Textile Recognition and Sorting for Recycling at an Automated Line Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy

Kirsti Cura (Corresponding Author), Niko Rintala, Taina Kamppuri, Eetta Saarimäki, Pirjo Heikkilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
373 Downloads (Pure)


In order to add value to recycled textile material and to guarantee that the input material for recycling processes is of adequate quality, it is essential to be able to accurately recognise and sort items according to their material content. Therefore, there is a need for an economically viable and effective way to recognise and sort textile materials. Automated recognition and sorting lines provide a method for ensuring better quality of the fractions being recycled and thus enhance the availability of such fractions for recycling. The aim of this study was to deepen the understanding of NIR spectroscopy technology in the recognition of textile materials by studying the effects of structural fabric properties on the recognition. The identified properties of fabrics that led non-matching recognition were coating and finishing that lead different recognition of the material depending on the side facing the NIR analyser. In addition, very thin fabrics allowed NIRS to penetrate through the fabric and resulted in the non-matching recognition. Additionally, ageing was found to cause such chemical changes, especially in the spectra of cotton, that hampered the recognition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • textile recycling
  • textile reuse
  • fibre recognition and sorting
  • automation
  • near infrared spectroscopy
  • circular economy


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