INNOVATOR PROFILE

ENKA

COMPANY INFORMATION

Founded: 1924

Headquarters: Obernburg, Germany

Website: ENKA GmbH & Co. KG

COMPANY HISTORY

ENKA has been manufacturing ENKA® Viscose from cellulose for nearly a century at their production facilities in Obernburg, Germany. The production process has been continually updated as technology has improved and to include the most recent environmental standards.

 

In May 2020, the company filed for legal protection (similar to Chapter 11 in the United States) in order to restructure and cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the textile industry. Their operations continue without restrictions, however, and they are filling all orders on time.

MATERIAL

ENKA® Viscose yarns have silk-like qualities and are often used for ties, scarves, and linings in clothing and outerwear.

TECHNOLOGY

Production process: Mechanical/Chemical

ENKA manufactures viscose filament yarns using a proprietary mechanical/chemical process. Cellulose fiber is extracted from the wood of Northern European conifers that are sustainably harvested. This fiber is liquefied in a chemical process and the solution is pressed and spun. This process creates individual filaments of consistent quality over thousands of kilometers. 

SUSTAINABILITY

As a European company, ENKA complies with more stringent health, safety, and environmental standards than in some non-European countries. The company is certified as sustainable by multiple agencies in several areas and is partnered with a number of NGOs as part of a commitment to transparency and traceability. Sustainability data is available on their website, but comparisons are made to cotton or synthetic polymers, not to silk from silkworms. According to recent information from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg index, however, silk is the worst material for the environment. It is very likely that ENKA Viscose is considerably more sustainable than silk in most - if not all - measures.

SENSORY/TACTILE

ENKA Viscose is known as the best viscose yard on the market. The company’s stringently controlled production process gives their product consistent quality, high strength, and high abrasion strength. ENKA Viscose also has consistency across spools and dye lots. Its silk-like feel is desirable in many fashion applications.

SOURCING

ENKA Viscose can be produced in several weeks, from raw material to finished yarn. It is available in It yarn counts from 22 dtex to 660 dtex. (dtex = mass in grams for every 10,000 meters of filament).

CURRENT APPLICATIONS

FASHION

ENKA® Viscose yarns are used in the textile industry for silk-like fabrics and also have medical and industrial applications. Suit linings, ties, and scarves are popular applications in the fashion industry.

Images from ENKA.

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