Toray unveils new ‘environmentally friendly’ suede-like material
Japanese textile maker Toray claims it has created the world’s first suede-like non-woven fabric using plant-based raw materials, and it hopes it will generate 3 billion yen ($26.6m) in sales by 2023.
The "Ultrasuede BX" will be marketed as an environmentally friendly material for a wide range of applications such as fashion, automotive and upholstery, the company said.
Having a suede texture, the fabric is about 30% made of plant-based materials - the highest content of such materials in a fabric in the world. It is made using Polyester which has been polymerized with Ethylene glycol made from waste molasses of sugarcane and Polyurethane composed of Polyol made of castor oil.
Toray said other fabrics made from plant-based Polyurethane had low durability and could not be used for a non-wove material with a suede texture, however the company managed to create a durable fabric by impregnating ultra fine Polyester fibres with Polyurethane and coagulating it.
The "Ultrasuede BX" material will launch in January 2019 and is expected to generate 500 million yen in sales by the end of the 2019 financial year.
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