Frankfurt, 14th May, 2019.
The Jury of the Techtextil Innovation Award has decided to award the project “Cork-a-tex Yarn”, Yarn with high incorporation of cork wins the prize TECHTEXTIL INNOVATION AWARD 2019 in the category “new material”, one of the 7 categories and considered the most important prize.
This is the first time, that a Portuguese project wins this worldwide prestigious prize ever. Techtextil is the Leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, the largest and most recognized international event in this field and its awards are sought after by all who make Research and Innovation on that area.
Appreciation of the jury
Cork is a bio-based renewable material, used to close wine bottles, as we all know. In a search to be even more sustainable the cork industry was looking for a solution for its waste, which today is burned. The researchers found out that this cork waste can be coated on a textile yarn to form a cork yarn. The jury appreciated the effort of Sedacor to make the cork industry a more sustainable industry. Burning waste is not a sustainable solution even if this waste is bio based. Sedacor looked beyond its sector and beyond its competences to find the solution in textiles. Using this waste, a new type of cork yarn was developed with a natural cork look-and-feel and which will allow the development of new textiles
About CORK-A-TEX YARN, the innovative and disruptive yarn with high incorporation of cork.
Cork is the nature’s own high-tech achievement which features cannot be replicated by anything man-made. An emblematic European Heritage material widely recognized internationally. The cork oak forests in Europe are one of the 35 most important ecosystems hotspots in the world for preserving biodiversity and a natural CO2 retainer (Portuguese oak forests retain more than 14milion tonnes of CO2 per year).
The growing demand for new textile solutions, particularly in the area of eco-design and sustainability lead us thinking how to surpass the difficulties and limitations of using cork-based materials on the market apparel and home textiles.
Considering the importance of the Cork and Textiles sectors in the Portuguese and European traditional Industries, led us to the emergence of the “Cork-a-Tex” Project – with the objective of developing sustainable textile substrates with cork waste from used cork stoppers, old cork products, or recyclable cork among others, thus a great example of circular economy.
Result: Composed by Cotton or other textile material together with Cork waste, Cork-A-Tex Yarn is an innovative and high performance yarn that simultaneously incorporate the properties of textile substrates at the level of comfort, breathability, touch and appearance and the functional benefits of cork: natural, comfortable and warm feeling, hypoallergenic with high friction resistance and good resilience.
In a project led by Sedacor (Cork Industry), together with Têxteis Penedo (textile industry), it also had the scientific and technical collaboration of CITEVE (Technological Center for Textiles and Clothing) and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. It also had the support of the Portuguese Government and the European Union.
With an international patent, this disruptive product will break the boundaries in textiles, for applications and sectors such as home textiles, clothing, footwear and fashion accessories, upholstery, mobility and others. The partners Sedacor and Têxteis Penedo are already industrializing this new material which is expected to be available in the market still in 2019.