Fibres for a sustainable future

They’re in things we touch and use every day, from our clothing to furniture and even in our cars. Fibres can be made from a host of natural and synthetic polymers such as the cellulose that forms plant cell walls or wool from sheep, through to manufactured polyester and carbon fibres.

They are incredibly versatile and useful in a plethora of applications. Australia has a rich history in the fibre production and textile manufacturing industries.

Our goal is to provide high impact research that helps our industry partners gain and maintain their competitive advantage.


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Local & Global Impact

The use of fabrics, textiles and fibres derived from petroleum or petrochemicals dominate markets, but we have long known they are unsustainable. We simply can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing!

Hub researchers are looking at several ways to improve sustainability by:

  • modifying and improving natural fibres
  • developing processes that are carbon neutral or capture carbon
  • finding applications for fibres that have less environmental impact
  • assessing compostability of existing or new fibre types

Circular Economy

Back to Beginnings

Ultimate sustainability is when a raw material can be manufactured, used and returned to the start of the process to manufactured again into a new product. In the fibre industry, this is a particularly challenging problem.

Our teams are addressing this by:

  • understanding the pathways of fibre degradation in existing processes
  • examining new materials and blends that are more robust in the manufacturing process
  • understanding the gaps in existing technologies for fibre and textile recycling

Extraordinary Functionality

What if

Your clothing could measure your heart rate, temperature and blood oxygen saturation. Or it could protect you from serious injury by what it is made from or the way it is designed.

Material scientists at the Hub are delving into these questions and more by:

  • deep diving into Graphene and MXene materials
  • developing new types of carbon fibre precursors, carbon fibres and composites with even better performance
  • looking at all steps along the fibre value chain where changes yield novel outcomes in the end-product

Latest News

Hub early-career researcher selected for prestigious Future Leaders program

The Institute for Frontier Materials’ Dr Ken Aldren Usman has been selected among peers from some of the world’s top universities, including Yale, Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and MIT, to join the 2024 CAS Future Leaders Program. CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society specialising in scientific knowledge management, selected 35 exceptional

Art-meets-science project claims gold in Anthem Awards

A Deakin collaboration that brings together science and art has won gold at the third Annual Anthem Awards.  Perpetual Pigments: Sustainable Colour, Continuous Culture project took out the top award in the Sustainability, Environment, & Climate Innovation category. The project was inspired by the theme, ‘sustainable colour continuous culture’, and invited First Nation artists to

Research begins to reduce shed of microplastics during laundering

MEDIA RELEASE 28 November 2023 A new collaboration between Deakin University researchers and Australia’s largest commercial linen supplier Simba Global is tackling a critical global issue, the spread of harmful microplastics through our laundry. Clothing and textiles are estimated to generate up to 35 per cent of the microplastics found in the world’s oceans, making

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If you are interested in collaborating with the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres, or want to know more, get in touch.


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