Case study

Breathable, vegan synthetic textile coatings with INSQIN®

Synthetic textile solutions typically need to deliver properties like durability, breathability, and waterproofing – often in combination with design freedom and improved sustainability. We teamed up with Trans-Textil to create a vegan textile coating solution that could meet all these needs.
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Making functional textiles more sustainable

Whether they’re for footwear, sportswear, bags, automotive interiors, or furniture, synthetic functional textiles typically need to deliver high-performance properties such as durability, breathability, and water-repellence. As well as enabling individual product design features!

In recent years, demand has also increased for more sustainable fabrics. This includes textiles made with waterborne coating solutions, safer raw materials that don’t contain hazardous substances, natural fibers, and increasingly, vegan materials.

AQUAIR® design possibilities

Combining verified sustainability with technical performance

For manufacturers in the textile industry, there are two key challenges: certifying their products’ improved sustainability, and balancing this with technical performance.

For instance, to claim that a product is vegan, manufacturers must get certification from an accredited institute. This requires them to verify that both the raw materials and manufacturing process are free of animal-based components.

Brand owners and manufacturers can also face technical challenges in delivering more sustainable synthetic functional textiles. For instance, enabling water repellence without using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Or enabling more breathable synthetic products that are also waterproof.

“Creating a vegan textile solution was a logical further development – it fits perfectly into the overall AQUAIR® concept! And I’m happy that with INSQIN®, we could improve AQUAIR®’s environmental impact even further."

Matthias Krings

Managing Director, Trans-Textil


Developing a water-based coating system with Trans-Textil

To tackle these challenges, we teamed up with Trans-Textil: a leading company in producing functional textiles through lamination, membrane technologies, coating, finishing, and printing.

Together, we developed and tested a new, highly breathable water-based polyurethane system that combines high performance with responsible product design. The coating layer for this system is based on our aqueous INSQIN® technology.

The result is AQUAIR® – a water-based coated textile material that combines breathability with waterproofing for maximum comfort. Trans-Textil also offers compatible seam-sealing tapes to enable waterproof seams in AQUAIR® products.

Because water-repellent properties are already integrated into AQUAIR®, no additional substances such as PFAS are needed. In fact, all its components and process steps meet OEKO-TEX®’s Standard 100 for processing without harmful ingredients.

AQUAIR® is also certified by the Pirmasens Testing and Research Institute (PFI) as ‘100% Vegan’ – confirming that the product, its raw materials, and its manufacturing process are not of animal origin. This includes the PU hotmelt lamination systems, as well as the textile substrates and membrane systems, used to manufacture the multi-layer composite products.

AQUAIR® is now being used in shoe components, sports clothing, bags, furniture, and more – including in small series, thanks to its versatile and flexible concept. The color and grain of its synthetic layer can be easily customized, enabling significant design freedom in all these products. And, thanks to the use of INSQIN®, these products require up to 95% less water and 50% less energy to make than when using a conventional production process.*

In this way, together with Trans-Textil, we’ve raised the standard for high-performance, responsibly produced vegan textiles to new levels!

*according to internal calculations

“By teaming up with Trans-Textil, we’ve been able to address several key demands facing the coated textiles industry: high performance, breathability, improved sustainability, and vegan materials.”

Dr. Torsten Pohl

Head of Global Textile Coatings, Covestro

Key Benefits

  • PFI-certified “100% vegan”: AQUAIR® is made using vegan materials and a vegan production process.
  • Safer raw materials: AQUAIR® meets OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for processing without harmful ingredients.
  • Water-repellent: Water-repellent properties are integrated into AQUAIR® technology.
  • Breathable: The AQUAIR® system enables comfort through its great water vapor transmission.
  • Easily personalized: Both the coated layer’s color and grain, and the composition of a multilayer product, can be individually customized.

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Hello! Thanks for reaching out to us.
We have received your request and one of our experts will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, feel free to discover our innovative material solutions!

Speak to you soon,
Your Covestro Team