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Sustainable Textiles: the Role of Bamboo and a Comparison of Bamboo Textile properties (Part II)

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This paper delves into a subset of engineering for sustainable development—the engineering of sustainable textiles using bamboo. In particular, the document explores various questions relating to the subject, including: (1) what constitute sustainable textiles? and (2) what role can bamboo textiles play in sustainable development? The experiments performed attempt to answer two main questions: (1) what are the differences in textile properties between chemically-manufactured and mechanically-manufactured bamboo textiles? and (2) what are the differences in textile properties between two different species of bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis and Bambusa emeiensis)? We can look at the textile industry through the lens of the triple bottom line of sustainability. At present, the industry has a poor track record for social and environmental concerns. The two most commonly used textile fibres—cotton and polyester—both cause serious environmental problems in their life cycle. This document focuses on one small aspect of the entire field of sustainable textiles—materials made from bio-based renewable resources in the form of bamboo species. The advantages of bamboo as a raw material include its fast renewability, its biodegradability, its efficient space consumption, its low water use, and its organic status. The advantages of bamboo fabric are its very soft feel (chemically-manufactured) or ramie-like feel (mechanically-manufactured), its antimicrobial properties, its moisture wicking capabilities and its anti-static nature. The main constraints of bamboo textiles are current costs and are those inherent in the textile industry: energy, water, and chemical requirements that are involved in manufacturing.
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Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
Sustainable Textiles: the Role of Bamboo and a Comparison of
Bamboo Textile properties (Part II)
Marilyn Waite
Engineer for Sustainable Development
Ingéniuer pour le développement durable
This paper delves into a subset of engineering for sustainable developmentthe engineering of
sustainable textiles using bamboo. In particular, the document explores various questions relating
to the subject, including: (1) what constitute sustainable textiles? and (2) what role can bamboo
textiles play in sustainable development? The experiments performed attempt to answer two main
questions: (1) what are the differences in textile properties between chemically-manufactured and
mechanically-manufactured bamboo textiles? and (2) what are the differences in textile properties
between two different species of bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis and Bambusa emeiensis)?
We can look at the textile industry through the lens of the triple bottom line of sustainability. At
present, the industry has a poor track record for social and environmental concerns. The two most
commonly used textile fibrescotton and polyesterboth cause serious environmental problems
in their life cycle. This document focuses on one small aspect of the entire field of sustainable
textilesmaterials made from bio-based renewable resources in the form of bamboo species.
The advantages of bamboo as a raw material include its fast renewability, its biodegradability, its
efficient space consumption, its low water use, and its organic status. The advantages of bamboo
fabric are its very soft feel (chemically-manufactured) or ramie-like feel (mechanically-
manufactured), its antimicrobial properties, its moisture wicking capabilities and its anti-static
nature. The main constraints of bamboo textiles are current costs and are those inherent in the
textile industry: energy, water, and chemical requirements that are involved in manufacturing.
The textile properties examined relate to sustainability: wear and tear (and therefore durability)
and moisture wicking (and therefore the need for machine washing and drying). The following
are measured for fibre, yarn, and fabric: tear force, breaking force, breaking tenacity, moisture
absorption and speed of drying, and surface morphology.
The work is divided into two parts. Part 1 addresses bamboo textiles in the context of sustainable
development, providing a historical perspective, sustainable development framework, pertinent
information about bamboo as a plant, and the various manufacturing processes, advantages, and
constraints of the bamboo textile industry. Part 2 addresses the experimental component with a
discussion of limitations, challenges, a system dynamics view of sustainable bamboo textiles, and
final recommendations for sustainability within the textile industry.
Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
IV. Experimental Exploration with
Bamboo Textiles
A. Introduction
Bamboo textiles present a noteworthy
opportunity for providing sustainable
textiles. Nevertheless, the renewable
properties of bamboo itself do not add much
to sustainable development if the textiles
cannot serve a practical purpose. Bamboo
textiles must exhibit properties appropriate
for its applications, thereby providing the
end-user with a useful item. This section
summarizes the materials used, methods
employed, and results of experiments
performed in order to assess some of the
bamboo textile properties.
There are two main manufacturing methods
currently being employed in the
manufacture of sustainable textiles
chemically-based and mechanically-based
processes. There are also over 1500 species
of bamboo globally, of which only a few are
being employed to create textiles. Some
companies use only one species of bamboo
for bamboo textile manufacturing, while
other companies use many (such as 13
bamboo species) without distinguishing
between species and textile properties. The
experiments performed attempt to answer
two questions regarding bamboo textiles: (1)
what are the differences in textile properties
between the chemically-manufactured and
mechanically-manufactured bamboo
textiles, and (2) what are the differences in
textile properties between two different
species of bamboo used to produce chemical
bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis and Bambusa
The textile properties measured here are as
follows: tear force, breaking force, breaking
tenacity, moisture absorption and speed of
drying, and surface morphology. Tests are
performed at various stages of the bamboo
textile manufacturing process: fiber, yarn,
and fabric. Comparative testing is necessary
to develop and improve products (Lyle
1977), thereby making bamboo textiles more
suitable for end-uses. The properties
analyzed have special relevance to
sustainable development. The ability to
withstand forces is a key indicator of
durability. The longer a textile lasts, the
more one can prolong its eventual deposit in
landfill, and perhaps the more one can
refrain from replacing and wasting further
resources. If a textile can absorb moisture
quickly and dry moisture quickly, then the
need for mechanical drying and perhaps
washing (which are energy intensive) can be
B. Brief Literature Review
There are thousands of studies concerning
various fiber, yarn, fabric, and general
textile properties of various plant fibers.
Topics covered include the sorption
properties of flax fibers, the effects of
cultivating methods on the mechanical
properties of cotton fiber, the determination
of porosity and cellulose content of plant
fibers, the tensile properties of cocoon silk,
the calculation of elastic properties of
natural fibers, etc.
There are no current published academic
works comparing bamboo textile properties
between different bamboo species and
between different bamboo textile
manufacturing processes (chemical versus
mechanical). Here, I provide a brief review
of pertinent findings in the literature
concerning bamboo textiles, ranging from
studies that seek to improve bamboo fibers
with surface modification, to comparisons of
bamboo fibers with other textile fibers.
Mwaikambo provides a review of the
history, properties, and applications of
various plant fibers, including bamboo.
Mwaikambo presents the chemical
composition, physical properties (such as
diameter, length, bulk density), and
mechanical properties (such as tensile
strength, failure strain, and Young‘s
modulus) of the fibers (Mwaikambo 2006).
