Guide: Dr. G. Krishna Bai
Today's textile production is characterized by high quality requirements, high productivity and high flexibility to meet the basic requirements of the global markets. The contribution of the textile industry to the Indian economy is notable, but it has been identified as a major polluting industry. The textile wet processing sector is highly water and chemical intensive. It is greatly responsible for polluting the water bodies as the regulations charted for the treatment of industrial waste water were neglected. In recent times, strict regulations have been imposed by the government on treatment of industrial effluents which has forced the textile processors to conceive processes which minimize pollution load.
In the textile industry, water is a fundamental unit used in production. Not only does the textile industry use huge volumes of water for processing but the waste water treatment requires cost intensive conditioning for an environment friendly recirculation into nature. Water can no longer be discharged untreated into the environment the challenge being zero discharge. It is therefore necessary to find ways to reduce the impact of the textile processing industry on water quality and environment.
Wet processing of textile materials include many high energy consuming operations and consumes approximately 80% of the total energy requirements of all the operations. The increase in energy cost makes every manufacturer to think in terms of conserving energy in all the different processes followed in the manufacture of textiles.
Pretreatment of fabric is an important step as it results in uniformly clean and absorbent base material suitable for further wet processing. It makes the fabric more recipient and increases its ability to react to further processing. After pretreatment are value addition processes and the end results are achieved in terms of colouration - dyeing or printing. In present times there is a shift in the basic idea of textile wet processing. Many of the chemical processes have been replaced by other technologies. One such development is the application of biotechnology in the pretreatment of textiles. Bio technology has come to the forefront because of its environment friendly nature and highly specific action unlike organic and inorganic chemicals used in conventional wet processing.
This article was originally presented in ATNT 2007 held on 18-20, June 2007 at Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India. For this article, Mrs. Shanthi.R, Senior Lecturer, Department of Fashion Technology in Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore had worked under the guidance of Dr. G. Krishna Bai, Professor & Head, Department of Textiles & Fashion Apparels, Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore.