Influence of Sewing on Microplastic Release from Textiles During Washing

Date de publication 22 février 2021

Auteurs Fontana, Giulia Dalla; Mossotti, R.; Montarsolo, A.

Sources Water, Air, & Soil Pollution : 232 (DocId: 2)



In recent years, an increasing number of microplastics (plastic particles with dimensions of less than 5 mm, including micrometric and sub-micrometric particles) have been found in each section of the marine water column and a large proportion of them may come from washing effluents of synthetic clothes. Synthetic fibres account for approximately 60% of the total global fibre production, and polyester (PET) and polyamide (PA) prevail. During a wash, many parameters can influence microplastic release, e.g. temperature, time, detergent, spin speed and washing process. The novelty of the present study is to evaluate different textile parameters and/or the manufacturing of fabrics, which most influences the release of microplastics. The tests were carried out on two 100% polyester fabrics during washing in the same operative conditions. The results obtained show a significant difference of 43% between PET samples in terms of microplastic release mainly due to sewing thread and edge effect that largely mask the contribution of any other textile parameters like textile geometry and pilling tendency. These data might shed new light on the importance of the seams, which can improve product quality in terms of microplastic release.

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