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Web Exclusive | June 2018

Say ‘No’ to fabric pilling with new treatment

Working collaboratively under the framework of the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres, textile innovators at HeiQ, with help from researchers from Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), have developed a range of ‘No Fuzz’ treatments that reduce unsightly pilling and make garments look and feel newer for longer.

IFM Senior Research Fellow Dr Alessandra Sutti said pilling was caused by friction, as loose fibres in the material rub together and become tangled, forming annoying fuzzy balls. “The key to avoiding pilling is to either remove fluffy fibres or to stabilise the fabric structure so fibres can't easily loosen and tangle,” she explained. “HeiQ's NoFuzz technology bridges the gaps and strengthens loose fibres with adhesive polymer structures, reinforcing fabric yarns and resulting in a significant improvement against pilling.”
HeiQ Australia Chief Executive Dr Murray Height, co-founder of HeiQ Materials AG, said pilling and abrasion resistance in general was one of the biggest problems affecting clothing, especially when it came to staple fibre textiles such as wool and natural/synthetic blends. “The need for an off-the-shelf treatment that can be applied to any fabric without noticeable impact on its feel or appearance has been discussed since the early days of the IFM/HeiQ partnership,” he said. “The textiles industry has tried to deal with this issue for years, but none of the current methods are entirely satisfactory – most fabric-based treatments result in an unpleasant feel to the fabric and reduced comfort.” Dr Sutti said the HeiQ NoFuzz treatment helped to make clothing more robust to wear and tear, thereby playing a role in extending the useful lifetime of garments. “This treatment can be used on all fibre types, but it has been shown to be particularly effective on spun yarns and natural/synthetic blends, and we're using materials that reinforce component yarns within the main fabric structure,” she said.

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