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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > Enzymatic retting and carding of fibres improves hemp quality
Graphic element Enzymatic retting and carding of fibres improves hemp quality
     
 
In this project enzymes replace steeping in the production of hemp, and a carding machine ensures homogeneity of threads for the production of high quality textiles.
 
Demand for hemp is now increasing after 150 years of decline. Producers in China are the main suppliers of this material to the EU textiles industry, but quality is variable and deliveries are irregular.

New production methods are needed, and this project has been investigating ways of replacing the natural steeping process with controlled, repetitive industrial enzymatic retting. The partners have found that hemp fibres can be opened and refined by a carding machine. This provides spinners downstream of the thread carrier with a regular supply of homogeneous high quality material.

The project is part of a strategy for offering the public a wider variety of textiles products. The interest of the new carding machine lies not just in its commercial viability due to improved product quality, but also in the potential for increased production efficiency. It will permit, for example, the use of dead plants for retting purposes. Potential customers have been identified as far afield as the USA.

Cordis RCN: 22909
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