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ITMA honours different innovations at Future Materials Awards

Covestro AG has won two awards and Tonello secured the top prize of ‘Launch of the Year’ at the ITMA Future Materials Awards 2015, held in Milan recently.

Celebrating the best innovations in the technical textile industry, this second edition of the annual awards, which is hosted by WTiN was attended by more than 200 guests and saw a host of leading companies and research institutes honoured for their cutting-edge products, processes and treatments. Tonello’s victory was in recognition of its Water Brush process, which uses a chemical-free approach to achieve an authentic vintage look on jeans. With Water Brush operators need no protection and there is no impact on either the environment or the workplace.

Covestro (formerly Bayer Material Science) won the ‘Innovator of the Year’ prize, and tied with Separex for ‘Sustainable Process’. Both Covestro’s awards were for its development of Impranil eco, a new class of waterborne polyurethane dispersions for textile coating which comprises up to 65 per cent renewable resources.

Separex, a French SME specialising in sustainable high pressure carbon dioxide technologies, picked up the Sustainable Process award for its approach to the use of CO2. Separex has developed a reverse dyeing process which allows discolouration of waste polyester textiles, allowing the production of higher quality recycled textiles.

There was another tie, in the category of Sports Textiles, where Coolcore and Europlasma shared the title for their innovations. Coolcore was picked for its performance fabrics for athletic and everyday apparel, developed without the use of added chemicals or topical agents, while Europlasma received the nod for its PlasmaGuard technology, a high-tech process which uses no water and a minimum of energy and chemicals.

Awards for ‘Most Innovative Company’ were split across large, medium and small companies, with Milliken & Company, Polartec and TissueGen respectively picking up the trophies in each of these categories. MultiFun was named ‘Best Start-Up Company’ for to its innovation in multifunctional fibre composite materials and associated technologies, including end-to-end hardware, and analysis, control and design software.

In the Medical Textiles category, Hohenstein Institute received the award for its Artus innovation, a textile-based artificial uterus that actively provides premature babies in neonatal incubators with womb-like motions and the mother’s voice and heartbeat. CeNTI (Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials) took the winner’s prize in Mobile Textiles. And there were awards for Torcitura Padana in Home Textiles, ViDi Systems in Industrial Textiles, LeMur in Protective Textiles and Bonded Logic in Sustainable Textiles.

CeNTI (Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials) won for its innovative self-cleaning fabrics which harness a special combination of nanomaterials with an innovative coating process. Torcitura Padana won for its COEX project, a natural fireproof material, ViDi Systems won with ViDi Suite, a piece of software that makes automatic inspection of complex pattern fabrics simple by using a self-training algorithm. LeMur’s win came for their silicone yarn, Muriel, which is elastic, flame-retardant, non-toxic and especially light. AndBonded Logic took the Sustainable Textiles prize for its work sourcing textiles and converting them back to fibre tomanufacture new nonwoven products.

In Clothing, Viz Reflective scooped the gong forVizLite DT, which combines dretro-reflective and phosphorescent technologies that illuminate fabrics without the need for LED lights or an external power source. In a new award category, Druckprozess and Zschimmer & Schwarz Mohsdorf received an accolade for Groundbreaking Partnership Development. The award was in recognition of their work in inkjet printing, where the companies pooled their resources for the development of new products and production processes.