How did the idea to develop the smartcel™ sensitive-fiber arise?
smartfiber AG was repeatedly confronted by its customers with one requirement from all sectors of the textile industry: “We need a fiber with an antibacterial effect that is simultaneously gentle and caring to the skin.“ No sooner said than done. In cooperation with the Thuringian Institute of Textile and Plastics Research (TITK) a functional fiber with the active substance zinc was developed. The advantage: Zinc is a natural element, which has an antibacterial effect and also positive influence on the human body and therefore on the skin.
What is so extraordinary about smartcel™ sensitive?
The smartcel™ sensitive-fiber uses the skin caring effect of the essential trace element zinc. Through the application of a high-quality, natural and even medically approved zinc oxide, this high-tech fiber combines regenerative and skin caring effects with hygienic properties.
Our skin benefits from that. As the protective shield of the body, our skin receives support and care through textiles with smartcel™ sensitive. In everyday life, nothing is in such close contact with our skin as clothing, home textiles and underwear. The smartcel™ sensitive fiber uses this combination by integrating the best of the true elixir of life zinc: the cosmetic effect for our skin.
The production process of this natural fiber is done without use of nanotechnology and aggressive chemicals. smartcel™ sensitive is certified by Oeko-Tex® standard 100, product class 1 (for baby products). Moreover the innovative and patented fiber technology is embedding the trace element zinc permanently, i.e. the properties remain effective for the whole life time of the product. The smartcel™ sensitive fiber is made of a biogenic raw material, which is environmentally friendly, sustainable and 100% biodegradable. You skin will thank you!
What are the advantages of zinc for human beings?
Zinc exists worldwide in the earth crust, especially in ores. It is vital for humans. Like almost no other nutrient, zinc has a big impact on our wellbeing. After iron, zinc is the most frequent trace element within the human body. Zinc provides for a healthy growth in humans, animals and plants. It is omnipresent within the body and of crucial relevance for the core functions of the organism. It strengthens the immune system and the body‘s defences but also sensory functions and fertility.
In nutrition it takes on an important role as well. As an essential component of over 100 enzymes, zinc contributes to the digestion and utilization of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and is closely involved in energy production and prevents symptoms of deficiency in the long term. Animal source foods like meat, fish, seafood and cheese, but also oat flakes and wheat whole grain flour are high in zinc.
In which form is zinc inserted into the smartcel™ sensitive-fiber?
smartcel™ sensitive contains pharma 4 grade zinc white. This pharmaceutically pure zinc oxide produced from metallic zinc meets DAB 10 purity requirements and other international regulations for the preparation of pharmaceuticals. We use this zinc oxide daily – in sun blockers as protection from harmful UV radiation, in ointments, powder, in high quality face creams, baby care products and cosmetic products. In all these products zinc oxide supports the natural processes of the skin, fosters the wound healing and fights skin inflammation.
The smartcel™ sensitive fiber uses the skin caring effect of zinc oxide for textiles with a soft, regenerative effect. Integrated into the fiber, zinc oxide, as a component of skin-building enzymes, acts directly on the skin and does not have to be transported to the skin first. Thus, smartcel™ sensitive has the secret of natural freshness.
For which textiles is smartcel™ sensitive especially suited?
During the further development of smartcel™ sensitive, smartfiber AG followed the customers requirements of all textile sectors. Therefore, the zinc fiber is ideally suited for textiles of all kinds. smartcel™ sensitive is combinable with all common fiber types like synthetics, cotton and many others. Furthermore, the fiber remains effective even in wool blends. To guarantee the effect, only 10 % of the smartcel™ sensitive -fibers are needed in the end product. The fiber can be integrated without any difficulty in all textile standard processes (e.g. dyeing and finishing).
smartcel™ sensitive is also suitable for the use in home textiles like bedding, bed linen, mattresses, and towels. Test results of the renowned Hohenstein Institutes confirm the effect of smartcel™ sensitive. They prove a transfer of zinc ions from the filling of duvets with smartcel™ sensitive – which are not in direct contact with the skin – onto the skin of the sleeping person where they develop their positive, skin-regenerative effect.