Xu, Lu et al investigated the thermal and
structural differences among chemical
bamboo fiber, Tencel (regenerated cellulose
made from the eucalyptus tree‘s wood pulp),
and conventional viscose fibers. The
pertinent findings are that: (1) chemical
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Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
bamboo fibers suggest good water retention
power due to the many voids in their cross-
section and (2) chemical bamboo fibers and
conventional viscose fibers possess better
ability of absorbing and releasing water than
Tencel (Xu, Lu et al. 2007). Xu, Wang et al
analyzed the effects of atmospheric pressure
argon plasma on the surface properties of
bamboo fibers. They found that (1) cracks,
pits, and small fragments appear on the fiber
surfaces after plasma treatment, (2) surface
roughness increases with longer treatment
times and larger plasma powers, and (3)
dyeability and hydrophilicity of fibers
improves with surface modification using
atmospheric pressure argon plasma
treatment (Xu, Wang et al. 2006). Shen, Liu
et al also explored the surface properties of
chemical bamboo fibers using a column
wicking technique. Their study was a
comparison between bamboo fiber and
cotton linter fiber (short fibers that cling to
cottonseeds after long fibers are removed).
The principal finding was that bamboo fiber
has more than double the Lewis acid
component compared to cotton linter fiber;
the author suggests that this makes chemical
bamboo fiber similar to the touch of water,
since water is found to have the same Lewis
acid component (Shen, Liu et al. 2004).
C. Materials
Bamboo fiber, yarn, and fabric samples were
collected using two different species of
bambooPhyllostachys edulis and
Bambusa emeiensis. Phyllostachys edulis is
known as ―Mao zhu‖ in Chinese and
―Moso‖ in Japanese; it was formerly known
as Phyllostachys heterocycla pubescens
(AmericanBambooSociety 2007). This is a
popular bamboo for construction
applications, as well as the textile industry.
It was used to provide chemical bamboo
samples and mechanical bamboo samples
from Suzhou Shengzhu Household Co.,
based in Suzhou City China. Phyllostachys
edulis has a monopodial and scattered
rhizome system, and it is distributed
throughout southwest China (Kanglin 1998).
Neosinocalamus affinis, now known as
Bambusa emeiensis 'Chrysotrichus,' was
used to provide chemical bamboo samples
from a manufacturing company based in
Shanghai and Sichuan China.
Neosinocalamus affinis has a sympodial and
tufted rhizome system, is large sized, is
cultivated at less than 1900 m in altitude,
and is widespread in the southwest of China
(Kanglin 1998). The company (wishes to
remain anonymous), uses bamboo fiber
made from bamboo selected from the
Sichuan Province in China.
Figure 4.1 indicates the samples collected
including their specifications. The samples
from Company A were received in April
2008 and stored at room temperature. The
samples from Suzhou Shengzhu Household
Company were received in May and June
2008 and stored at room temperature.
Figure 4.1: Bamboo Samples used in Experiments
Sample Type
Company A
(Bambusa emeiensis)
100% Chemical
Bamboo Raw
Fibre (thick pulp)
100% Chemical
Bamboo Fibre
(fine Pulp)
1.56 dtex×38 mm
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Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
100% Chemical
Bamboo Yarn
32 Ne
Ring spun
100% Chemical
Bamboo Knit
32 Ne
Dyed Pink
Suzhou Shengzhu
Household Co.
100% Chemical
Fine Pulp Fibre
1.56 dtex×38 mm
100% Chemical
Bamboo Yarn
32 Ne
Ring spun
100% Chemical
Bamboo Yarn
21 Ne
Ring spun
100% Chemical
Bamboo Woven
21 Ne
Green and White
Floral Pattern
100% Chemical
Bamboo Knit
32 Ne
Dyed Black
Bamboo fibre
5-6 dtex×95 mm
Bamboo Woven
21 Ne
Blue and White
Checkered Pattern
To perform the scanning electron
microscope (SEM) observations, the
CamScan MX2600 was used. In order to
conduct the moisture absorption and drying
experiments, the following materials were
used in addition to fabric: 17cm diameter
embroidery hoop, deionised water, balance,
pipettes and pipette tips, and a beaker. To
perform the mechanical tests, a Hounsfield
Low Load Electric Screw Machine was
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D. Methods
SEM Images
Standard test procedures for live specimens
were used to observe the differences in
surface morphology among various bamboo
fibers. The fibers were cut and gold-plated
as preparation.
Moisture Wicking Tests
AATCC Test Method 79-2007 was
employed to measure textile absorbency.
The general procedure involves dropping
water from a fixed height onto a taut surface
(made taut through the use of an embroidery
hoop). The time required for the specular
reflection of a water drop to disappear is
recorded as the wetting time. Five readings
are taken, and the shorter the average time,
the more absorbent the fabric. This AATCC
method was slightly modified by using a
pipette with 50 µL of deionised water
instead of a burette. To measure the speed of
drying of the different fabrics, 50 µL of
deionised water was placed on a piece of
fabric cut 4 cm wide and 5 cm long. The
weight of the fabric was taken before and
after the 50 µL of water was introduced, as
well as at set time intervals until the weight
of the fabric reached its initial recording.
Mechanical Tests
Mechanical tests were completed according
to various internationally-recognized
standards, including those from the
American Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM), the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), the British Standards
Institution (BSI), and the American
Association of Textile Chemists and
Colorists (AATCC).
To measure the breaking force of the
bamboo fibers, standard test methods had to
be modified to conduct a comparison
adequate for the short and fine chemical
bamboo fibers. Bamboo fibers were
measured at the following stages: thick pulp
(earliest stage) chemical bamboo fiber, fine
pulp chemical bamboo fiber, and mechanical
bamboo fiber. Ten trials were completed for
each sample type. The following method
was employed:
1. A rectangular paper frame was
constructed with a rectangular cut out.
2. Double-sided tape was then used to apply
an adhesive surface to one side of the
paper frame. The rectangular cut out was
preserved by cutting through the double-
sided tape.
3. Five individual fibers were carefully
picked using fine tweezers and placed
along the rectangular cut.
4. Masking tape was cut and placed along
both ends of the fibers to hold them in
5. The paper frame and the attached fibers
were then clamped using the Hounsfield
tensile testing machine.
6. Slits were cut through two ends of the
paper frame so that the only materials
pulled during the test were the fibers (and
not the fibers plus the paper frame).
7. A standard breaking force program was
used with a load range of 5N, a speed of
100 mm/min, and an extension range of
10 mm.
