Textile processing is an ancient technology which starts long back with the evolution of mankind. Earlier human used clothes to protect body from adverse conditions like extreme cold or rain or direct sunlight. At that time people were least concerned about colours, whiteness etc. As the civilization progressed, people learned more about colours. The oldest application of colours, at Altamira caves, Spain. All ancient civilizations were famous for their typical patterns of textile; let it be in yarn or fabric form or in dyeing. The evolution of textile dyeing eventually brought forth the importance of pretreatment of the materials that are to be dyed. There is a saying, "A well preparation is half dyeing" to express the importance of pretreatment.
Textile materials are divided into two main categories viz natural and manmade. Natural fibres contain more unwanted impurities than the manmade, also known as synthetics. Therefore the pretreatment for natural fibres are essentially more than synthetics. Cotton, among all the fibres, is most preferred for its typical aesthetic and tactile properties and being a natural fibre contains impurities almost 10% of the weight of the fibre. Therefore the meaning of pretreatment for cotton is to remove these impurities.