Research on New Cotton Finishing Technologies Moving Ahead
While visiting the University of Georgia (UGA), Athens to deliver a seminar on “Sustainable Materials: Mind to Market,” it became clear to me how vital interdisciplinary research is to help move the textiles sector forward.
Professors Sergiy Minko and Suraj Sharma of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors at UGA are exploiting nanotechnology to develop sustainable dyeing and finishing techniques for cotton textiles, including nanocellulose gels that can be used to dye cotton and blends.
Nanocellulose gels obtained from bleached pulp are dyed to obtain nanocellulose-dye dispersions, which are then coated onto textiles. Spray coating and screen printing methods can be used to obtain the coloration using the gels.
Ms. Anuradhi Liyanapathiranage, a research scholar from Sri Lanka who is working on the project, stated that pre-treatments such as scouring and bleaching do not affect the dyeing efficiency.
Ms. Smriti Rai from India has effectively utilized the ultra-thin coating technology to dye cotton using reactive and indigo dyes. She said that the gel technology uses less water, and the dye fixation is higher than the exhaust method.
The research group is optimistic that cost-effective sustainable processes can soon be made commercially viable to the textile industry.