To measure the tensile properties of yarns,
ASTM standard D 2256-02, Standard Test
Method for Tensile Properties of Yarns by
the Single-Strand Method, was employed. A
single-stranded yarn is broken on a tension
testing machine at a predetermined
elongation rate (300 ± 10 mm/min) so that
the breaking force is determined. A straight
specimen configuration was used with a
gage length of 250 ± 3 mm gage length. The
breaking force of individual specimens is the
maximum force to cause the specimen to
rupture as read directly from the tension
testing machine expressed in Newtons
(ASTM 2003). A total of ten trials were
performed for each yarn type. The breaking
tenacity of an individual specimen is
calculated using equation 1 as follows:
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Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
(1) B=F/T
where: B = breaking tenacity, CN per tex
F = breaking force, CN
T = linear density, tex
To measure the tear properties of fabric, EN
ISO 13937-2:2000, Tear properties of
fabrics Part 2: Determination of tear force of
trouser-shaped test specimens (Single tear
method), was employed. The test method
uses a test specimen cut to form trouser-
shaped legs; the tear force measured is the
force required to propagate a previously
started single tear when the force is applied
parallel to the cut and the fabric tears in the
direction of applied force (ISO 2000). The
tear force is calculated from the force peaks
recorded on the tensile testing machine. A
total of six trials were performed for each
fabric type, three to calculate the tear force
across warp and three to calculate the tear
force across weft.
E. Results and Discussion
SEM Analysis
The SEM images show various similarities
and differences among the four bamboo
fiber types analyzed. Both species of
chemical bamboo fiber displayed a tubular
and ribbed (celery-like) longitudinal surface;
the cross sections of both species were filled
with voids (Figure 4.9 and Figure 4.10). The
thick pulp of chemical bamboo fiber has a
rough and very porous surface (Figure 4.11);
this is to be expected as it is the closest to
the actual bamboo plant among all of the
fiber types. Mechanical bamboo fiber
displayed a bamboo-like longitudinal
section, tubular with nodes (Figure 4.12);
the cross section displayed some voids,
though much fewer than the chemical
bamboo fibers. The mechanical bamboo
fiber also has a higher linear density (5.88
dtex) than the chemical bamboo fibers (1.56
Figure 4.9: Phyllostachys edulis Chemical Bamboo Fibre
Left: cross-sectional direction (SEM Mag7900X), Right: longitudinal direction, Diameter is 13.4
µm -15.6 µm (SEM Mag3346X)
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Figure 4.10: Bambusa emeiensis Chemical Bamboo Fibre
Left: cross-sectional direction (SEM Mag3346X), Right: longitudinal direction (SEM
Mag2086X), Diameter is 12.3 µm -15.2 µm
Figure 4.11: Bambusa emeiensis Chemical Bamboo Fibre (Thick Pulp)
Left: cross-sectional direction (SEM Mag1406X), Right: longitudinal direction (SEM
Mag3152X), Diameter is ≈ 31.5 µm
Figure 4.12: Phyllostachys edulis Mechanical Bamboo Fibre
Left: cross-sectional direction (SEM Mag4476X), Right: longitudinal direction (SEM
Mag1708X), Diameter is ≈ 16 µm
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Mechanical Tests
The following section provides summaries
in table and graph form for the mechanical
data gathered.
The results for fiber breaking force and
breaking tenacity illustrate that
mechanically-manufactured bamboo fiber is
more than two times stronger than
chemically-manufactured bamboo. There are
no significant differences between species at
the fiber level. The breaking tenacity of
cotton, wool, viscose rayon, and polyester
are all below that of the bamboo fibers
tested (Figure 4.13 and Figure 4.14);
therefore, bamboo fibers may be more
resistant to wear and tear than conventional
fibers. The raw chemical bamboo fiber was
not used for comparative purposes (since
only one sample was available at this stage
in the manufacturing process); however, it is
clear that the strength of the bamboo fibers
is more present before continual processing.
Graph 4.1 shows the mechanical testing
results for bamboo fibers.
Figure 4.13: Fibre Breaking Force and Breaking Tenacity Comparison
Bamboo Species
(thick pulp)
406 ± 106
1.56 dtex
13.7 ± 2.1
8.75 ± 1.36
1.56 dtex
17.7 ± 2.8
11.4 ± 1.8
5.88 dtex
146 ± 20
24.9 ± 3.64
Figure 4.14: Tenacity of Conventional Textile Fibres
viscose rayon
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Graph 4.1: Fibre Breaking Force and Breaking Tenacity Comparison
The breaking force and breaking tenacity of
bamboo yarn reveal small differences
between species and manufacturing method.
It appears that the processing of fiber into
yarn creates some level of strength
degradation for mechanically-manufactured
bamboo. As with bamboo textile fibers,
there was no significant difference between
the mechanical properties of different
bamboo species in yarn form. Figure 4.15
and Graph 4.2 illustrate the mechanical
testing results for bamboo yarn.
Figure 4.15: Yarn Breaking Force and Breaking Tenacity Comparison
(Ne Count)
Average Breaking
Tenacity (CN/tex)
278 ± 16
15.0 ± 0.87
240 ± 13
13.0 ± 0.72
485 ± 32
17.2 ± 1.1
499 ± 49
17.7 ± 2.1
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Graph 4.2: Yarn Breaking Force and Breaking Tenacity Comparison
The fabric tear results show that the woven
fabrics are more resistant to tear forces than
the knit fabrics. Also, Bambusa emeiensis
endured a higher tear force than
Phyllostachys edulis. Ironically,
mechanically-manufactured bamboo showed
a much lower resistance to tear force than
chemically-manufactured bamboo.
However, the woven chemical bamboo
fabric sample contained a floral pattern
which almost created a double-layer;
therefore, it is difficult to say with certainty
that there is a difference in manufacturing
method for these tests. Figure 4.16 and
Graph 4.3 show the mechanical testing
results for bamboo fabric.
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Figure 4.17: Fabric Moisture Absorption Comparison
Tear Force (N)
Knit, Ne=32
15.6 ± 0.59
Knit, Ne=32
9.64 ± 0.70
Knit, Ne=32
7.99 ± 0.29
Knit, Ne=32
5.86 ± 1.20
Woven, Ne=21
64.5 ± 1.9
Woven, Ne=21
59.2 ± 7.4
Woven, Ne=21
23.9 ± 2.88
Woven, Ne=21
22.1 ± 0.53
Graph 4.3: Fabric Tear Force Comparison
Moisture Wicking Tests
Figure 4.17 indicates the average absorption
times for a drop of water to be absorbed by
the corresponding fabric. Phyllostachys
edulis has by far the quickest absorption
time. When a drop of water was placed onto
the green printed design on Sample 3
(Phyllostachys edulis chemical bamboo
woven), the average absorption time was
2.45 s; when a drop of water was placed
onto the cream-colored part of Sample 3
(flat design), the water absorbed instantly at
0.00 s.
