Frequently asked questions

Hardware FAQ

You can easily buy a device through our e-shop If you require a custom quote or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Our Matoha devices are robust, built to last and come with a 1-year warranty. However, if you have an accident and it needs a repair, please contact us through our troubleshooting pages for PlasTell and FabriTell, and let us know the issue and the serial number of the device (this is on the sticker at the bottom of the device). 

The light source is rated for 40 000 hours so that means that if you used the device for 8 hours a day 5 day a week it would last 5000 working days or 19 years. Since the expected lifespan is so long, the light sources are not replaceable. 

All other components are also rated for 40,000 hours or more.

Our devices require no additional accessories or consumables that need to be replaced.

Your device is designed not to need servicing. It self-calibrates every time you turn the device on automatically. If you are observing a drop in performance, please get in touch and we can assist with a more in-depth calibration 

We declare our devices CE (Europe) and UKCA (UK) compliant. These declarations are also recognised in many other countries. Our devices are FCC (US) compliant by exemption (CFR 47 15.103). 

Each instrument type has been tested by an external certified test laboratory to assess properties such as EMC compatibility. 

The mains power supply adapter shipped with the device is purchased from a reputable manufacturer, and has been certified under the following marks: CE (Europe), FCC (US), PSE (Japan), UKCA (UK), UL Listed (safety certification), CCC (China), IC (Canada) and ACMA (Australia). 

The material indicator LED has 7 colours. Even though more colours are possible, we chose the 7 so that they are sufficiently different and easy to recognise.  

The LED can be configured to show a specific colour for a specific material. Please follow the tutorials linked for PlasTell and FabriTell for more details.

The microUSB power supply shipped with each device, DSA-13PFC-05, has a wide range of safety certifications including TUV (safety), UL (safety), FCC (US), RCM (Australia), PSE (Japan) and CE (Europe). 

The certificates can be downloaded here .

The internal battery in Matoha Handheld, PlasTell Pro and FabriTell Pro is certified to a wide range of industrial standards, including UL listing (safety), UN38.3 (shipping safety) and IEC EN 62133-2 (battery pack safety).   

You can view the certificates here:

Operating Principle NIR reflectance spectroscopy, within a band in the 1-2 µm range. On-board AI algorithms instantly interpret the results 
Power supply Micro-USB power adapter or optionally, built-in rechargeable battery (PRO version)
Connectivity Bluetooth LE (app connectivity) and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (to receive updates) & open-source communication library 
Footprint 14x13x10 cm, 0.5 kg 
Warranty One-year standard warranty

The scan takes about half a second.

Software FAQ

Whilst the device software and hardware are closed-source, we do offer an open-source communication library ( ) to interface with our devices!

To get the most out of your device, we recommend that you connect your instrument to a Wi-Fi network. This enables you to receive updates of the device firmware, library and algorithms, as well as access to measurement statistics since the device will be able to report measurement results to our Cloud. 

However, the device WILL work fully offline, and the identification also happens on the device, without needing an internet connection.

The measured data are exclusively hosted in datacentres from reputable cloud providers (such as AWS or Google Cloud), in the UK. We operate multiple levels of back-ups and these would be stored in similar UK or EU datacentres. 

The access to the data is highly restricted, with only a few of our employees having access. 

We’ll never publish any of your data. We may use the data to improve our devices or provide global statistics (“5M measurements have been made with our devices around the world!”), but never in a way that could be used to trace or identify individual customers. 

We’re happy to sign an NDA should you require additional re-assurance, but we treat customer-saved data as highly confidential even without an NDA.

No, because for a large number of customer data we don’t know what the sample is. All our AI models are trained on materials that have been analysed in labs so that we can be confident the material ID is accurately known.

However, we do reserve the right to use the data saved in the cloud for the improvement of our products or services in the future; your data will be kept completely confidential at all times and never shared with anyone else without your permission.

PlasTell FAQ

Our PlasTell devices operate between wavelengths of 1550-1950 nm. The measurement is a combination of reflectance and transmittance sensing.

PlasTell is unable to identify most black/dark plastics containing the carbon black pigment.

Currently, PlasTell can only scan mono-materials. However, via our app you can add your own custom materials as direct answers into your own spectra library, enabling you to tag that specific material for future scans. To do this, please follow our tutorial here.

We’re working on multi-layer film capability and expect being able to deliver this in the near future.

PlasTell Pro comes with a built-in battery with a 6-8h battery life. PlasTell Standard does not have a battery and needs to be powered through a power adapter. Both devices are shipped with a suitable USB charging adapter.

We expect a 95%+ accuracy for supported materials, if the Measurement Guidelines are followed.

For the identification to work, the material needs to be enabled and the sample needs to satisfy some requirements: unfortunately, the identification of majority of samples containing carbon black is not possible; it is also not possible to identify heavily contaminated samples as the device would e.g. see food residue instead of the plastic. Coatings may negatively impact the identification and therefore we recommend following the measurement guidelines.

FabriTell FAQ

Our FabriTell devices operate between wavelengths of 1550-1950 nm.

There are several reasons why your measurement on the screen doesn’t match the label:

  • The label could be wrong due to inaccuracies in production.
  • Your item could be non-uniform. For example, a hoodie labelled as “70% cotton, 30% polyester” can have the inner linings being made of 100% polyester and the outer shell being 100% cotton.
  • Another reason is correct measurement technique. For example, it is helpful to fold a very thin garment, so the sensor “sees” a thick section of fabric. For more measurement guidelines, please watch our tutorial:

FabriTell supports 9 pure materials (cotton, polyester, viscose, acetate, acrylic, nylon, wool, elastane and silk) and 13 blends. Our latest models also support pure polypropylene.

