The Microfibre Consortium launches first global microfibre shedding test method for textile industry

The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) has announced details of a microfibre shedding test method that has now been released to its members.  Developed by the University of Leeds (UoL) on behalf of the consortium, the test is the world’s first thoroughly tested, validated and internationally aligned method for measuring microfibre material loss from textiles. The launch will enable TMC and its members to accelerate and deepen research that leads to product development change and a reduction in microfibre shedding in the fashion, sport, outdoor and home textiles industries.  A subsequent wider industry release is planned after member feedback has been gathered.

Following the formation and management of The Outdoor Microfibre Consortium by the European Outdoor Group in 2017, The Microfibre Consortium was founded as a stand alone organisation in November 2018. TMC facilitates the development of practical solutions for the textile industry in order to minimise microfibre release to the environment from textile manufacturing and product life cycle. The consortium connects and translates deep academic research and aligns it with the reality of commercial supply chain production, to offer solutions to its brand, retail and supplier members, and ultimately for the greater good of ecosystems.

TMC membership has grown substantially and now includes 40 members from across the outdoor sector, sports, high street, luxury fashion and home textiles, with a combined turnover of over €250 billion. TMC also has research and affiliate members from around the world, boosting the consortium’s growing international scope to support greater global topic alignment and collaboration and research understanding.

Working on behalf of, and closely with, TMC and its members and stakeholders, scientists at the University of Leeds developed the new method and after exhaustive testing, the consortium board approved its release to the membership. Ahead of the release, TMC also began the next phase of its wider work with UoL, supporting product development change at the brand and retail level, by funding a full-time research technician. This work focuses on building a database of understanding about the impact of different fibres, yarns, fabric constructions and process steps with regard to fibre shedding at the material level.

Sophie Mather, chair of The Microfibre Consortium, comments: “This work is truly exciting and pioneering as far as establishing the deep textile understanding that we need to make product change. This is the reason I started this work in 2016 and I believe that as we dig deeper into the strategic selection of test samples, we will uncover some really insightful learnings that will be of great value to brands and retailers as they develop new product ranges. This is the crucial bridge from deep academic work to the reality of commercial product development that the industry is crying out for and building it is exactly why The Microfibre Consortium was founded.”

Dr. Jan Beringer of new TMC member Hohenstein adds: “We’re excited and honoured to join The Microfibre Consortium and support this ground-breaking work with the University of Leeds. Sharing the expertise gained while developing our Dynamic Image Analysis method over the last three years will enable all TMC members to get a deeper understanding of the key factors and processes related to fibre shedding. In turn, this will lead to knowledge-based engineering of low shedding textiles for a beneficial impact on the environment.”

Organisations that would like to discuss joining The Microfibre Consortium should contact findoutmore@microfibreconsortium.com. To find out more about the consortium, visit www.microfibreconsortium.com.