Enzymes are widely used in the textile industry owing to their eco friendliness and suitability of application on different substrates under varying application conditions. The enzymes are now considered to be an integral part of almost every wet processing step of natural fibers, ranging from fabric preparation to the garment finishing. Enzymes are part of "White Biotechnology", which is aimed at practicing environment friendly applications and using renewable resources.
The global market potential of enzymes for textile application is estimated to be about 150 mil USD having CAGR of about 3 %. The growth rate is envisaged to increase further depending on the changing fashions in "garment finishing" and the growing awareness of eco concerns demanding "Greener" processing. During the last decade many new applications have been developed and commercialized which has also expanded the market size considerably.
The major usage of enzymes in textile processing is in the areas of
- Desizing - of cotton woven fabrics, terry towels and denims
- Bioscouring - of cotton yarn & knits
- Biocleaning - degumming of Silk, Flax retting, decolorization of dye house waste water
- Biobleaching - of Wool
- Bleach clean-up - post bleaching peroxide neutralization
- Biopolishing - loose fiber, surface fuzz removal from knits/ towels for antipilling
- Biosoftening - soft finish on knits & garment, fading