Using our free Matoha app, you can enter a text description, label your composition, attach a photograph and add the weight of your sample. 

You can record extra detail about your garments by filling out the sample properties section. For instance, garment age group, garment type, garment item, item colour and disruptors. 

See here for more details.  

For accurate results the Measurement Guidelines need to be followed at all times.

If the sample is pure, we expect that in >95% of cases it is recognised correctly. If the sample is a supported blend, we expect the device to recognise it if there is at least 5-25% of the second component.

This 5-25% range exists because different blends have different detection limits; for instance, for elastane in cotton or polyester it is close to 5%, whereas for viscose in cotton it is on the higher end, 25+%.This is because some materials are more similar than others - cotton and viscose are extremely similar in their chemistry (hence also infrared spectra), therefore it’s more difficult to identify them.

Please note that NIR sensing is surface based - if the fabric is multi-layer, only the top material will be identified - but if you wish to identify the inside as well, you can simply measure it, too. There might be a small number of samples the device is unable to identify, in which case it would say “unknown”. It should be noted we cannot guarantee that every single sample is identified accurately; if you need this level of identification accuracy, thorough lab-based analysis using multiple techniques might be more suitable.


NIR spectroscopy looks at the chemical composition of the items, such as plastic or textile pieces. Each material has an infrared “signature” that our devices can analyse and use it to identify the composition. The device works by shining infrared light onto the sample, measuring the response, and using our AI algorithms to determine the composition. For more information, please see here

NIR is useful for a wide range of samples, including plastics, textiles, food, agricultural products, soil and minerals. We currently focus on plastics and textiles analysis.

NIR identification is not 100% accurate and not a replacement for in-depth lab analysis – but we offer 0.5 second identification time with no sample preparation. 

For plastics, we’re unable to identify dark/black plastics and the device would typically say “Unknown” or “Too dark”. 

In all cases, correct measuring technique is required.

Using NIR spectroscopy provides you with a safe, non-destructive method to identify materials. With a rapid, 0.5 seconds instant identification, you also save time instead of sending materials to a lab to get analysed.

Please see our documentation here, which contains extensive how-to videos. 

If you still have questions, we are happy to arrange video call for further support. Get in touch with us via email [email protected]  

Our sensors are not suitable to be fit onto a moving belt. This is because the sensor requires the sample being scanned to be still and held flat against the detector.

Sales FAQ

Primarily plastics and textile manufacturing and recycling. Our machines can be used for a wide variety of activities including waste sorting, waste stream audits or research and education.

Your Matoha device warranty lasts 12 months from the date of delivery, during which we’ll replace or repair our machines which are damaged or defective due to faulty materials, workmanship, or design. There are some exceptions where the warranty will be void, such if you disassemble the machine – for full T&Cs please see our Terms of Sale.

UK customers

The invoice will include a 20% UK VAT. If you are a UK VAT registered business, you can reclaim the VAT on your next VAT return so that there is no net cost. 

International customers 

If you are based abroad, we can send the device to you by UPS – we’re able to send to almost any country. For international shipments there is no UK tax (VAT/GST). 

However, upon importation, you will need to pay import tax and duties, to the customs authorities of your country. These fees are:

  • Import tax (VAT/GST). This is typically around 20% but varies by country. For most countries, if your business is VAT registered, you can reclaim this cost on your tax return, so that there is zero net cost. Please speak to your accountant – we’re unable to provide legally binding advice on this.
  • Import / customs duty. The duty is a fee placed by certain countries in the import of goods. The customs HS code for our devices is 902730 and country of origin is UK. For most countries, the import duty on our devices is 0%. This includes imports into the EU, USA, Canada, Japan, India, Australia, and many other countries. Some of the countries that do charge import duties are Chile (6%), Brazil and Argentina (14%). You can use this third-party calculator to check: (we’re not affiliated with SimplyDuty and cannot guarantee its accuracy) – enter “902730” as the HS code and United Kingdom as “Importing from”.

Most importations happen smoothly, and this includes customers who have never imported before. The process is almost fully handled by our courier service, UPS; please do look for communication from UPS and respond in a timely manner, to avoid UPS storage fees.

Yes, but you need to arrange it with us in advance. Please note that this would count as a “UK sale”, even if you live abroad, and we’ll have to charge UK VAT tax (20%). This is because if you pick it up, we’ll not have a certificate of export the courier service would normally provide us with. This is a rule imposed by UK tax authorities and we’re unable to change it. 

If you are taking the device abroad (if you are based abroad), you might be charged further fees / taxes by your country’s customs authorities if you declare it to them or they search your luggage. 

This varies by device – we have some instruments in stock for immediate despatch whilst others have up to 12 weeks lead time. Please do get in touch if your order is urgent and we’ll confirm the lead time.

We ship to all countries except Russia, Belarus, Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Cuba, Iran and Syria. This is due to regulatory issues or sanctions by the UK government.

We can accept card payments (processed via Stripe) or bank (wire) transfers. 

For bank transfers, we have a GBP account which can accept UK domestic and SWIFT international payments. We also have a EUR account which can accept Euro SEPA payments from within the EU, and USD account which can accept US domestic payments via wire / ACH.  

We can accept payments in Euros, Pounds Sterling and US Dollars. You can use a drop-down in the e-shop to select the currency. The prices are updated daily to reflect the exchange rate between pounds (which is our main currency) and Euros / Dollars.

We have a network of trusted partners who have become distributors for us. If you are an existing customer and would like to distribute our devices in your country and we don’t have a distributor in this country yet, please do contact us!