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Figure 4.17: Fabric Moisture Absorption Comparison
Bamboo Species
Average Absorption
Time (s)
Knit, Ne=32
Knit, Ne=32
Woven, Ne=21
Woven, Ne=21
Figure 4.18 shows the total time that each
fabric took to dry, once wet with one drop of
water. The fastest drying fabric was the
mechanical bamboo made from
Phyllostachys edulis, while the slowest
drying fabric was the chemical bamboo
woven made from Phyllostachys edulis. It
should be noted, however, that the design of
the chemical bamboo woven fabric could
have slowed the drying time because of the
double-layer nature of the pattern.
Figure 4.18: Fabric Moisture Drying Comparison
Bamboo Species
Total Time Needed to
Dry (s)
Knit, Ne=32
Knit, Ne=32
Woven, Ne=21
Woven, Ne=21
Figure 4.19 shows the moisture wicking
capabilities of the fabrics in question. The
last column provides the difference between
the time of drying and absorbing normalised
by the absorption time. Note that lower
numbers indicate higher moisture wicking
(fast absorption and fast drying).
Figure 4.19: Moisture Wicking Properties of Bamboo Fabric α: averaged time from range of
0s to 2.45s
Time (s)
Total Time
Needed to
Dry (s)
(Dry time-Absorb
time)/Absorb time
Knit, Ne=32
Knit, Ne=32
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Figure 4.20 shows the graphs of weight
plotted over time after the fabric had
absorbed water. Note that the rates of
change, or slopes of the graphs, are all small
and close in value. Graph 4.4 shows the
moisture wicking results for bamboo fabric.
Figure 4.20: Speed of Drying for Various Types of Bamboo Textile Fabric
Graph 4.4: Moisture Wicking Properties of Bamboo Fabric
F. Conclusion
There are noticeable differences between
textile strength in fiber, yarn, and fabric
form, with some apparent degradation in
processing. At the fiber level, mechanical
bamboo‘s breaking tenacity is at least twice
as big as chemical bamboo fiber. At the yarn
level, there are small differences between
species and manufacturing method for
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breaking tenacity. At the fabric level,
Bambusa emeiensis has a bigger tear force
and tearing tenacity than Phyllostachys
edulis. Nevertheless, specie differences in
fabric form are small. The tearing strength
of mechanical bamboo fabric was much
smaller than chemical bamboo fabric;
however this could be due to the woven
design in the chemical bamboo fabric.
The moisture absorption tests revealed well-
defined differences between species,
manufacturing method, and textile
specification. In general, the woven bamboo
fabric absorbed water much quicker than the
knit bamboo fabric. In knit chemical
bamboo textile form, Bambusa emeiensis
took four times longer than Phyllostachys
edulis to absorb water. In woven form
(species kept constant with Phyllostachys
edulis) the chemical bamboo absorbed water
instantaneously, while the mechanical
bamboo took 165 s on average to absorb.
Based on these results, chemical bamboo
woven fabric is better at water absorption
than mechanical bamboo woven fabric, but
chemical bamboo knit fabric takes a very
long time to absorb. There also is a
difference in absorption properties between
bamboo species in textile form, and perhaps
the same differences can be found in raw
bamboo in nature.
The moisture drying tests revealed that some
fabrics were better at absorbing than drying.
Phyllostachys edulis chemical bamboo
woven fabric was the quickest to absorb, but
the longest to dry. This may have been due
to the double layer of woven material to
create the green floral pattern. When
manufacturing method and specification
were held constant, Phyllostachys edulis
absorbed and dried faster than Bambusa
emeiensis; this supports the SEM images
since there are more visible voids in the
chemical bamboo Phyllostachys edulis
species. However, the fabric that has the
best moisture wicking property is the
mechanical bamboo made of Phyllostachys
edulis. This sample absorbed water in a
short time (163 s) and dried water in a short
time (452 s); though it did not show many
voids in the SEM cross-sectional image, the
longitudinal section resembled a bamboo as
a tubular shape with nodes. Perhaps there is
some level of biomimicry in the fibers of
bamboo that can be further explored.
There are two main conclusions that are
drawn from the results: the species of
bamboo is not trivial for bamboo textile
applications and there are fundamental
differences between the type and function of
bamboo textiles that are manufactured
chemically versus those that are
manufactured mechanically with the aid of
enzymes. Currently, many manufacturers
who make chemical bamboo fabric add
various species of bamboo into the mixture,
without consideration of the differences.
Although the research did not indicate a
significant difference in mechanical
properties such as breaking tenacity between
species, moisture wicking properties varied
significantly. There are also some blogs
stating that mechanically manufactured
bamboo is better than chemically
manufactured bamboo; the study shows that
the two textiles are not interchangeable, and
that their appropriateness will depend on the
goals of the application. Three specific
conclusions can be made from the
experimental tests: (1) mechanical bamboo
fibers are much stronger than those
chemically manufactured, but this strength
at the fiber level does not remain consistent
with further processing in yarn and fabric
form, (2) Phyllostachys edulis exhibits better
moisture wicking properties than Bambusa
emeiensis, (3) mechanical bamboo displays
better moisture wicking properties than
chemical bamboo. Further work could
explore more species of bamboo, as well as
how small changes in the manufacturing
process may change the quality of the textile
at the fiber, yarn, and fabric levels. In
summary, there is room for many different
types of species and manufacturing methods
for bamboo in the textile industry.
V. Bamboo Textiles: the Limits
A. Limitations
This paper shows how the properties of
bamboo can be useful for textile applications
in the realm of sustainable development.
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However, there are many bamboo species
and manufacturing steps not explored here
that would nevertheless, add to the overall
understanding of the subject. Also, since
many bamboo textile operations are closed
off to the public and researchers because of
intellectual property issues, there is pertinent
information regarding manufacturing that
could not be included in this paper. It is
important to emphasize that bamboo, or any
single textile source, will not serve as a
panacea to the sustainability issues of the
textile sector. Over-reliance on one source,
whether it is for energy or for textiles, is
contrary to the underlying principles of
sustainable development. In addition,
different materials have different
mechanical, physical, chemical, and
technical properties that will serve for a
diverse range of applications.
B. Challenges and Possible Mitigation
There are many challenges facing the future
of bamboo textiles, including:
1. The threat that bamboo farming
communities become too dependent
on textile industries and are left with
little negotiating power with
intermediaries or the global market
(Bismarck, Baltazar-y-Jimenez et al.
2. The threat of over-exploitation in
general and by an introduction of
heavy machinery (that may damage
the bamboo rhizome system), as well
as with chemical pesticides and
3. The risk of consumer disinterest
in ―eco-textiles,‖ or otherwise
similarly labeled textiles that would
support the growth in bamboo textiles.