The whole power of the fiber shows its strength in work clothing and medical textiles: its cosmetic and caring effect in combination with antibacterial efficiency – thanks to the high content of zinc oxide. smartcel™ sensitive‘s strong bacteriostatic efficacy against antibiotic-resistant germs (MRSA) makes it an ideal choice for medical applications like surgical clothing and clothing for medical professionals as well as hospital bed sheets and curtains. Textiles with smartcel™ sensitive have been also clinically tested to improve quality of life for allergy sufferers and people with neurodermatitis and sensitive skin. smartcel™ sensitive is also ideally applicable in dressing materials and plasters. The fiber permits quicker skin regeneration and complication-free wound healing.
For these reasons, a lot of providers of the sectors fashion, clothing, home textiles and medical textiles already rely on smartcel™ sensitive.
Has the effect of smartcel™ sensitive been proven?
The efficiency of smartcel™ sensitive-Faser was tested with positive results by several independent institutes – like the Hohenstein Institutes or the University Clinic of Jena for Dermatology and Dermatologic Allergology. The certificates and test reports are available in the download area on www.smartfiber.info.
Where can I get more information about smartfiber AG and smartcel™ sensitive?
More information about smartfiber AG:
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With smartcel™ sensitive, smartfiber AG has introduced the first fiber containing the essential trace element zinc onto the market. The high-quality zinc oxide is integrated into the smartcel™ sensitive fiber, which provides cosmetic and regenerative properties in conjunction with effective protection against environmental influences, and an antibacterial effect*, in textiles (*for detailed information, see page 4 of the press release). Therefore smartcel™ sensitive has discovered the secret to natural freshness.
Zinc also has a vital role in nutrition. It is a component among over 100 enzymes that aid in the digestion and utilization of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is closely involved in the production of energy, and prevents deficiencies. Meat, fish, seafood, cheese, and oatmeal or whole wheat all have high contents of zinc.
Zinc oxide protects against negative environmental influences, such as harmful UV rays. The Hohenstein Institute of Germany confirmed this while testing textile material with smartcel™ sensitive: they lauded the fiber as an "excellent protection" against UVA and UVB rays. smartcel™ sensitive also fights against the free radicals that attack our skin, therefore helping in reducing skin damage and skin’s premature aging. The skin, acting as a protective shield around the body, gets support and maintenance through smartcel™ sensitive fibers.
Nowadays, new markets are only opened up through the use of exceptional creativity, environmentally friendly behavior, and highly developed customer service. This is the philosophy of smartfiber AG. smartfiber AG, with its headquarters in Rudolstadt, Germany, was founded in 2005. The company develops and markets innovative high-tech fibers for the international market. The enterprise succeeded in incorporating natural additives permanently into cellulosic fibers, known as lyocell, which has been found to have positive effects on the skin and body. The high-tech fibers with the internationally protected trademarks SeaCell™ and smartcel™ sensitive are today the basis for innovative products in the textile and nonwovens industry.
smartfiber AG has succeeded in permanently incorporating natural additives, such as seaweed or zinc, into a cellulose fiber by using world-wide patented technology. This resulting cellulose fiber has been found to have a positive effect on the skin. smartfiber AG uses the production method as created by the Thuringian Institute for Textile and Plastics Research (TITK), in which amine oxides are combined with water in the production process to physically disperse cellulose. From this the textile fibers are produced during a spinning process. smartfiber AG has received several awards in technology for their fiber innovations; among others, the renowned “Deutscher Innovationspreis“ (“German Innovation Prize“) in 2010.
Experience in production and focusing on quality – the basis for extraordinary fibers
To ensure the premium processing of the fibers, the company cooperates with selected international production partners in the entire textile-processing industry. Austrian enterprise Lenzing AG exclusively produces the lyocell fibers, developed by smartfiber AG, since the latter part of 2011.
Environment in accordance with technology
smartfiber AG puts highest emphasis on sustainable economic activity and on heeding to environmentally friendly standards in producing their lyocell fibers. The company strictly adheres to the company’s motto: “Anything against nature won’t abide for any length of time“ (Charles Darwin). The lyocell process is a purely physical one. In contrast to the viscose process or cotton process, processing lyocell is characterized by an eco-friendly standard, the closed solvent circuit. During the process, cellulose is solubilized in a nitrogenous solvent and then brought into its fiber form. The advantage of this production process is that the production takes place in a closed circuit and there are no chemicals disposed of as waste. The fibers of smartfiber AG are made of biogenic raw materials. They are sustainable and completely biodegradable, therefore adhering to the expectations of the industry and modern customers. Here is the best example of sustainable thinking and acting by smartfiber AG: The SeaCell™ seaweed is always harvested in a gentle and sustainable way. A certain section of the so-called regenerative region of the seaweed is allowed to be harvested only once every four years.
