Photo: Diana Luganski

Ioncell® Lindström towel project knit 

Elina Onkinen, Kasia Gorniak

Ioncell® research team

Ioncell®, developed by Aalto University in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, is an emerging technique to produce cellulosic fibers of high quality for textile and technical applications. The process uses a non-toxic ionic liquid solvent to dissolve natural polymer-based materials like fresh wood pulp or textile wastes. The solution is turned into fibers by a lyocell-type dry-jet wet-spinning technique. In a closed-loop operation, the ionic liquid is re-circulated. The process generates fibers that outperform commercial cellulose-based fibers regarding their mechanical properties. Ioncell® fibers are soft, strong even when wet, moisture absorbing, biodegradable, bright, and dyed like cotton or viscose. 

Over the years, many prototypes have been manufactured (e.g., baby jackets, scarfs, tablet covers, dresses) by the use of Ioncell® fibers generated by students during their Ph.D. or MSc investigations. 

The featured Lindström towels project utilizes used towel rolls from public spaces for ioncell fiber production and shows the advantage of recycling not only the used textiles, but also the dyestuffs throughout the development process of man-made cellulose fibers.

Photo by Helmi Korhonen
Photo by Nora Bremer