For example, world consumption of
sisal and henequen in Mexico
plummeted, and left many rural
families desolate, mostly due to the
development of cheaper synthetic
polymer materials (Bismarck,
Baltazar-y-Jimenez et al. 2006).
To mitigate some of these risks and address
the challenges, the following is suggested:
1. To reduce the risk of
overdependence on textile trade by
local bamboo farmers, diversification
and support from outside
organizations are essential.
With the numerous documented
and well-established end products
from bamboo sources, farmers
can diversify their product range
so as to not become too
susceptible to changes in any one
For bamboo farms that are
owned by small farmers,
fair/ethical trade schemes and
fair/ethical trade support
organizations, sustainable textile
schemes, and connections to
associations with bamboo
bargaining power (such as
INBAR) could be established.
Organizations such as the
Fairtrade Labeling Organizations
(FLO), the Ethical Trading
Initiative, and Sedex, are all
working to promote fair trade
globally. Organizations such as
Social Accountability
International, The Clean Clothes
Campaign, the Fair Wear
Foundation, and the International
Fair Labor Association, work to
promote ethical working
2. The risk of overexploitation is
present with any crop; to keep this
from occurring with bamboo,
increased public pressure and
sustainably managed ―bamboo‖ forest
certifications are suggested.
Public pressure to keep textiles
organic can help to reduce the risk
of introducing chemicals to
bamboo farming. The high yield
and renewable status of bamboo
also make the use of chemical
pesticides and fertilizers less
attractive than for other textile
raw crops.
Bamboo forests are currently
poorly managed in comparison to
their wood counterparts. Because
bamboo is a non-timber resource,
Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
it is missing in many government
classifications and third-party
certification schemes. The
introduction of such measures
would ensure that bamboo forests
are continually managed in a
sustainable manner and would
engender confidence in
3. There should be increased yet
clarified public awareness in the
subject of sustainable textiles to
reduce the threat of consumer
The issue of trade agreements in the
international textile market is very important
as it impacts the environment, workers,
companies, end-users, and governments
involved. The influence of government
decisions on the sector, and therefore on the
future of bamboo textiles, will not be treated
here. It is a complex issue and beyond the
scope of this paper, but it is also worth
mentioning that agreements can have both
positive and negative impacts on the
communities involved, in both the short run
and long run.
One aspect of the textile industry that
undermines sustainable textile development
is the advent of ‗fast fashion.‘ That is, there
are increasingly short leading times for new
clothing textiles to reach the consumer
markets and increasingly short shelf lives of
the new clothing textiles. Figure 5.1 shows a
simplified causal loop diagram concerning
the sustainable bamboo textile industry. It
shows how fast fashion undermines the
entire system of a sustainable bamboo textile
(SBT) industry, and a sustainable textile
industry in general. The system boundary is
set with two major conditions: (1) textiles
are sourced from bamboo and (2)
sustainability is a prerequisite for each stage
of the life cycle. Therefore, the word
sustainable in the diagram encompasses the
relevant categories such as energy, water
use, and chemicals.
The diagram assumes that the total amount
of textiles in the worldwide textile stream
remains constant (for example, people will
buy x number of t-shirts regardless of the
clothing material); a bamboo item would
replace a polyester item, for instance. Two
main items that were left out of the diagram
but worth mentioning are the number of
workers in industry and government/inter-
governmental regulation. It is difficult to
predict the effect that an increase or
decrease in sustainable bamboo textiles
would have on employment in the sector,
mostly because machine automation
continues to make jobs obsolete in the
textile industry. Regulation (including
treaties, quotas, tariffs, and taxes) is an
important factor for a sustainable bamboo
textile industry. However, it is not included
here in an attempt to simplify the system
boundaries. Also, regulation is likely to
address the trade of textiles or the trade of
bamboo, but it is not likely to address
bamboo textiles specifically unless they
became major world players in the textile
market (such as cotton). The relationship
between the number of people who buy SBT
products and the price of SBTs is shown,
assuming supply (more SBT manufacturers),
remains constant in the long term. In
general, a lower price indicates that more
people will be able to buy SBT products.
There are two main loops. One is a positive,
or reinforcing loop labeled ―sustainable
bamboo textile industry.‖ This loop shows
the positive relationships between public
awareness, consumer education, consumer
voice, retailer voice, the amount of SBT
manufacturing and SBT quantity in the
industry, and the number of people who
purchase SBT products. This loop also leads
to show how a sustainable bamboo textile
industry leads to sustainable bamboo
forest/farm certification schemes, as well as
sustainable textile research and
development. The second loop is negative,
or balancing, and it is labeled ―fast fashion
in textile industry.‖ This loop indicates how
the relationships among quick lead times,
consumer consumption of fast fashion, and
the price of bamboo textiles leads to a less
sustainable textile industry.
Low prices and fast fashion are interlinked.
Assuming that one keeps the same budget,
Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
one can buy things more often if the items
are sold at low prices. I will describe one
possible scenario using the fast fashion loop.
As the amount of SBTs increases, the
overall size of the sustainable textile
industry increases; this then leads to a
decrease in the amount of fast fashion. As
fast fashion decreases, consumer
consumption of fast fashion decreases, and
subsequently consumer consumption of
SBTs within the fast fashion realm
decreases. As the latter decreases, the price
of SBT products must increase to make up
for profit loss (all other things being equal),
and this price change means that there will
be less people who buy SBT products at this
higher price. When the number of people
who buy SBT products decreases, the
amount of SBTs in the industry decreases,
and therefore there is a decrease in the
overall sustainable textile industry. Fast
fashion is therefore creating an unpleasant
barrier to the sustainable bamboo textile and
overall sustainable textile industries.
The diagram shows that an increase in the
number of SBTs is adding to a sustainable
textile industry, all other things being equal.
Yet, a truly sustainable textile industry
would lead to a decrease in fast fashion,
since unnecessary material waste is a key
component of sustainability. What is a
possible solution? One answer is the
purchase of sustainable textiles that last
longer and are more expensive; people
would buy clothes less often (and therefore
engender less textile waste and pollution),
but retailers would make the same profits
because goods would be sold at a higher
C. Final Recommendations
Finally, I propose a sustainable textile mix
for the future, similar to the energy mixes in
which society has a diverse portfolio of
energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear,
coal with carbon capture and storage, oil and
gas, etc. The current textile mix, with a clear
majority belonging to petroleum-based
synthetics and cotton fibers, is presented in
Figure 5.2. Figure 5.3a and 5.3b show textile
mix possibilities, randomly chosen, for the
Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
C. Final Recommendations
Finally, I propose a sustainable textile mix
for the future, similar to the energy mixes in
which society has a diverse portfolio of
energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear,
coal with carbon capture and storage, oil and
gas, etc. The current textile mix, with a clear
majority belonging to petroleum-based
synthetics and cotton fibres, is presented in
Figure 5.2. Figure 5.3a and 5.3b show
textile mix possibilities, randomly chosen,
for the future.
