New textiles from Bolivia can restore textiles damaged by drought
Smart textiles that were damaged by natural disasters such as droughts are now being used in a project to restore damaged textiles and prevent them from being destroyed.
The project, called ‘Lebanon Textiles’ and started in May 2017, has since been expanded to include textiles sourced from other countries, including the Republic of South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The first phase of the project involved fabricating a prototype of a pair of lightweight and flexible cotton textiles using recycled fabrics from Africa.
The project’s leader, the renowned Chilean designer and textile designer Manuel Díaz, said the project was the first time that a textiles project had been started using reclaimed materials.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity to try something new.
This is a really new way of thinking, and the challenge is that there are only a few fabrics in existence in this world that can withstand the climate change.”
Mr Días said the textile was a collaboration between three different manufacturers and a design company.
He explained that the fabrics were constructed from recycled cotton, wool and linen, and that they were made to resist the drying and re-humidity effects of the drying process.
“These materials were selected because of their resistance to moisture,” he said.
“They are not made to withstand the drying of textile, so they are also suitable for use in other applications such as textile repair and textile rehabilitation.”‘
No matter what you do, there’s a risk’The textiles were designed to be able to withstand drought conditions, and were manufactured with natural fibers, but the team also sought to ensure that they would not be washed.
“We knew that there is a risk, because of the degradation of the materials, so we tried to minimise that risk,” Mr Día said.
“The project is a result of a lot of work and investment and also of a very long period of time.”
It’s not easy, because you have to be creative to find the solution, but we are very happy with what we have found.
“When you look at a textile that is degraded, you always see that you can get more and more damage from that type of degradation, so it’s not like we can do nothing,” he added.
In addition to its textile rehabilitation project, the project aims to develop a range of other textiles for use as decorative items, such as scarves and hats.
The textile project is being supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and is part of a broader initiative to tackle climate change.