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Spotlight on the Sumo

Pad construction based on functionalised speciality viscose fibres with modified cross-sections.

24th February 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Berlin


Kelheim Fibres and Berlin-based design studio Sumo will present their high-performance absorbent pads for the reusable Sumo diaper at the Cellulose Fibres Conference which is taking place in Cologne, Germany, from March 8-9.

The Sumo diaper is a sustainable and washable cloth diaper made entirely from biobased materials, offering high performance and based on a radical design.

It offers a reusable alternative to synthetic disposable diapers, consisting of a waterproof shell and absorbent pads.

Together with the Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI), Sumo and Kelheim Fibres have developed a high-performance absorbent pad that is free of fossil-based materials and has already been awarded the Techtextil 2022 Innovation Award. The basis for the construction was Kelheim’s functionalised speciality viscose fibres which have modified cross-sections to ensure particularly high absorbency and extremely low rewet values.

To ensure the washability of the product, needlepunched/thermally bonded nonwovens were chosen, consisting of a mixture of speciality viscose and PLA bicomponent fibres.

In their joint presentation at the conference Natalie Wunder, Kelheim’s project manager and Luisa Kahlfeldt, Sumo founder and designer, will explain how open innovation has led to successful collaborative development, how this response to current consumer needs has emerged, and what steps are planned for the future.

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