Nanollose completes its first pilot spin of eco-friendly Nullarbor-20 lyocell fibre, signs partnerships and is in strong financial position in milestone quarter.

Australian-based biomaterial technology company Nanollose Ltd (ASX: NC6) has reported a strong Q3 FY22 achieving significant milestones including its first pilot spin of its forest-friendly, sustainable Nullarbor-20™ lyocell fibre.

Nanollose closed the quarter with a cash balance of $1.75 million, which the company said will provide financial flexibility to advance its current growth objectives.


Pilot spin a success

Nanollose announced completion of its successful pilot spin in February.  The pilot spin was completed in partnership with Birla Cellulose – a global leader in man-made cellulosic fibre manufacturing and part of Aditya Birla Group.

The pilot spin produced 250kg of the company’s trademarked Nullabor-20 fibre. As part of the staged scale up to 100% tree-free fibres, the initial spin targeted a blend of 20% microbial cellulose and 80% conventional wood pulp.

The successful pilot spin demonstrated the capacity for Nanollose’s technology to be easily integrated into existing factory settings to spin and produce the fibre at scale.

Future spins will increase the percentage of microbial cellulose, enabling Nanollose to produce quantities of additional Nullarbor™ fibres consisting of varied percentages of tree-free microbial cellulose, mixed with other cellulosic materials.

Producing several varying blended fibres provides Nanollose with the opportunity to expand its product range and appeal to customers at different price points.

The company said this will broaden its addressable customer base in the lyocell fibre market which is already valued at US$1.13 billion and projected to grow to US $1.71 billion by 2027.

Following completion of the spin, and proof of concept that commercial scale fibre production is achievable, the company has focused on finalising negotiations with potential collaboration partners to start product trials.

Nanollose is working diligently with its fashion consultant, Carla Woidt, to advance discussions with prospective partners. 

To optimise fibre from its pilot spin, Nanollose is seeking to allocate fibre and provide limited exclusivity to selected market leaders across key segments of the fashion and textile industries including denim, outdoor, intimates, athleisure, knitwear and sportswear.


Deal with leading denim producer  

Among its first collaborations is leading denim producer Orta. Based in Turkey and established in 1953 as a specialist spinning and weaving company, since 1985 Orta has operated as a sustainable denim manufacturer.

Orta boasts a total production capacity of 40 million metres of denim annually and provides fabric to luxury brands including Armani, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant.

The company also provides leading denim brands Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein and retail brands such as GAP, Banana Republic and Madewell.

First 100% Nullarbor lyocell garment

During the quarter Nanollose continued to progress manufacturing of its first garment made from 100% Nullarbor lyocell.  Deakin University converted a small quantity of 100% Nullabor fibre into yarn.

A world-renowned Australian fashion designer engaged by Nanollose refined and finalised the garment design, creating prototype samples in cotton and traditional lyocell prior to using Nullarbor.

The final garment is expected to be completed ahead of a launch in early June.


Further growth opportunities

Nanollose is working on further growth opportunities. The company is seeking to develop Nufolium™ for non-woven fibre applications, including in the high growth market of personal wipes.

Nanollose executive chairman Dr Wayne Best said “with proof of concept at scale now established with its partner Birla Cellulose, the company is in a great position for establishing quality collaborations.”

“The availability of Nullarbor-20 fibre has already enabled us to secure an agreement with sustainable denim manufacturer Orta and discussion with a number of additional potential collaborators are expected to be finalised imminently,” Best said.

“I’m also encouraged by our recent work on vegan leather which complements but is independent of our Nullarbor fibre technology.”

This article was developed in collaboration with Nanollose, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.