Figure 5.2: World Textile Mix (2006)
Textile Mix in 2006
raw cotton
raw wool
organic cotton
raw silk
raw cotton
organic cotton
raw wool
raw silk
Note: Chart generated using data provided by Textile Outlook International (Simpson
2007). Organic cotton data taken from the Organic Cotton Fiber Report (Ferrigno 2006).
NB: man-made fibre demand figures are based on production data; natural fibre demand
figures are based on consumption data to avoid inaccuracies arising from wide stock
variations from year to year numbers may not sum precisely due to rounding
Figure 5.3a and 5.3b: Textile Mix
Possibilities (5.3a, left, by fibre category,
5.3b, right, by fibre type)
The role of bamboo textiles in sustainable
development was analysed through a
thorough literature review, expert interviews
and discussions, field visits in China, and
experimental tests. Bamboo textiles present
many solutions to the present unsustainable
Article Designation: Refereed JTATM
Volume 6, Issue 3, Spring2010
nature of textile engineering; however,
energy, water, and chemical concerns in
manufacturing still must be addressed. There
are textile property variations among both
species and manufacturing method for
bamboo textiles. Thus, it is important to
consider these two elements for the desired
textile outcome. Further work in this field
could analyse more bamboo species for
textile applications, as well as treat small
variations in manufacturing processes for
the desired outcomes.
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... In 1881 U.S. patent issued for mixing Natural Bamboo Fiber (NBF) materials with wool and spinning into a yarn, the forerunner of modern bamboo yarn (Waite, 2009). He reported that the earliest record of US patents pertaining to bamboo textile was made by Philipp Lichtenstadt in 1864 (U.S. patent and Trademark office 2008) ...
... The density of the fibers in the cross-section of a bamboo culm varies along its thickness. The fibers are concentrated in regions closer to the outer skin Cross-section of a natural bamboo fiber From: Prospect of bamboo as a renewable textile fiber, historical overview, labeling, controversies and regulation Simplified bamboo viscose manufacturing steps (Lin 2008)[Reproduced fromWaite 2009]. a Raw bamboo. ...
Bamboo is an amazing sustainable raw material and versatile agro-resources, as India is second largest store-house of bamboos. Bamboo textiles are having great potential in turn out to be an potential alternative plant based fibers in modern bamboo textile industry. Available bamboo resource utility and management for sustainable future, bamboo fibric textiles are cost efficient and meant for its unique performance in climate change situation. Its history, chemical, mechanical properties, morphology, anatomy, patents and modern bamboo textile industry. The reliable blending nature with other fibers for in Modern Bamboo Textile Industry (MBTI) better comforts. This paper delt with the prospects of natural plant-based bamboo fibers eco-friendly', 'bio-degradable' antimicrobial properties
... It requires minimal processing before its use, and it leaves no environmental footprint afterward as it is affordability and ease of access (Yu et al., 2011 andVan der Lugt et al. 2009). Bamboo is a multi-functional material which is used in production of varieties of products ranging from household to industrial uses (Janssen, 2000).According to Janssen (2000); Naxium (2001); Waite (2009) and Wooldridge (2012), bamboo can be used to construct houses, bridges, furniture, scaffolds, flooring as electrical insulators in manufacturing automobile parts, as laminated ply bamboo and as reinforcement in matrix composites. The influence of working with bamboo needed to be analysed. ...
... Bamboo fibres have vast application areas for being a sustainable material [96]. It is one of suitable fibres for EFC [81] as it is biodegradable, renewable and can be grown without pesticides or other chemicals [64,97]. Furthermore, merely 4.9% know about recycled polyester, which is another indication of their inadequate knowledge since recycled polyester has emerging applications in the clothing factory [98]. ...
Environmentalism leads to the concept of eco-friendly clothing (EFC) and its popularity is advancing all over the world. In-depth knowledge acquisition regarding EFC has become a fundamental requirement for Bangladeshi Textile undergraduates as they are the future professionals in the EFC sector. To ascertain the knowledge level and perception of the Bangladeshi textile undergraduates regarding EFC was the aim of this study. In this exploratory study, a self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data through purposive sampling from the students enrolled into the Bangladesh undergraduate Textile Engineering programme. The respondents were 282 students of the fourth year of different universities located in Dhaka city. Descriptive statistics were used to represent the findings of the research. The results showed that 82.3% of the respondents were informed about EFC, 35.8% were knowledgeable regarding EFC raw materials and 53.02% were cognisant about the production process. 89.4% of the respondents expected one particular course on EFC in curriculum and 94% wanted to contribute towards EFC in the future. The study revealed that undergraduates have a knowledge gap regarding EFC, while their willingness to learn and contribute is very optimistic. The findings suggested that the evaluation and modification of the curriculum for EFC and incorporation of EFC courses can lessen this salient gap.
... Bambu memiliki banyak kegunaan misalnya sebagai bahan konstruksi bangunan (Bali & Wijaya, 2015), perabot, alat musik dan lain sebagainya, sedangkan seratnya dapat diolah menjadi alat/ bahan penunjang kebutuhan hidup sehari-hari seperti kertas, tikar, tekstil, dan campuran bahan komposit (Waite, 2010;dan Suhaily et al, 2013). Serat bambu memiliki beberapa keunggulan dibandingkan serat alami yang berasal dari tanaman lain, yaitu densitas yang rendah, kuat, dan fleksibilitas yang tinggi (Zakikhani et al., 2014). ...
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Natural fibers have application in almost every item used in our daily routine and been contributing explicitly to the economic prosperity and sustainability in our lives. Among the natural fiber plants, bamboo is the most popular, because of its versatile applications and significant contribution to the environment. Bamboo fibers have been used in various application such as decoration, weaving, paper makin, textile, and high-performance composites for the past many years. They have several advantages such as superior tensile strength, low density, and high flexibility under flexible and compressive loads. In order to meet the requirements of each bamboo application, there is a need to study the mechanical properties of bamboo fibers. This study reviews mechanical properties of bamboo fibers for various species, extraction methods, plant age, sizes, and moisture contents. Keywords: bamboo fiber; bamboo extraction method; mechanical properties; mechanical testing; tensile strength AbstrakIndonesia kaya akan tanaman yang dapat diambil seratnya untuk diolah menjadi produk yang bermanfaat. Di antara tanaman penghasil serat alami, bambu adalah yang paling populer, karena memiliki aplikasi yang serba guna, mudah tumbuh, tidak memerlukan perawatan dan dapat mengurangi pencemaran udara. Serat bambu telah digunakan dalam berbagai aplikasi seperti dekorasi, perabot, tekstil, kertas dan komposit. Beberapa keunggulan serat bambu adalah memiliki kekuatan tarik yang besar, densitas yang rendah dan fleksibilitas yang tinggi. Dalam rangka memenuhi persyaratan masing-masing aplikasi dari serat bambu, diperlukan studi mengenai sifat mekanik serat bambu. Penelitian ini membandingkan beberapa penelitian yang sudah dilakukan mengenai sifat mekanik serat bambu berdasarkan spesies, metode pengolahan dari batang bambu menjadi serat, umur tanaman, ukuran serat dan kadar kelembaban. Serat bambu yang dihasilkan dapat memiliki sifat mekanik yang optimal jika bambu yang dipilih adalah dari spesies tertentu, memiliki kadar kelembaban yang rendah dan menggunakan metode ekstraksi yang tepat.
