Textile recycling is the process by which old clothes and other textiles are recovered for reuse or recycled as materials. These activities are the basis of the textile recycling industry. Stages in the textile recycling process include donation, separate collection, sorting and processing of textiles, and then subsequent transport to end users of used clothes, rags or other recycled materials.
Once trapped in textile depots, it can take hundreds of years to decompose. In this process, they emit methane and CO2 into the atmosphere. In addition, synthetic fabrics are not suitable for decomposition and can be released into landfills and can release toxic substances into groundwater and surrounding soils.
That is why the environmental benefits of recycled textiles are important, and they are in the following directions:
- Saves space for disposal, given that synthetic fibers do not decompose and natural fibers can emit greenhouse gases
- The use of primary fibers is avoided
- Reduced energy and water consumption
- Avoid pollution
- Reduced demand for dyes
There is a difference in the recycling of natural and synthetic fibers, and here we will mention only the main guidelines and differences.
For natural textiles:
- Input material that is not suitable for reuse is sorted by material type and color. This eliminates the need for additional coloring. Color sorting has the advantage that it does not require re-washing, thus saving energy and avoiding contaminants.
- The textile fabrics are then pulled into fibers or shredded, sometimes introducing other fibers into the yarn. The materials are shredded or pulled into fibers. Depending on the end use of the yarn, other fibers may be included.
- The yarn is then cleaned and mixed through a carding process.
- The yarn is then rewound and ready for later use in weaving or knitting.
When we talk about recycling polyester textiles, the process goes through different stages: the garments are shredded and then granulated for processing into polyester chips. Subsequently, they are melted and used to create new fibers for use in new polyester fabrics.