Textile Waste Recycling: Know Textile Recycling Process

What Is Textile Recycling waste:

textile waste recycling is the process of recovering old clothing and other textiles for reuse or material recovery. The textile recycling industry relies on it as a foundation. After donating, collecting, sorting, and processing textiles and eventually transferring recovered materials to end users; are the steps involved in the textile recycling process. 

Naturally, the textile business is the foundation for the textile waste recycling industry, which is on the rise. Textiles, which include clothing, furniture and mattress material, linens, draperies, cleaning products, leisure equipment, and many other items, have grown to be a nearly $1 trillion industry worldwide. 

textile waste recycling
Textile Waste Recycling: Know Textile Recycling Process

Garments and their recycling:

Clothing is estimated to have a three-year lifespan. Afterwards, they are discarded as old clothes. Because they are no longer fashionable or desirable, even useful garments are thrown away. Every year, more than a million tonnes of textiles are discarded, according to a report. It’s estimated that millions of tonnes of old clothing are thrown away every year instead of being recycled and reused.

In terms of weight, textiles make up about 3% of household waste. Garment making, yarn and fabric manufacturing, etc., all produce textile waste recycling. Post-industrial wastes are what they are called. Recycling and reusing all of this clothing is possible. Textiles are currently recycled at a rate of 25%. In reality, less than 5% of the clothing that is thrown in the trash ends up as waste. 

Which fabrics can be recycled:

Most fabrics, according to Recycle Nation, can be recycled. Underwear, no matter how gross, can be repurposed. 

Of all recyclables, clothing may be the simplest to recycle. Unwanted clothes can be recycled by simply donating them to a local non-profit, church, or thrift store. A new owner gets a second chance at life with these clothes, rather than throwing them in the trash. Tattering clothing and fabric scraps, on the other hand, are unlikely to be given away. Fortunately, these scraps can be easily reclaimed. 

Why there is a need of textile waste recycling :

Recognizing the importance of recycling textiles is becoming more commonplace these days. Around the world, an estimated 100 billion garments are produced every year. 

35-40% of the global fibre market is made up of natural fibres, which can be derived from plants (cotton), animals and insects (wool) (silk). Let’s take a look at cotton to see why it’s important to conserve natural fibres. 

When it comes to textile waste recycling, we have a big problem to solve as we work towards a zero-landfill society. 

The decomposition time of natural fibres in landfills can range from a few weeks to a couple of years. A methane and CO2 gas leak may occur. The synthetic fabrics are also designed to not decompose. Toxic substances may be released into the groundwater and surrounding soil at a landfill site. 

Application of Pre-Consumer Textile Wastes:

There are a variety of uses for pre-consumer textile waste recycling in India. Recycling textile waste can be used for a variety of purposes, including paper production, surgical products like bandages and pads, Open finish spinning in industry, paper production, nonevents, bedding, mushroom maturation, and more The Republic of India also exports cotton waste to other countries when it’s clean and also the required customary has been earned for the export.

Bengali company, V P Udyog Limited exports refined cotton waste from comber noil and card, yarn waste, and rubber tube scraps from the Republic of India to countries such as Europe and the United States of America. Anandi Enterprises of Tirupur, India manufacture and export quality certified recycled unreal and smorgasbord yarns, as well as recycled cotton and polyester materials from cotton fibre and polyester fibre the waste produced by these industries has a wide range of uses in a wide variety of industries. 

Recyclable textiles have the following environmental advantages: 

  • The need for landfill space is reduced because synthetic fibres do not decompose and natural fibres can emit greenhouse gases. 
  • Use of virgin fibres was avoided. 
  • The reduction in energy and water usage 
  • Pollution prevention 
  • There is a decrease in the demand for colours. 

Sources of Textiles for Recycling

It is possible to recycle textiles from two primary sources: 

1. post-consumer items such as clothing, vehicle upholstery, household items, and more. 

2. Two types of pre-consumer materials are available: yarn and fabric waste, as well as post-industrial textile waste recycling from other industries. 

Several non-profit organisations as well as corporate programmes, such as Nike and Patagonia, encourage the donation of old clothing. 

The Recycling Process of Textile waste

Textile Waste Recycling Process:

Textile Waste Recycling: Know Textile Recycling Process 1
Textile Waste Recycling Process

All clothing has a second life that can be useful. Garments that have been collected are sorted into categories such as “natural,” “synthetic,” and “blended.” As a result, high-quality clothing is donated to charitable organisations and used as second-hand clothing. The factory processes unwearable textiles into rags. Wiping and flocking industries collect rags for use in their products. Other materials will be sent to be re-fibered and stuffed with other materials.

