Next Generation Multifunctional yarns



FunYarn: Next Generation Multifunctional yarns

Ricardo Silva, managing director of LASA Group (of which FILASA is part) and responsible for FunYarn, highlighted the goals of this project and the contribution of COMPETE 2020 to reach these goals:

The R&D team behind the FunYarn project aimed to develop next generation multifunctional textile yarns, cellulose-based, with easy cleaning (repellency) and self-cleaning (antimicrobial and odour neutralization) properties. With this project FILASA acquired know how, materials and technology that can overcome the disadvantages of the current commercial products and allow a faster introduction of innovative technologies in the production cycle.

In a competitive and traditional environment such as the textile and apparel industry, the possibility for us to use relevant scientific contributions, developed in partnership with SCN entities (CITEVE AND CENTI), is crucial. Given the limited resources that companies have for R&D allied with uncertainty of results, without the support of COMPETE it would be virtually impossible to invest in these projects.


Global context

Over the past decades, the preponderance of countries such as China, India and Pakistan in the textile business specially in basic product ranges, due to large productions at low cost, has damaged the performance of national companies in the sector, forcing them to turn their strategy to technical products, with greater added value, and productive specialization.

On the other hand, today’s consumer values products that are more environmental friendly and functional. This fact has motivated companies in the textile sector to provide a personalized technological response in order to meet safety, health, comfort and environmental requirements. For this purpose, the textile industry has developed innovative products called technical textiles, which provide specific functionalities such as repellency to solids, liquids or odor neutralization.

FILASA was not indifferent to these market signs and has been investing in the optimization of production processes that can contribute to a more innovative product.

Regarding innovation FILASA is trying to position itself more in a logic of technology push and not so much in market pull.

The Project

The FUNYARN project investigated and developed a new type of functional yarn with applications in the area of sports and protective textiles with a special focus on promoting easy cleaning (repellency) and self-cleaning (antimicrobial and odour neutralization) features. To this end, new nanostructured additives (namely fluorinated silica nanoparticles and titanium dioxide nanoparticles) were synthesized and the process of linking nanoparticles to wires by autoclave technologies was investigated. This process was subject of intense study and optimization, in order to allow uniform functionalization throughout the entire yarn bobbin and with high durability. This process allows the yarn to resist not only the knitting / weaving processes, but also the life cycle of sport (Sportech) and protective clothing (Protech). These two areas are the primordial targets for these innovative multifunctional yarns (aka. FunYarn).

The aim of this project was to develop know how, materials and technology that can overcome the disadvantages of the current commercial products and allow a faster introduction of innovative technologies in the production cycle.

In order to answer to the proposed challenges, R&D activities were carried out on new nanomaterials and additives, on the compatibility of functionalities in yarns with complex geometries in their cross section, in new exhaustion processes and in new methodologies for evaluating the functionalities conferred on the yarn.

The project is promoted by FILASA and has the participation of two entities from SCTN, namely CITEVE and CeNTI. With this project, FILASA is strongly committed to fill the gaps in its operating markets in terms of functional yarns. In a short term, FILASA intends to position itself at the forefront of technical and functional textile yarns, through the development and presentation of new products specially directed to the Sports and Protection areas, but also to the Medical, Automotive and Fashion.

COMPETE 2020 Support

The FunYarn project has the support of COMPETE 2020 within the scope of the Incentive Systems for Research and Technological Development (SI ID&T), involving an eligible investment of 645 thousand euros which resulted in an FEDER incentive of around 283 thousand euros.

07/02/2020 , Miguel Freitas