#3 A new generation of BIONIC FIBERS
Straight out of bionics, this relatively recent field that appeared in the 1960s, Umorfil® technology is a major innovation in the world of textile fibers.
It was in 2012 that the Taiwanese Camangi group undertook the development of supramolecular polymerization, with one goal in mind: taking comfort to the next level by offering a new generation of bionic fibers, useful fibers that come from nature, are high-performance, and respect the environment. Camangi turned to fish scales, which contain marine amino acids known for their properties and benefits. The Umorfil® technology thus bears this name that is a contraction of the Latin “Umor” (humidity) and the French “fil”: it integrates, at the supramolecular level, collagen from marine amino acid peptides, into fibers such as viscose. This has allowed for the creation of a wide range of bionic fibers that are 100% biodegradable, with high-performance characteristics: a softness like silk, a hand similar to that of cashmere, impeccable odor absorption and moisture management, and very good protection from UV rays. Applications are manifold for knits and wovens: lingerie, underwear and base layers, fashion apparel, activewear and yoga wear, jeans, bedlinens, and more…
Camangi has now created the Umorfil® range with 3 bases: Umorfil® Beauty Fiber®, for blends with cellulosic fibers such as Tencel, and for wool, cotton, or synthetic blends; N6U™ nylon, an ultra-soft bionic polyamide that’s easy to dye and features excellent color consistency, and Umorfil T®, an ultracomfortable bionic polyester featuring superior tensile strength and an alluring natural champagne color, also easy to use in blends with natural or synthetic fibers. Present at Interfilière, Fabtex and Sanko are two of Umorfil’s many partners.
Tilapia skin is particularly rich in collagen. Its collagen content of types 1 and 3 is higher than that found in human skin. Among other characteristics, it possesses a high level of moisture. What’s more, these agro-food waste products are an abundant resource: this farmed fish, second in the world only after carp, is one of the most-consumed species, particularly in the United States (215 000 tons of it was devoured there in 2010!). Massive global production keeps growing: according to the FAO, it’s expected to double between 2010 and 2030, reaching over 7.3 million tons from aquaculture.
Umorfil® isn’t the only company interested in tilapia.
In Brazil, a hospital is testing the use of tilapia skin that is normally discarded to help major burn victims heal.