In the last year, over 25 million Tonnes of cotton were produced worldwide. Cotton fabric is often the first choice for buyers looking for comfortable and natural clothing. However, there are some significant shortcomings associated with cotton. One of the main problems with cotton is its limited abrasion and tear resistance. Further cotton tends to stretch out after being worn or washed multiple times. EuroFibers is able to overcome these weaknesses with cotton reinforcement with Dyneema ®, the world’s strongest fiber.
Cotton reinforcement with only a very small percentage of Dyneema ®, significantly increases the durability of cotton without adding a great amount of costs. Dyneema ® is an ultra strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers on a weight-for-weight basis. Further Dyneema ® is resistant to moisture, UV light, and chemicals. Dyneema ® is currently used to stop bullets, pull oil tankers, or sail around the world. Dyneema ® thus has already built up a solid reputation as the material of choice in bullet resistant vests, high protective textiles, or marine applications. Its properties make Dyneema ® the world’s strongest fiber ™ and the perfect fiber for cotton reinforcement. If Dyneema ® is used for cotton reinforcement, the abrasion resistance and tear strength of cotton of cotton can be substantially improved. Only a 2% addition of Dyneema ® to cotton results in a 100% increase in abrasion resistance. Further, adding 2% of Dyneema ® increases the tear strength of cotton by 65% and adding 10% of Dyneema ® increases the tear strength of cotton by more than 300%.
Dyneema ® does not only offer improved durability at only marginally increased costs, but is superior to other cotton reinforcements, like for example polyester, in other aspects. Compared to polyester cotton reinforcement the identical performance can be achieved with 3 times less Dyneema ®. Dyneema ® offers also benefits in the wear comfort as fabrics retain their natural, cotton-like touch and have better moisture absorbance. Additionally there is no need for double dyeing and, at low Dyneema ® percentages, colors are uniform. Dyneema ® is further able to improve the heat management properties of cotton.
Dyneema® cannot only be used in regular textiles but also in other applications that use cotton. Dyneema ® improves the cut resistance of cotton and is a light-weight material. It is resistant against acids and thus perfectly suitable for laundering, be it wet or dry. Dyneema ® is also superior to other synthetic fibers like Aramid in terms of heat management and wearing comfort. These attributes make Dyneema ® the perfect solution for protective clothing at the workplace as it offers maximum protection against mechanical hazards combined with maximum comfort in the toughest environments. However, Dyneema ® can and is used in various other applications in different industries. One of the promising markets for the future may be the cotton reinforcement of fire-resistant fabrics.
One of the most interesting and most recent applications of Dyneema ® is the cooperation of Levi’s Strauss & Co and EuroFibers. Levi’s Strauss & Co. launched its famous Levi’s 501 reinforced with Dyneema ® as the Levi’s 501 STA-Strong Warrior with great success. This application in denim is just one example how Dyneema ® is able to create comfortable denim with increased abrasion resistance and tear strength.