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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

Kelheim Fibres Unveils Olea Water-Repellent Viscose

Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Germany, has developed Olea, an intrinsically water-repellent viscose fiber.

According to the company, a water-repellency additive derived from renewable materials is incorporated into the viscose fiber's matrix during the spinning process to provide permanent hydrophobicity without affecting the fiber's characteristic properties. The resulting fiber is soft, comfortable, skin-friendly and fully biodegradable.

Olea has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, and is suitable for hygiene and food applications, Kelheim reports. It also has potential sportswear and other functional textile applications.

"Olea is an environmentally friendly alternative for the cover- and back-sheets of hygiene products," said Philipp Wimmer, Ph.D., a member of Kelheim's R&D team. "In order to protect the wearer's skin, these sheets need to remain dry while they facilitate the transport of liquid away from the skin."

March/April 2013