Research on use of alien plant species towards sustainable textile and paper products (part of Applause project)
With the compilation of new ideas, specially introducing something that is regarded as an unpleasant nuisance, our project team is evaluating the possibilities of acquiring dyes from IAPS with water extraction, dyeing textiles, printing paper with IAPS pigments, and designing and producing the eco-packaging. The developed recipes for textile dyeing are suitable for use by the professional (industrial) as well as by the amateur dyer, since the dyestuff from IAPS are water based extractions. Furthermore, we have managed to develop recipes that enable dyeing textiles with only one dye and achieve a variety of colour shades. Example of a such dye is the extract from Japanese Knotweed rhizome, which is in the original form of yellow colour. The final colour shades of textiles can be changed with the different dyeing conditions, and as such we can produce textiles that have yellow, orange, red, grey or brown colour tones, with excellent durability to washing and light.
The application of IAPS dyes is also studied for the paper printing. Since the extraction medium for acquiring the IAPS pigments for paper printing is organic solvent, the printing recipes are applicable for semi- or full- industrial printing process. The optimized recipes offer printouts with high durability upon rubbing and light.
The main value of the ApPLAuSE project is to achieve zero-waste impact on the environment. Entire circle, i.e. withdrawal from nature, planning, prototyping, producing, use and recycling, has to be accomplished with lowest possible impact on the environment. Since the IAPS are taken from the environment (Europe) where the plants are invasive, the primary goal, i.e. harmful becomes useful, is achieved. Therefore, we made prints (printing paste based on a pigment extracted from Japanese Knotweed rhizome) on a paper produced from cellulose fibres gained from IAPS, i.e. Japanese Knotweed, European Goldenrod and Acacia, from which we have also designed and produced eco-packaging.
By the end of the ApPLAuSE project activities within the foreseen investigation scope in beneficial use of IAPS, some proposals/solutions will be presented in finalised or even improved form, while others will become foundation for the further research activities. In any case, it is clear that IAPS represent a new economic challenge, which can be upgraded any time.