Launch of NIR technology experimentation to sort used garments.

Technology and Controls

Inside the C-TEX project is starting a phase dedicated to the development of a method to sort wasted clothes.
The aim is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a method based on NIR technology to overcome some obstacles for efficient forms of recycling.

The project Circular Textiles, C-TEX, co-funded by the Lombardy Region, aims to improve the ability to recycle textile products.

The project could be considered representative of today’s textile panorama as it contains three main topics: industrial waste, coated materials and recycling of garments at the end of their life.

Postconsumer clothes in particular have one of the main problems on the ability to sort the items in order to use them for the different recycling ways.

Often these products are recycled without sorting, generating a product composed of an indistinct mix of different products. This inherits three types of problems: an overall decrease in value, possible contamination of harmful substances and the inability to be recycled again at the end of life.

It is therefore clear that the main key issue to be overcome for a more efficient recycling is the selection of products suitable for different recycling ways.

The two main characteristics to be investigated are: the analysis of fibrous composition and the contamination of harmful substances.

To date, the only way available is laboratory analysis, that add costs to the selection process.

Within the C-TEX project Centrocot is developing a method to respond to this problem by using infrared spectrophotometry technology (NIR – Near Infra Red), which consists of scanning the refracted light spectrum from a sample compared to an incident light beam with near infrared wavelengths.

With this approach it will be possible to provide quick information on the suitability of the samples for specific classes.

This method cannot be a substitute for a laboratory test, but it can generate information with a good approximation by a non-invasive way and with reduced time and operating costs.


For some specific activities, aimed at the characterization of artifacts composed partially or totally of recycled fibers, participation is also open to companies outside the project partnership, but located in Lombardy.


For more information, please contact:


Dr. Paolo Ghezzo, R&D –

Dr. Daniela Nebuloni, R&D –

Author: Paolo Ghezzo

R&D Department