Attention to all eco-concious designers! A new textile called Ioncell-F has emerged that will serve as a sustainable alternative to cotton and viscose (IOM3). Discovered in November 2013 during a collaboration between Scandinavian art and science university students, this innovative textile is a more ecological option because it requires less water and arable land during its production phase than traditional textiles. As stated by researcher Michael Hummel of Aalto University, "the production volumes of cotton cannot keep growing due to the volumes of water and cultivation area it demands" (Aalto). Due to the ever-increasing imbalance between the demand for textile production and the available resources, Ioncell-F could be a great way to offset this tipping scale.
Ioncell-F is created from the mixing of ionic fluid and wood cellulose. These two central "ingredients" can be transformed into a quality textile through a multi-faceted and highly technical process. The production of Ioncell-F is both natural and "ideal for textile manufacturing" due to the organically strong bond formed between "the ion liquid solution and [the] cellulose fibre" (Attyre). The video below will provide more detail on the specific components of this unique textile process.
Bringing Ioncell-F to Fashion:
Marjana Tanttu, a student studying Textile Art and Design at Aalto University, has exemplified the promise of Ioncell-F in the fashion industry. The first designer to use Ioncell-F, Tanttu carefully knitted and dyed the cellulose fibre to create a beautiful scarf. Although she did acknowledge that the textile left little room for error, Tanttu explained that "the new material has an excellent capability for reproducing shades and [was] surprisingly easy to work with" (Aalto). With the exemplary success of Marjana Tanttu's project, the commercialization of Ioncell-F could propel socially responsible textiles to the forefront of fashion design.