Based on my findings, I would like to suggest a simplification of the fabric manufacturing process. It is not necessary to process the natural fibers into threads and weave the threads into the actual fabric.
By pouring the bioplastic on the fibers is sufficient to create a sturdy material.
Since the bioplastic can be made water-resistant, it is possible to use the resulting fabric for various products such as raincoats and tents.
I am also reflecting on our preconceptions regarding ownership of durable, long-lasting products: We no longer need products that last a lifetime, ones that can even be passed down to future generations. Instead, this temporal framework is more concerned with sustainable development.
My idea is based on the notion of Blue Economy – having served its purpose, the organic product can be buried in the soil and provide nutrition for the growth of new organisms.
Normally, it takes about 7 years for the bioplastic to degrade, but its properties can be modified so as to speed up the degradability.
The natural fibers are laid in two directions for improved strength. The bioplastic is poured over the fibers, which produces a shiny and water-resistant film at the bottom and locks the natural fibers in place. On the surface, the fabric maintains the tactile properties of the natural fibers, making it pleasant to the touch. I opted for ramie fibers, which are resistant to bacteria, strong, highly absorbent and dry quickly.
First of all, the material can be produced in a highly sustainable manufacturing cycle and its afterlife is based on the concept of Blue Economy. Skipping the manufacturing processes related to spinning the natural fibers into threads to be woven into the fabric proper means a substantial drop in energy consumption. Moreover, no microplastic spillage occurs while washing.
The fabric is water-resistant, but also breathable and agreeable to the touch, while being pliable and easy work with, for instance in sewing.
Since the bioplastic material used is thermoplastic, the parts of a product can be joined by the application of heat, which does not require human labor.