Chemical engineering meets textile design

Functional and technical clothing is often made of oil-based, synthetic materials that can be harmful to nature and difficult to recycle.

In her master thesis, Matilda Tuure, a recent graduate from Aalto’s MA programme Fashion, Collection and Textile Design, explored new dimensions for non-toxic and hydrophobic finishings for textiles used in outdoor sports. The high toxin levels in fabric finishings is a well-known problem but has not been studied very much.

Photos: Valeria Azovskaya  |  Aalto University Material Platform

“The goal was to develop a biodegradable and eco-friendly outdoor clothing concept.”

Photos: Juha Arvid Helminen
Model: Konsta Kettunen  |  Make up + Hair: Susu Holm

“In my work I explore the possibilities to use plant-based and cellulose-based yarns and fabrics in technical clothing, which is rare at the moment.

I used new waterproof coating developed by the School of Chemical Engineering in Department of Bioproduct and Biosystems at Aalto University. In collaboration with researchers we improved the coating for textiles and I experimented combining it with natural, non-toxic fabric dyes.”

The end result is a delicate collection of 4 outdoor anoraks produced at Aalto University and knitwear in collaboration with Santoni Shanghai.

“My design was framed by my strong vision of sustainability. Therefore, I had to pay attention to every tiny detail in my design. Sustainable and eco-friendly material choices are complex, and a multi-dimensional issue where the impact of raw material, production, dyeing and finishing are combined.

Everything starts with the material. I wanted to use plant-based yarns without any treatment or coloring to make as environmental friendly garments as possible. The way the raw natural yarn really feels makes a difference compared to synthetic material; it has its own characteristics. In the final garment you can find tiny pieces of grass and even smell the original scent of the plant. ” -Matilda

@matildatuure  |
Cover photo: Juha Arvid Helminen