At first glance, it may seem unlikely that some plastic bags will turn into a pair of good-looking pants; plastic bags appear to lack the necessary qualities and are not commonly used to make pants, at least on a large scale production. However, there is an option for people who want to make good use of their plastic bags and contribute to reducing plastic pollution, and best of all you can do it at home. Keep on reading if you want to know more about how to make pants out of plastic bags as well as other garments.
It is a fact! plastic bottles have the #1 record for the most recycled plastic used to make fabrics for clothing. Using plastic bottles to manufacture polyester requires fewer resources and has a lesser negative impact on our environment than using petroleum. Both, Polyester and plastic bottles are made of PET Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). But, how about plastic bags?. Can we recycle them to make fabrics? The short answer is, yes, with some limitations and options still under study. Let´s take a closer look at our options.
Make your own set of pants with common household tools
One option to make pants out of plastic bags is to make them yourself at home. The results are not as stylish as a regular pair of pants but the resulting fabric can be surprisingly sturdy and usable for pants and other garments. You will need a pair of scissors, an iron, a fan, and pieces of paper large enough to fit the plastic bags. Follow these steps to make the fabric:
- Once you have everything set up on an ironing surface, fold the plastic bags until you have eight layers of plastic on top of each other.
- Place the folded plastic between the layers of paper and use the iron to fuse the plastic until you have a uniform and firm material. Use the fan to keep the area ventilated and repeat the step as necessary.
- Take your pieces of fabric to the sewing machine to make pants, tote bags, and other garments.
Ongoing research on plastic bags fabrics
Besides plastic bottles, other post-consumer recycled products can be used to make pants in large-scale manufacturing. Fishing nets and other plastic scraps rescued from our oceans and the environment can be used as well. However, plastic bags are made out of a polymer known as polyethylene (PE) that is not normally used to make fabrics. This is mainly because Polyethylene is not moisture-wicking and would retain water and sweat. Although, Polyethylene does have some advantages. It is thin and light, and if used as a clothing material, it could keep us fresher than most fabrics since it allows heat to pass through.
Large-scale production of pants out of plastic bags may be possible in the future according to research done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. The research team conducted experiments with polyethylene and managed to spun a silky and lightweight fabric with moisture-wicking properties that are even better than most common fabrics such as cotton, polyester, and nylon. Only time will tell if this type of fabric can be used in large-scale clothing manufacturing.
Hopefully, by now, you know more about how to make pants out of plastic bags and can begin doing some trials at home. Remember to use a fan to keep the area ventilated. Visit us at the Running Republic and join our efforts for a better and more sustainable future. Also, follow our social networks on Facebook and Instagram.