University of the Arts London
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DESIGN FOR SORTING KNITWEAR - Interview transcripts with textile sorter and recycler

posted on 2022-08-17, 10:23 authored by Cathryn HallCathryn Hall

The problem of difficult-to-recycle textile waste is an ongoing challenge for the fashion and textile industry. However, the key strategies for ‘Design for Recycling’, namely mono-materiality and disassembly, are not able to address the blended textiles that have already been produced. The fashion industry has committed to using recycled fibres in their products, however, the seemingly unresolvable tension between the designers, recyclers, and sorters remains a barrier. 

This research explores sorting practices of wool/acrylic blends in the mechanical wool recycling industry and the blending of recycled fibres to create new yarns. Expert interviews with a textile sorter from pakistan and recycler from Prato, Italy (the data provided here) were conducted to establish the different methods of sorting complex knitted textile waste. The interviews, along with other methods enabled the research to establish how the relationship between sorting in recovery and recycled blending in manufacture provides the foundations for a ‘Design for Sorting’ methodology. 


PhD Studentship - University of the Arts London

Cotton Textile Research Trust