PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
London, United Kingdom, 2007/10/30 - Report Buyer, the online destination for business intelligence for major industry sectors, has now added a new report showing that Japanese manufacturers are focusing increasingly on developing fibres and textiles for personal well-being.
Moreover, many of these materials are coated or treated with substances which derive from naturally-occurring chemicals obtained from plants and animals.
“Technical Textile Innovations in Japan” reports that Osaka-based Omikenshi has developed a number of health-promoting viscose fibres. One of these is its Sundia branded fibre which has special deodorising properties. The deodorising effect is activated simply by exposing the fibre to sunlight for five hours. Fabrics made from Sundia also have antibacterial properties and help to protect the wearer from UV radiation.
The company also offers Crabyon branded viscose fibres which are coated with chitin made from crab shells. Crabyon fibres are designed to provide protection from germs.
Another unusual development from Omikenshi is its Kishu Binchotan fibre. This is made from a composite of viscose and charcoal derived from oven-baked oak. The charcoal particles generate negative ions, which are said to create a sense of well-being, to absorb odours and humidity, and to aid blood circulation by releasing far-infrared radiation.
In a further innovation, Omikenshi has developed viscose fibres which contain the health-giving compound squalene- a substance derived from shark’s liver. Following extensive studies, it has been found that squalene plays a key role in maintaining health.
Daiwabo, another Osaka-based company, has developed a new deodorant fibre called Deometafi. The fibre is able to neutralise a wide range of odours -including unpleasant odours generated by the human body. In order to achieve these properties, Daiwabo has created artificial enzymes which are able to form ionic bonds with fibres.
The study shows that health, safety and environmental concerns are also a driving force behind a number of Japanese fibre innovations. Three companies -Asahi Kasei, Teijin and Toyobo - have developed polyester cushioning materials to compete with polyurethane (PU) foam in public transport seating and household furniture. PU foam suffers from the drawback that it is difficult to recycle. Also, it generates toxic by-products when it burns. The new polyester materials overcome these drawbacks.
The need for environmental protection is growing in importance as consumers become more concerned about sustainability and damage to the environment and as companies respond by adopting corporate social responsibility policies. To address the need for environmental protection, Teijin Fibers has developed Ecocircle - a system for recycling synthetic fibres from discarded garments. Toray and Teijin have each developed techniques for recycling discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into polyester fibre for textile use.
Some of the greatest opportunities, however, lie in the field of biofibres. Teijin has developed a heat stable polylactic alternative to traditional polyesters while Toray offers a biofibre car mat, also based on polylactic acid. Other plant derived fibres include polybutylene succinate and natural fibres such as bamboo from Mitsubishi. Similarly, NEC Corporation and Unitika have jointly developed a bioplastic which is reinforced with kenaf fibre for use in electronic devices. Elsewhere, Fujitsu has a biopolymer derived from castor oil while Honda has a plant based fabric for car interiors.
Report Buyer product ID: TXI00027