The professional clothing industry is driven forward by textile research, which provides the foundations for what’s possible and helps educate manufacturers, buyers and suppliers about how they can improve their products and services.
One of the largest names in textile research is Hohenstein, the German-based testing house and research group. Hohenstein has helped advance the industry for over 75 years, so PCIAW® has reached out to Hohenstein to tell us more about the work they do to develop knowledge and understanding across the world.
The testing service provider and research partner Hohenstein has many years of research experience in the fields of textile chemistry, laundry technology, PPE and biomedicine.
Quality standards and test methods for textiles as well as product innovations have been developed within the framework of various research projects, which increasingly focus on sustainable products and processes. The results are then put into practice: as a new test service at Hohenstein, as a normative standard or as product development directly at companies in the textile industry.
Cooperation in research – together we are strong
Research often takes place in cooperation with different partners. To stay up to date, exchange is important. This is why Hohenstein takes part in scientific conferences and symposia. Memberships in networks and cooperation with local universities for guest lectures at textile degree courses also contribute to networking. The supervision of student theses is contributing to future generations in research work and helps to transfer knowledge.
Hohenstein has already had several successful international projects, recently e.g. with the University of Warsaw on the topic of smart technologies for resource efficiency and water treatment. Through the cooperation of these partners, the projects contribute to the interlinking of German and Polish industries and research institutions. This also facilitates future joint innovation projects.
How is the knowledge put into practice?
During a project, there is a close exchange and cooperation with industry partners to be close to the practical needs. The results of publicly funded projects are made available by final reports and published on the website. Publications in specialist journals, in the Hohenstein Newsletter and presentations at scientific conferences are used to communicate the results to the outside world.
Hohenstein’s Academy is at the heart of the test service provider’s knowledge transfer. With the help of seminars, webinars and webcasts, interested parties can obtain comprehensive information – both digitally and on-site. Experts come together at Hohenstein on special theme days to focus on a topic. The latest research results are made accessible to industry here and applied in practice.
Successful practical examples from the past
How can research be successfully integrated into practice? Here are a few examples of success:
- Hohenstein developed a test method for cooling textiles in a research project: WATson is now popular as a test model for evaluating the cooling performance of textiles.
- In a project on the microclimate of bandages, requirements were determined at Hohenstein that are now prescribed in the medical aids register.
- In a project, biodegradable tree shelters were developed to avoid plastic waste in the forest. After practice-oriented research and the development and verification of marketable products, the project results are currently being transferred to standardisation.
- The newly developed DIN SPEC 4872 determines fibre release during textile care, their degradation in wastewater as well as ecotoxicological impact. This method combines two different research projects about biodegradation and microplastics.
Current research projects
Different research projects are taking place at Hohenstein to develop practical solutions for the textile industry. Here are just a few examples:
- Comfort assessment for PPE: Research and development of simplified options for the comprehensive assessment of thermophysiological comfort for complex PPE clothing systems
- Hohenstein Digital Fitting Lab carries out projects on the subject of PPE and 3D scanning
- The project DiTex explored a resource-efficient B2B circular economy and tested the feasibility for leasing textiles. The aim is now to generate transferable application knowledge for closing the loop.
- Product development of infection protection textiles together with the industry. Hohenstein can offer a high level of expertise in this area and, as a testing laboratory and certification body for PPE, has all the performance tests at its disposal.