... Ecofriendly fabrics are not harmful to environment, they are biodegradable and prevent carcinogenic effect on skin. The use of harmful dyes and chemicals on textiles has led to considerable damage to the environment and efforts to decrease energy usage and reduce carbon foot print is essential (Waite, M. 2009) Knitted fabrics are commonly used because they are lightweight, flexible and possess excellent mechanical properties. The advantages of using knitted fabrics as opposed to conventional fabrics lie in their low cost, improved barrier properties, adequate strength, and comfort properties. ...
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... However, the secretion is viscous and odourless and is composed of proteins, sugars, ammonia, ferric ions, steroids and lipids [9,30,32]). Apoeccrine glands develop during puberty from eccrine-like precursor glands and produce extremely copious sweat, which is secreted directly on the skin surface [30,[32][33][34]. ...
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... Therefore, it can be proposed that natural fibers from bamboo have the potential to retain antibacterial compounds, for example, phenolic compounds and lipids, and thus antibacterial properties [36]. Some studies have indicated that NBFs extracted from bamboo will have antibacterial properties [37][38][39][40][41]. ...
... According to research by Vogtländer (2011), Waite (2009) and Wooldridge (2012), bamboo is used in varying amounts to obtain: food, medicine, biomass, textiles, cellulose and paper. It can also be used as a material for many other fields: construction of buildings and bridges, furniture manufacturing, household objects, applications in the electronics and automotive industries, as well as other products such as chopsticks, etc. Bamboo contains a large amount of nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, plant steroids, which are stored in the top, leaves and shoots. ...
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This paper presents the "electronic nose" analysis for the biomass samples of wine yeasts isolated from the Didactic Research and Development Station for Viticulture and Pomiculture Pietroasa – Istrița obtained by fermentation with wine yeasts on two culture media which utilized carbon sources: glucose (MF1) and sucrose (MF2). The 10 yeast biomass samples obtained were analyzed in terms of global volatile composition using the Multisensory System for food quality control and detection of α-Prometheus food fakes with α-FOX4000 ("electronic nose"). The differentiation index was 95 (from max.100). The wine yeast biomass samples obtained will be selected for scaling up for use in animal feed.
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Innovative fragrance finish on Bamboo fabric New textile technologies have enabled the application of cosmetic ingredients on fabric to provide its functional benefit to the end-use product and therefore, cosmetic textiles are moving from research to the stage of commercialisation. Fragrance finish is one such finish that falls under this category. A fragrance is made from a pleasant smelling aroma compound. Aromachology is a science that studies the effects of fragrances on the human body and mind. It researches how scents can be used to induce relaxation and make life more pleasant. Finish was prepared and applied by two methods. Tests were conducted to check the performance properties of fragrance finish and the effect of finish on physical properties and mechanical properties of the fabric for unwashed samples. Comparative analysis of the two finishing application methods was done.
Technical Report
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This report discusses the general uses of bamboo and explores its potential as a modern building material. It also highlights the benefits developing countries could derive from developing bamboo sector through its use in downstream industries. Given the environmental challenges created by timber, steel and concrete, modern construction puts emphasis on using materials that have a low impact on the environment. Bamboo is among a few materials that have potential to replace conventional materials in construction because of its low environmental footprint.
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A complete survey of natural fibres that includes a discussion of all the different classifications of plant fibres would include far too much material for one article so some of the commercially important fibres have been selected for consideration. Although there is no profound relationship between the origin of fibres and their mechanical properties, bast fibres possess the lowest microfibril angle and, on average, best mechanical properties. Physical and mechanical properties of plant fibres differ from one type to another leading to differences in end use performance. There is a strong relationship between the fine structure of plant fibres and their mechanical properties. Plant fibres are an alternative resource to synthetic fibres as reinforcement for polymeric materials for the manufacture of cheap, renewable and environmentally friendly composites
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Are we well dressed? Our clothes are getting cheaper, they follow fashion more rapidly and we’re buying more and more of them. At the same time, we hear more about poor working conditions in clothing factories, the greenhouse effect is becoming more threatening and the UK is facing a crisis in disposing of its waste. What should we do? This report aims to help answer that question, by looking at what might happen if the way that our clothes are made and used were to be changed. What would happen if we used different fibres, or different farming practices? What would be the consequence of washing our clothes in a different way, or keeping our carpets for longer? What would happen if more of our clothes were disposed of through clothes banks? In the UK we are already awash with information on these questions – so why read this report? Firstly, the report is intended to be neutral – it does not have an agenda, or seek to promote a particular change or approach. Secondly, it attempts to take a very broad view of the sector – encompassing the views of business, government and campaigners and trying to reflect the widest definitions of ‘sustainability’. Thirdly, it attempts to identify the potential for significant and lasting change by looking at what might happen if a whole industrial sector were to experience a change. The report is intended to be valuable to a wide range of interested groups. It is written for people in business – who have to balance their personal ethics and the concerns of their consumers with the need for their business to prosper. It is written for consumers who have a limited budget but are concerned about the impact of their shopping choices. It is written for campaigners and those in education, government and the media – to try to provide as balanced evidence as possible about the present and future impacts of the clothing and textiles sector. Five person-years of work leading to this report were funded by the Landfill Tax Credit scheme, through the Biffaward scheme administered by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts and with 10% funding from Marks and Spencer. On the way to writing the report, we have received help from hundreds of people working in the sector and have attempted to acknowledge many of them inside the back cover. We would particularly like to acknowledge the contributions of Marisa de Brito, who worked with us for the first half of the project, Jon Cullen who designed the graphics, sourced the photographs and edited and laid out the document, and our steering committee of Mike Barry from Marks and Spencer, Peter Jones from Biffa and David Aeron- Thomas from Forum for the Future.
