Maize/Corn Ingeo

How is Maize fabric made?

Maize fibre is a man-made fibre extracted entirely from annually renewable resources.

Maize manufacture

The process of manufacturing Maize fibres is done on an industrial scale. The stages of the process include fermentation, distillation and polymerisation of the simple plant sugar Maize dextrose. The sugars are fermented in a process similar to that of making yoghurt. Once this has been done, the products are turned into a high performance polymer called Polylactide, which can be spun into yarns or otherwise processed in Maize fibres for use in a wide variety of textile applications. The end product is very similar to plastic, but is made from entirely natural products. Its properties are similar to those of petroleum based synthetic fabrics, however maize fabric does not contribute to greenhouse gases and is totally biodegradable.

Maize fibres are also used extensively as a coating material to put on other textiles. This is because of its thermoplastic properties, meaning that it bonds well with other fabrics. This is a permanent finish.

Properties of Maize

  • Performance advantages often associated with synthetic fibres
  • Similar properties to that of other natural fibres such as cotton and wool
  • Biodegradable
  • Strong and resilient
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Soft and drapes well
  • Uses no chemical additives or special finishes
  • Naturally flame-retardant
  • Outstanding moisture management
  • Subtle lustre
  • Resistant to UV
  • Retains colour strength well
  • ‘Natural Plastic’
  • High abundance and low cost
  • Flexible
  • Good Shape retention
  • Anti-crease
  • Dyes easily

End uses of Maize fabric

  • Clothing
  • Carpets
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstery
  • Indoor and outdoor furnishings
  • Filtration systems
  • Geotextile application
  • Padded garments, an excellent substitute for synthetic wadding

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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