In conversation with Wooltex
Our mill, Wooltex, is located in a part of the UK that has been at the heart of textile manufacturing for centuries. It is a place where tradition and innovation go hand in hand.
Wooltex, co-owned by Kvadrat, is one of our longest standing partner suppliers and is a specialist in the production of natural wool textiles. Here, Richard Brook; Wooltex’s Technical Director, explains his company’s efforts to achieve ever-more efficient and sustainable production and the glories of working with nature’s own ‘wonder fibre’.
In what ways does Wooltex innovate its processes?
Wooltex has insourced all the production processes and upgraded its machinery. The new machines use much less energy and water. The new dyeing machines use only a few litres of water per kilogram of wool in comparison to 20 litres previously. Some 85% of the water used in the process is recycled. The closed system of machines reduces energy and heat loss in the production process and recycles the chemicals. During the winding process, new robot technology enables loose yarn ends to be connected to one long thread of yarn. This optimises the use of yarn in the production process and reduces the amount of broken yarn that ends up as waste. Once woven, textiles need to be cleaned and destressed to ensure continuity in quality and in the way the textiles respond when handled around furniture designs. This is traditionally done in wet processes, but new technology has allowed Remix and Steelcut Trio to be run through a dry process, thereby saving water. Dyeing processes have been optimised by recycling water to save water resources. All waste water is cleaned and 50% of the water is actually recycled and used in the dyeing process once again.