Environmental issues arise at all stages of the textile and apparel supply chain. The expansion of textile production and consumption has contributed to increasing pollution, water shortages, fossil fuel and raw material depletion, and climate change. Production of polyester fibre, the most widely used man-made fibre, Consumes non-renewable resources and high energy levels, and generates atmospheric emissions. Modern automated textile plants consume large amounts of energy. Textile finishing consumes large amounts of water and energy and often produces harmful effluent. Apparel production is more environmentally, friendly, but sourcing from low cost countries consumes more fuel for transportation. Among consumers, the trend towards fast fashion and cheaper clothing has led to a throw-away mentality. Environmental issues are being addressed, however. Although recycling activity remains at a low level - for economic and quality reasons - Marks & Spencer and others are promoting recycling schemes. Some retailers are also voluntarily attaching "eco-labels" to garments to provide environmental information. Although these have met with varying levels of success in the marketplace, they can encourage "best practice" in manufacturing. Some labelling schemes, such as the EU Ecolabel Scheme and its associated flower logo, adopt a full life cycle or "cradle to grave" approach while others, such as Öko-Tex, focus on a single aspect of an item such as its environmental attributes, social attributes, or individual phases of its life cycle. Other initiatives include REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation which aims to encourage safe and eco-friendly chemical production. In the USA the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) enables the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to track industrial chemicals produced in or imported into the country. Some man-made fibres, such as Lenzing's lyocell fibre Tencel, have a minimal impact on the environment. Also, organic cotton production is growing rapidly but still accounts for only a small fraction of global cotton output. Nonetheless, organic cotton is being adopted by high prafile companies such as C&A, Coop, Nike, Wal-Mart, and Woolworths. And a growing number of brand and manufacturing companies are pursuing environmentally friendly strategies. Such companies include American Apparel, Gap, Interface, Patagonia, and Wal-Mart in the USA as well as Rohner Textil in Switzerland, and a small knitwear company in India, MaHan, which was founded by an ex-teacher from the Netherlands.
It is a consumer's instinct to use the sense of touch when choosing a garment; to describe and assess the fabric quality and its suitability for a specific end use. The way that the fabric feels is described as its handle or 'fabric hand'. Fabric hand can be evaluated by mechanical or electronic devices and by human judges using psychophysical or psychological techniques. Effect of mechanical and physical properties on fabric hand thoroughly explores the techniques and issues involved in this difficult subject. It begins by looking at the concepts of fabric hand, with chapters on the developments in hand measurement, the application of statistical methods and the differences in fabric hand between different cultures. The second part is devoted to the different effects fiber, yarn and fabric can have on fabric hand. The effect of factors including fiber, yarn and woven fabrics are all outlined in separate chapters. Finally, the third section describes the effect that processing has on fabric hand. This includes processes such as wet processing and chemical finishing, mechanical finishing and refurbishing. Finally two important appendices are included for reference. Appendix A is from the Hand Evaluation and Standardization Committee and outlines the Kawabata system for standardization and analysis of hand evaluation. Appendix B describes the SiroFAST system of fabric assurance by simple testing developed by CSIRO, Australia.
This report profiles seven UK companies which are at the forefront of innovation in smart fabrics and intelligent textiles, namely: Auxetix, d3o lab, Eleksen, Engineered Fibre Structures, EXO2, Fibretronic and Peratech. Some of these companies have developed and commercialised functional fabric-based products incorporating integrated electronics. Such products are capable of interfacing with or accommodating iPods, mobile phones and laptop computers, and include sports jackets, bags, business suits and fabric keyboards. Eleksen, Fibretronic and Peratech are among a number of UK-based companies leading this field. At the same time, other smart materials offering new performance features for a varied range of end uses have emerged. Many are based on the results of academic research, and some have been created by modifying existing textile manufacturing technology. Such materials include: blast curtains and self-locking sticking threads from Auxetix; protective equipment for high performance sports applications from d3o lab; a glove which can be used to control games consoles and other electronic devices from Engineered Fibre Structures; and heat conducting clothing technology from EXO2.
The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge of environmental impact associated with producing fabrics for hotel textile services. The project was carried out in two parts: studies on hotel textiles and on textile services in three major Scandinavian laundering companies. This paper presents the results of the hotel textile study. The environmental impact was studied by applying the main principles of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Life-cycle assessments provide useful information on the quantities of energy and resources consumed and emissions associated with production systems. The impact assessment is still under development but some scenarios have been made to describe possible local, regional and global environmental consequences of the system under study. The inventory calculations proved that cotton fibre production consumes about 40% less energy than polyester fibre production. Cotton growing requires, however, huge amounts of water: irrigated amounts vary from 7 to 29 tons per kg of raw cotton fibres. Pesticides and fertilizers used in traditional cotton cultivation have ecotoxic effects in contrast to organic cotton cultivation, where natural alternatives to agrochemicals are used. It could also be concluded that 50/50 CO/PES sheets in hotel use have fewer environmental impacts than 100% CO sheets. This is due to the higher durability as well as lower laundering energy requirements of 50/50 CO/PES sheets. 1999
Microbial infestation poses danger to both living and non living matters. Obnoxious smell form the inner garments such as socks, spread of diseases, staining and degradation of textiles are some of the detrimental effects of bad microbes. Though the use of antimicrobials have been known for the decades, it is only in the recent couple of years several attempts have been made on finishing textiles with antimicrobial compounds. The consumers are now increasingly aware of the hygienic life style and there is a necessity and expectation for a, wide range of textile products finished with antimicrobial properties. The new developments such as non-leaching type of finishes would help reduce the ill effects and possibly could comply with the statutory requirements imposed by regulating agencies. This paper reviews ways and means of finishing textiles and assessing their antimicrobial properties.
From the point of view of the preindustrial world, the development of the English cotton textile industry in the eighteenth century was truly revolutionary. The industry was established early in the century as a peasant craft (section 2; note 2), and by 1850 it had been almost completely transformed in terms of the organization and technology of production. Of the total work force of 374,000 employed in the industry in 1850, only 43,000 (approximately 11.5 percent of the total) were employed outside the factory system of organization. In terms of technology, the industry was virtually mechanized by this time: there were 20,977,000 spindles and 250,000 power looms in the industry in 1850. What is more, steam had become the dominant form of power used in the industry—71,000 horsepower supplied by steam as opposed to 11,000 supplied by water (Mitchell, 1962: 185, 187). Value added in the industry by this time exceeded by about 50 percent that in the woolen textile industry, the dominant industry in England for over four centuries. This rate of development was something that had never been experienced in any industry in the preindustrial world. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution in England, in the strict sense of the phrase, is little more than a revolution in eighteenth-century cotton textile production.