In order to create new garments, old fabrics are reclaimed and repurposed. Threads from the fabric are pulled out and re-woven into new garments or blankets using the threads that have been pulled out. It is possible to recycle both natural and synthetic fibres in this way. Fabrics are sorted by type and colour. In the beginning, the material is shredded into shoddy-like fibres. Later, other fibers are blended with shoddy depending on the end use. To weave or knit, the blended mixture is carded and spun before it is used. 

In addition to fillers in car insulation, roofing felt, loudspeaker cones, furniture padding, panel linings and many other uses, the garment is shared and used as a filler in many other applications. Woollen garments are sent to other companies that recycle fibres to make yarn and fabric from the fibres recovered.

Fabrics made of cotton are recycled and used in a variety of applications such as paper manufacturing as well as the automotive and mining industries. A few old clothes are being repurposed by fashion designers into fashionable garments, including handbags and hats. PET plastic bottle fibres are used in the active sports apparel market. 

Advantages of textile waste recycling:

Textile Waste Recycling: Know Textile Recycling Process 2
textile waste recycling:

Percentage usage of discarded textiles

Textile waste recycling contributes to environmental protection as well. Clothes that are repurposed reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. As a result, landfills pose a threat to the environment and water resources. This can lead to hazardous chemicals and bleach being washed into the water when it rains, contaminating the water supply.

Toxic water is found in this water source. Unlike synthetic fibres, wool releases methane during decomposition and both fibres contribute to global warming. This hazard will be greatly reduced when these fabrics are recycled. Saving energy by not re-dying or sourcing recycled clothing. Reduced use of dyes and chemicals reduces their production and, in turn, their harmful effects.

From the old clothing, 70% becomes second-hand clothing, 6% becomes waste bags and zips, 8% becomes reclaimed fibers and recycled products, 7% becomes wiping material, and the remaining 9% is shredded and used as stuffing. The fact that 70% of the world’s population wears second-hand clothing astounded me. Recycled fabrics are a cheaper source of raw materials, which makes them attractive to manufacturers. 

Customizing own and old clothes:

Textile Waste Recycling: Know Textile Recycling Process 3
Customizing own and old clothes

Amazingly, clothing considered to be a waste of space can be creatively repurposed to create something entirely new! 

  • Cushions, handbags, quilts, etc. can all be made from old clothes that have been thrown away. 
  • As a result, damaged clothing can be used as rags and dusters for cleaning. 
  • A lampshade’s border can be made of brightly coloured fabrics. 
  • Fabrics with electrifying colours can be used to make headbands and wristbands. 
  • For example, you can sew patches, buttons and beads onto old garments, iron on graphics and more. 

The textile waste recycling industry has been identified as a major polluter of rivers since the Industrial Revolution. Due to increased environmental awareness, efforts are being made to reduce waste. People are becoming more aware of the importance of waste collection and recycling. A potential market for recycled textiles can be created through the purchase of such recycled products, which will reduce the amount of waste going to landfills 

Polyester-based textiles are shredded and then granulated to make polyester chips, which are then used in a variety of applications. To create new polyester fibres, these are melted and used to create new polyester fabrics. 


Fiber production is expected to surpass 100 million tonnes in the coming years, while textile waste recycling product life expectancy is steadily eroding. These trends will only worsen if consumers do not rethink their consumption habits. To change these trends, a waste management strategy should be developed to raise awareness of the need for sustainable action.

To have a successful recycling textile waste management strategy, textiles must be collected separately from municipal waste, so these programmer must be implemented in all western countries. After-consumer waste wool and acrylic waste in India is recycled at the world’s largest textile waste recycling  facility at Panipat in northern India.

Which creates “shoddy” wool yarns and blankets out of used winter clothing. Sourced from the second-hand clothing market in developed countries like the United States and United Kingdom. Yarns, blankets, felt merchandise, cotton derrieres, made-ups, throws and mats are all produced by small businesses.

According to Wilcox, up to twenty percent of its sales volume is shipped to India for use, as shown in Figure No.5. According to the All-India Woollen and Shoddy Mills’ Association, the business of using recycled acrylic and woollen threads for blanket production has annual revenues of 700-one million large integer in the battle of Panipat alone. The vesture is mutilated before it crosses the Indian border, so the trade isn’t very lucrative. 

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