Japan’s Toray develops fabric using 100% plant-based polyester

October 04, 2022 - Japan

Japan-based textile industry company Toray Industries, Inc, has announced that it has developed a new variety of nonwoven material, Ultrasuede nu, which partially consists of 100 per cent plant-based polyester. All Nippon Airways Co, Ltd (ANA), will use the fabric for making the headrest covers of the ANA Green Jet from November this year.

Featuring a base material of Ultrasuede and a special resin treatment applied to its surface, Ultrasuede nu has a delicate texture and suppleness reminiscent of premium aniline leather, according to a press release by Toray.

ANA decided to adopt Ultrasuede nu because it is an eco-friendly material that combines luxurious texture, design, and high functionality. Toray is developing 100 per cent plant-derived polyesters in line with efforts to make its mainline polymers biobased to help materialise a carbon-neutral, circular economy that does not depend on fossil resources.

Ever since Toray started the commercial production of Ultrasuede on a global scale in 2015, the company has remained focused on developing products using higher plant-based raw material.

The ultra-fine fibres of Ultrasuede nu are composed of 100 per cent plant-based polyester made of ethylene glycol from sugarcane molasses by-products and dimethyl terephthalate from corn starch. The elastomer, which is used for the inner parts of the nonwoven fabric, is composed of about 30 per cent plant-based polyurethane made with polyol from castor oil plant, added the release.

The scrim is composed of about 30 per cent plant-based polyester made from ethylene glycol from sugarcane molasses by-products.