Lincoln Ag project to create textile fibres from NZ plants


Image: Tony Stewart / Lincoln Agritech.

Lincoln Agritech has recently been awarded $8.3M from the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Fund for a five-year research programme aiming to develop novel cellulose fibres regenerated from New Zealand plant resources for textile use.

The research collaborators in the programme, led by Lincoln Agritech, include the Ferrier Research Institute, Scion, and AgResearch. The aim is to develop the basis for a new industry exporting a substantial volume of regenerated cellulose fibres derived from dedicated plantations. It is further intended to divert current streams of lower value or waste cellulose material and foster the development of high-end textiles made by Aotearoa New Zealand designers.

The unique fibre wet-spinning expertise at Lincoln Agritech has been developed through a partnership programme funded by Wool Industry Research Limited (WIRL) and MBIE, to develop new uses for crossbred wool. A partnership with the wool industry to commercialise the developed technology will continue through the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ). The outcome is intended to meet the growing market need for sustainable and environmentally superior fibres as alternatives to the current synthetic fibres or polluting textile fibre processes used currently.

The new MBIE programme is led by Dr Rob Kelly of Lincoln Agritech and will be guided by textile industry expert advisors including Dr Garth Carnaby (CNZM), as well as domestic and international industry representatives.

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Date posted: 15 October 2021

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