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Application of Biotechnology in the textile industry

Biotechnology which can simply be defined as the application of living organisms and their components to industrial products and processes is not an industry in itself, but an important technology that will have a large impact on many different industrial sectors in the future.

The close cooperation of the textile industry with biotechnology has, in recent years, led to many innovative projects. Untill the 20th century, textile production involved the exclusive use of natural fibers: cotton, hemp, flax, etc. The invention of synthetic fibers in the 20th century broadened the application range of textile materials enormously. Great improvements have been made in technical textiles since the 1980s which now account for approximately 40 percent of the entire textile production. Therefore, their huge innovation potential makes them the driving force in the growing textile industry.

Invention of Modern Fabrics specific interdisciplinary partnerships between the most diverse scientific fields enable the industry to combine several functionalities in one material. The new fabrics may be breathable, temperature-regulating, lightweight, shock-proof, water and dirt repellent and a lot more. It is, in particular, this multifunctionality which broadens the application of these modern fabrics, which, apart from being used as clothing, can be used in car manufacture, space technology, agriculture or biomedical technology.

Innovative materials are also found in the field of medicine and many applications are possible, ranging from tissue engineering to wound dressings and implants. In the field of biomedical technology, biologists and engineers cooperate closely and develop biomaterials and implants as well as methods enabling the regeneration of tissue, for example three-dimensional, shapeable fleeces in which the patientsí own cartilage cells can be grown.

New opportunities for modern textiles have also opened up in the treatment of wounds. In view of the growing number of elderly people and diabetics in modern society, the treatment of problematic wounds is a major application area of such textiles. Innovative medical textiles will no doubt play an important role in the treatment of wounds and skin in future. The integration of therapeutic substances turns textiles into innovative medical products.

What is known as 'intelligent technical textiles' is another interdisciplinary example of innovative textiles used in the field of health and safety. These are textiles with integrated microsystems used in clinical applications for measuring and monitoring of vital parameters such as blood pressure, pulse or breathing.

Through the course of evolution, nature has come up with surfaces to which dirt is unable to attach, thanks to complex micro- and nanostructures. Another innovative material is polylactide (PLA), which can be found in biodegradable catering dishes or packaging and which has become a popular material among clothing manufacturers.

Polylactides are a natural product, made from plant carbons. In contrast to nylon and polyester fibers made from non-renewable petrol, PLA uses carbon that is absorbed by maize plants during photosynthesis from the air.

Biotechnology has already developed new products, opened up new markets, speeded up production and helped to clean up the environment. In our forthcoming edition, we shall touch upon the opportunities one can explore in the application of biotechnology in the textile industry.


Highlights of the Foreign Trade Policy

The Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, had announced the Foreign Trade Policy on 8th April’05. Some of the Salient Features / Highlights of the proposals pertaining to Textile Industry in general and Handlooms in particular are. >> More

Salient features / Highlights of the Foreign Trade policy


Modern Processing Houses

The Indian Home Textile Industry has access to excellent infrastructure facilities and uses the latest technology and machinery.

Many manufacturers have set up state-of-the-art modern processing houses to roll out large volumes of high quality products to meet the international market demands and expectations. Needless to say that India’s Textile Exports have grown exponentially over the last decade.

Eco- Friendly Dyes: Use of Azo-Free Colours

The manufacturers in India are well aware that AZO free colours and dyes should be used. India has discarded the usage of banned materials in the dyeing process with safe substitutes, to ensure eco-friendliness of the products manufactured by the industry.