Material re-use


When textiles have to be processed in order to be suitable for re-use, we speak of material re-use. Material re-use can be achieved by performing minor adaptations like cutting it into wiping rags or by extensive processes for example to manufacture insulation material.

Most of these methods result in low value recycling because the textiles lose a part of their original value and it’s usually their last possible application. High value recycling methods are cradle-to-cradle and fiber to fiber recycling.

Fiber to fiber

Fiber to fiber recycling means old textiles are processed into recycled yarn which is suitable for creating new clothing and other products like carpet. On contrary to what is often said, fiber to fiber recycling is not a new thing. Did you know Boer Group has its wool recycled fiber to fiber for over 40 years?

At the moment, fiber to fiber recycling is possible for only certain types of textiles. Your knitted woolen sweater can be recycled this way since many years, but a piece of clothing which is made of blended materials is not suitable (yet). These complex blends require a lot of research like how to separate the materials in order to make them suitable for recycling.


Textiles that are made into new products without losing their original value are processed according to the cradle to cradle. When done right, the value might even increase. Examples of cradle-to-cradle recycling: broken jeans made into shorts and umbrellas or sweaters transformed into bags.

Current possibilities for material re-use

The most common applications for material re-use nowadays are:


Filling for mattresses and carpet underlays
The material is shredded and pressed into felt.

Yarn wool acryl

Recycled yarn wool and acrylic
Color sorted, then cleaned, unraveled and spun again.


Insulation made of jeans for e.g. cars and laundry machines
Buttons/zippers etc. are removed, then pressed with resin or other materials

Recycled feathers

Recycled feathers
Sorted by color, type (chicken, duck, goose), weight, quality, then cleaned.


Old materials transformed into a product without losing their original value, like a bag made of an old sweater and belt.

Recycled pillows

Recycled pillows
Cover and filling are separated, then sorted to quality and repaired and/or washed if necessary. The cover can be re-used as is or adapted according to the principle of cradle-to-cradle.

Wiping rags

Wiping rags
Color and material sorted, then cut into squares.