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Siptex – Groundbreaking Textile Sorting

Siptex is the world’s first large-scale facility of its kind. It sorts textiles by colour and fibre composition using near-infrared light, allowing it to handle large flows and produce textile fractions suited to different recycling processes.

A new link in the textile value chain

Consistent quality and large volumes are essential for textile recycling on a large scale. Today’s manual sorting of textiles cannot meet the market’s need for quality-assured products. Automated sorting is the link that is currently missing between collection and high-quality textile recycling.
Siptex aims to contribute to increased circularity in the textile value chain and strengthen Sweden’s position as a pioneer in innovation and the circular economy.

How the facility works

Using near-infrared (NIR) and visual spectroscopy (VIS), Siptex sorts textile waste by fibre type and colour. The textiles are illuminated and the light is reflected in different ways depending on the material. Sensors detect and categorise the type of fibre, then compressed air blows the fabric into the right container. The plant can be programmed to simultaneously sort three different flows.

Materials in

The Siptex plant handles three categories of textile material:

• Textile from industry: pre-consumer materials from industry, such as production waste.
• Pre-sorted textiles: pre-sorted post-consumer material of a specific product type, such as torn sheets or t-shirts.
• Residual textiles: residual textiles from consumers and industry, such as garments that cannot be used again.

Materials out

The Siptex facility aims to offer a standardised range of quality-assured recycling products with guaranteed fibre composition and colour, adapted to various recycling processes. Examples of products (all of specific purity and colour):

• Cotton
• Wool
• Polyester
• Viscose
• Polyamide
• Acrylic
• Customised products: the plant can sort fibre compositions tailored to customers’ requirements

Quick facts

Capacity: 4.5 tonnes an hour (24,000 tonnes/year)
NIR/VIS machines: 3
Conveyor: 260 metres

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