High quality products for higher quality of life
SeaCell™ and smartcel™ sensitive are power fibers with added value – thanks to their “inner values“. They are technologically constantly evolving.
SeaCell™ containing seaweed is the basis for high quality natural textiles that benefit the skin. The seaweed found in the SeaCell™-fibers is harvested in the cold, pure fjords of Iceland. They are particularly rich in minerals and trace elements and aid in the regeneration and revitalization of the skin. This is because seaweed contains antioxidants, a natural protection against free radicals. Antioxidants minimize the damage that environmental influences can have on the skin. SeaCell™ also lends all textiles a particularly soft and smooth touch and provides the wearer excellent comfort. The fiber is suitable for home textiles, underwear, activewear, leisurewear, and also nonwovens.
Brands with high recognition value
The functional fibers SeaCell™ and smartcel™ sensitive are the basis for innovative products in a variety of industrial sectors. The areas of the fibers‘ applications are numerous and not limited to the textile industry. Textile products that include SeaCell™ and smartcel™ sensitive fibers are already on the market, and are showing themselves on a dynamic upward trend. This is also the result of smartfiber AG‘s flexible customer service, which offers individual and marketing-oriented solutions in all areas. The introduction and presence of smartfiber AG products to the market and its customers are supported by a targeted marketing strategy. That strategy utilizes promotional concepts and a particular focus on direct and ongoing communication. smartfiber AG’s customers can fall back on promotional advertising material. This offer is rounded off by the addition of current advertising, print, film, and photo material and informative communications through social media platforms. smartfiber AG provides active sales and marketing support for their customers - even at the point of sale.
You will be surprised to learn that textiles can include the best of seaweed, nourish your skin, and protect your body; all while also feeling incredibly soft. If textiles can do all that - and you will love that feeling - then they have the SeaCell™ effect.
The brand SeaCell™ of the fiber producer smartfiber AG has for many years been a recognizable term on the international textile market. SeaCell™ means wellness for the skin. SeaCell™ means immersing yourself and feeling good, day and night. The fiber stands for regeneration and lifestyle, and brings quality back into everyday life. It corresponds to the expectations of modern, active consumers. They want nature-based textiles with a positive effect on their skin, which SeaCell™ provides.
The SeaCell™ fiber with its skin-caring properties is needed more than ever on the market. It contains valuable seaweed and also enables an active exchange of material between the fiber and skin; this ensures a lasting feeling of well-being among its users. The fibers can be ideally used in all kinds of textiles and can already be found in numerous collections of renowned international providers. Their products provide wellness for the skin of their customers - thanks to the SeaCell™ effect.
SeaCell™ uses seaweed – the “fuel of the seas“ – for everyday, comfort promotional use in textiles
The origin of all the positive properties of the SeaCell™ fiber is located in the sea - a true fountain of youth with curative effects against many diseases. The sea is home to an unexpected variety of biologically and chemically interesting organisms. Even the traditional Chinese medicine men and the legendary Greek physician Hippocrates knew how to appreciate the healing power of the sea. After all, seaweed is considered the "fuel of the sea"; it has multiple talents and a positive impact on our health in many ways. In modern medicine, seaweed is appreciated for its skin-protecting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Seaweed contains more minerals, vitamins and trace elements than any other natural product and causes a positive stimulation of the entire organism. Seaweed stores and highly compresses the active ingredients of the sea, like amino acids, iodine and mineral salts. Thus, the active ingredients of 100,000 liters of seawater are contained in one kilogram of dried seaweed. Due to their high content of health-promoting elements, seaweed has versatility; including as a food additive. The high content of polysaccharides also makes it a popular ingredient in the cosmetics industry. Therefore SeaCell™ relies on seaweed as an elementary additive in a high quality fiber.
Brown algae from the pure ecosystem of Iceland
The SeaCell™ fibers contain brown algae called Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as rockweed or knotted kelp. They are made from the unique ecosystem of the Icelandic fjords. The islands' estuaries reach far into the mainland and usually harbor very steep slopes, and offer an untouched paradise for all land and marine animals. The fjords are sparsely populated. There is no waste and no ship trafficking that can pollute this naturally-sustaining microcosm. Therefore Icelandic seaweed contains little to no pollutants and represents the highest quality. The seaweed in the SeaCell™ fiber is authorized under the strict guidelines of the United States, even in the food market. The fiber is certified by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture).
