarn and fibre wet processing operation in the United States. At the company’s new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Valdese, North Carolina, Meridian offers package dyed yarn, space dyed yarn, top dyed wool, yarn printing and twisting, and is now also home to the only tow-dyeing capacity in the US. In addition, the new plant can dye or chemically treat any fibre substrate, from cellulosic to acrylic to many aramids.

At Meridian’s novelty spinning operation in Ranlo, North Carolina, the company produces coarse count novelty yarn from various substrates using six different yarn formation technologies. The end uses for these yarns include home furnishings, hosiery, industrial, craft and apparel.

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group is a Meridian Industries, Inc. company. MSYG’s new plant in Valdese, NC, USA, is equipped with state-of-the art robotics, advanced software systems and high-tech manufacturing equipment that, together, set a new industry standard for product quality and sustainability.

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