Philippine Textile Research Institute develops eco-friendly insoles

The Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PTRI) has developed an environment-friendly shoes insoles, through the ‘Diversification of Philippine Textiles through Nonwoven Innovations R&D Programme’ or the Nonwoven Innovations Programme, with natural textile fibre-based nonwovens and knitted and woven fabrics.

Prototypes have already been developed using pineapple leaf fibre needle punched nonwovens, with combination of two or more layers: the upper lining, the lignocellulosic-based nonwoven textile and the optional backing support. The middle nonwoven layer acts as the cushioning component of the shoe insole that provides comfort as well as protection to the feet of the wearer.

The Intellectual Property (IP) for the shoe insole has already been filed and discloses a desired embodiment that is made from 100 per cent natural textile fibres, from the linings to the nonwoven, DOST said in a press release.

Because of this new technology, a partnership with Creative Definitions was also forged to use the developed nonwovens in the insoles of their own line of footwear, thus supporting the objective to bridge the gap between research and industry.

To put more value to the product using SmarTex technologies, DOST-PTRI is currently in the process of improving the technology with added features like odour control and antimicrobial finishing. Despite being in its initial stages, it is already showing potential as a competitive option in the footwear industry.

Meanwhile, the Nonwoven Innovations Programme of DOST-PTRI aims to utilise local natural textile fibres from different sources such as pineapple leaf, abaca, bamboo, and banana in the production of nonwoven textiles for various industrial use for automotive, filtration, and alternative leather applications, the release added.

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