The Icelandic seaweed is rich in vital substances. The main reason is Iceland's geothermal water, which constitutes an important part of the island's unique ecosystem. The geothermal water has its origin 2000 meters deep in the sea, where temperatures reach 240 °C and the pressure is 36 times greater than on the Earth's surface. There the sea water comes into contact with cooling magma, where it absorbs large amounts of various minerals.
Advantages: revitalization and combat of free radicals in conjunction with softness and care - this is the SeaCell™ effect
In addition to this skin-protective property SeaCell™ lends every fabric a distinctively supple and soft feel. Anyone who wears the textiles will feel that typical wellness effect on their skin, and once experiencing that feeling will not want to do without it. In our often hectic everyday lives, SeaCell™ provides comfort and care, all while letting you enjoy the calming effect the seaweed has on your skin. Rejuvenate your body and soul so much better from daily stress. SeaCell™ - time to relax.
The special combination of exceptional softness together with gentle care and protection for the skin that SeaCell™ offers brings the best of nature back to the consumer. Here is another testament to the SeaCell™ effect: it meets all requirements according to Oeko-Tex ® Standard 100, class 1, and is safe enough for baby products.
Sustainable harvest of the SeaCell™ seaweed
smartfiber AG puts great value in using careful practice while reaping the SeaCell™ seaweed on Iceland. It is important that a certain part of the seaweed is cut off above the regenerative region only once every four years. The cutting of the upper portion of the seaweed sheets will ensure the seaweed to sprout once more. For this, smartfiber AG employs special harvesting machines with blade wheels that do not affect the ecosystem. The obtained seaweed sheets are then dried in a natural process and coarsely chopped. They are left completely untreated and as a result retain their biological compounds. The Executive Board of smartfiber AG was completely persuaded when observing this sustainable harvesting technique on location in Iceland.
The technology: Cellulose + seaweed = SeaCell™
smartfiber AG has succeeded with SeaCell™ after years of intensive research to develop a fiber made from renewable resources. This cellulose fiber serves as a host for the seaweed, and therefore also contains the seaweed's revitalizing properties for the skin. It is produced through the natural lyocell process, which is an environmentally friendly production method. The lyocell process is virtually closed and integrated into the nature cycle process, and meets the expectations of an industry of the future. This is also why the European Union awarded the procedure the European Environmental Award 2000 in the category "technology for sustainable developments".
Thanks to this technology the sea can be experienced up close - in the truest sense of the word. The valuable ingredients offer an indescribable feeling of well-being. This feeling is retained even after numerous washes. SeaCell™ ensures a healthy combination of comfort, numerous processing options, and good compatibility with other fibers in crocheted fabrics and nonwovens.
The areas of application for SeaCell™ – comfort and well-being for clothing with added value
SeaCell™ fiber stands for the highest comfort and an environmentally conscious lifestyle. It corresponds to the expectations of modern, active consumers who prefer nature-based clothing that is also good for their well-being. Whether at work, at home, or during aerobic activities; whether for babies, children, or adults: SeaCell™ cares for your skin anytime and anywhere. The fibers can be used in various areas of applications - from fashion clothing to home textiles, and more.
Because of their extraordinary properties to protect and nourish, these fibers are suitable for all textiles that come in contact with the skin. During physical activity the fiber offers breathability and nourishment for the skin. This holds true also for medical and semi-medical applications, business applications, sports and casual wear, underwear, and the home textile industry. Therefore SeaCell™'s proactive, nature-based textiles are greatly suitable for those with skin-dependent needs. For example, the fiber allows for a better quality of life for those suffering from allergies or from skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. Textiles containing SeaCell™ feel natural and gentle to the skin even when blended with synthetics.
Excellent quality - tested and confirmed by independent institutes
Numerous tests at independent institutions have confirmed the effects of SeaCell™ fiber. Various certificates prove the SeaCell™ effect.
Both the SeaCell™ fiber and the textiles made from this particular fiber have to undergo various tests to receive their labels. These tests guarantee the effect of the nutrients through the active exchange of material between fiber and skin. For this reason all fabrics are re-examined after the completion of testing for the necessary nutrient content. When they meet the criteria, the products receive the SeaCell™ label as a seal of quality. It makes them instantly recognizable as products with a unique feature, and makes them a real added value for customers.