Resource: Project Report: Rapid emblem removal to enable reuse of corporate clothing (RECO)
The visual identity of corporate clothing is partly determined by embroidered emblems or logos durably attached to the fabric surface.
Thursday, 30th July 2009
Overview The visual identity of corporate clothing is partly determined by embroidered emblems or logos durably attached to the fabric surface. Currently at the end of life, such motifs cannot be economically removed from the garments without damaging the underlying fabric. Consequently, corporate clothing, which may be highly-specified, is frequently discarded at the end of its first life, which usually occurs well before the performance of the garment or constituent fabric has deteriorated to a point that it is not serviceable. This creates a significant waste of valuable raw materials. Aims & Approach A viable method of emblem removal is required that has the potential to become an automated process would be an enabler of cost-effective reuse of high-performance embroidered corporate garments by either existing users or other customers. Corporate garments could then be reused either without an emblem or with the addition of a newly embroidered emblem. The project involved a corporate clothing manufacturer, a major UK retailer, the UK’s largest collector of second hand clothing and a specialist technical textile R&D organisation all of whom have significant experience of the market dynamics and technical barriers in this field. The Feasibility Study comprised a technical evaluation of five systems for the removal of logos, namely:
- Polymer degradation using microwaves.
- Chemically-triggered erasable colour.
- Reversible adhesive.
- Reversible transfer printing.
- High temperature soluble yarns.