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JYVÄSKYLÄ – A Finnish business which converts wood pulp directly into textiles without using harmful chemicals has announced it will start production at its pilot factory by the end of 2018. Spinnova has developed a disruptive cellulose fibre innovation that includes no dissolving or other complex chemical processes.

Spinnova says its patented product development has now reached a phase where the fibre and its production method are ready to be developed on an industrial scale. The company says it will scale the technology for fibre production via joint ventures and/or licensing.

Spinnova’s CEO, Janne Poranen (pictured) told Apparel Insider: “We have made excellent progress with our R&D. Spinnova fibre’s qualities are already on an excellent level for several end products. The speed of growth-enabling developments, such as technology solutions, partnerships and production space, has also exceeded our expectations.”

Textiles produced using Spinnova fibres are being developed in cooperation with partners and raw material suppliers. The first partner Spinnova has disclosed is the Finnish design house Marimekko. Spinnova also has several other partners committed to joint product development, all globally known retail brands.

The company said its commercial partners’ criteria and different raw material functionalities will define which material is used for each application.

“The only thing that’s non-negotiable for Spinnova is sustainability; that raw materials are either renewable or waste material,” Poranen added.

In Spinnova’s production process, pulp is converted directly into textile fibre without harmful chemicals, in a process based on mechanical treatment only, fibre suspension flows and rheology.

The pulp flows through a unique nozzle, where the fibres and fibrils rotate and align with the flow, creating a strong, elastic fibre network. The fibre is then spun and dried, suitable for spinning into yarn and then knitting or weaving into fabric elsewhere.

There are no waste streams in this closed process, with the only side product being evaporated water, which is also recycled back into the process.

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