Microplastics shedding from textiles—Developing analytical method for measurement of shed material representing release during domestic washing - Projects
Microplastics shedding from textiles—Developing analytical method for measurement of shed material representing release during domestic washing
Updated : October 2020
Textile industry sustainability professionals
Textile laundry and maintenance professionals
This article presents research enabling for identification of whether the shedding of microplastics from different types of fabric was dependent on construction parameters. This paper proposes a test method for measuring microplastics shedding occurring when washing fabrics and garments. Such a method is needed to analyse why certain fabrics emit more microplastics than others. Different textile fabrics need to be compared to each other to enable mitigation of these emissions by for instance design solutions or cleaner production methods. The comparison must be on the one hand robust (low standard deviation) and on the other hand sensitive enough to differentiate between for example different types of synthetic materials, different weave/knit constructions or fabrics produced with different process equipments or set-ups.
The Gyrowash technology has been chosen since it is used in other standard textile testing [32,33] and due to its capacity to in a short period of time, with minimal error sources and with minimal material use and water resource use provide result, in comparison to for instance full-size washing machine testing. The results show little difference in between virgin and recycled content in the fabric. Neither is there a large difference between polyester fleece and polyester jersey. The jersey material is a knitted product whereas the fleece is a brushed weave. However, a relatively large difference can be found between the scissor cut material and the ultra sound cut material. It seems likely that fibres are generated at the edges in the scissor cut material contributing to shedding.