Mexican student creates textile fiber with dog hair
Creating a textile fiber whose manufacture was more environmentally friendly than wool processing was the goal that Mónica Vélez from Mexico had in mind when she created a hair-based fiber from French Poodle breed dog.
That invention earned him first place in the biology category, at the Expociencias América Latina (ESI-AMLAT) international scientific fair, in Maranhão, Brazil, to where he took pieces of cloth and a tissue scarf with the new material.
With his project, he managed to win 155 preparatory and university projects from more than 20 nations, including: the United States, Russia, China, Italy, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Chile.
His triumph gave him the pass to the Expo Sciences International Bratislava-Slovakia science fair.
The idea arose when the graduate of the Bachelor of Administration at the Technological Institute of Tlalnepantla delivered an assignment for the Sustainable Development course on the contamination generated by the textile industry, particularly the processing of wool.
The similarity between the texture of the sheep’s hair and that of the French poodle aroused in Monica and her advisers liked the idea of creating a new fiber, which was consolidated with the project “Processing of the French poodle’s hair fiber to promote sustainable development” .
The project started from a documentary investigation, afterwards they collected dog hair in canine aesthetics, and later they processed it like wool, and they did laboratory tests, explained the 23-year-old, whose research served as a thesis project.
As they began comparing the data with that of wool, they realized that dog’s fiber is much better, that it is much more resistant, that it has greater toughness, that it does not generate allergies, that it receives pigments better, and they all said it’s a spectacular fiber.
Vélez said that the processing of dog hair is more ecological than that of wool due to its washing process and that it is also a raw material that is wasted in canine aesthetics, so the finding could revolutionize the entire textile industry.
The results of the research are endorsed by the National Polytechnic Institute, which lent its facilities for a few months to carry out the project.
They went to the Polytechnic and they told them no, not all the fibers there are and because they already exist, there is nothing to invent, there is nothing more, So when they brought this to them (dog hair fiber), the same Institute National Polytechnic was shocked.
Weaving team project
The project “Processing French poodle hair fiber to promote sustainable development” is in the second stage of research, which aims to demonstrate that canine fiber can be combined with other materials to create new threads.
To this stage of the project, another student from the Technological Institute of Tlalnepantla, Karen Arely Miranda, a student of the eighth semester of the Bachelor of Administration and who won third place in the National Science and Engineering Fair, in the area of chemistry, has joined.
The research seems to me of utmost importance because it is something new, something ingenious, it is the revolution that involves working with a material that has never been used, that has never been worked with dog hair.
Both her and Mónica Vélez are part of the Research Student Training Program of the Technological Institute of Tlalnepantla, where the young women acquired knowledge in chemistry.
Although they are from the Administration career, they have detected in them their interest in science.
Advantages of that novel technology
What they are doing now is to combine textile fibers, but on a French poodle dog hair base, the hypothesis is that they can achieve better fibers without contaminating as much, trying to replace or reduce fibers such as acrylic, polyester, all derived from petroleum and whose production is highly polluting.
After perfecting the project, the members of this team will seek to create a business plan to market the fiber, as well as create an incubator at the Tlalnepantla Technological Institute to mass produce the material.
Wool goes up, wool goes down. After laboratory tests it was found that the hair fiber of French poddle has more advantages than that of sheep hair.
The wool washing process consumes 12 thousand liters of water per ton, that of dog hair 2 thousand. The reduction or waste of raw material after washing is 50 to 70 percent with sheep’s hair and a maximum of 12 percent with the canine material.
The new fiber is 4 times stronger and stretches up to 3.5 times longer than wool. It requires 25 percent less dye to color it. It does not produce allergies and does not shrink.
The shearing leaves in a year between 3 and 8 kilos of wool per sheep. The hair of the French poddle is collected among the waste of the canine aesthetics. Two people gathered 8 kilos collecting it for a week.