In 2000, the barrier between man and machine is as thin as a
strand from the double helix. As computer equipment, surgical tools and
communications pipelines shrink ever smaller, the next step in engineering is
to merge the biological and mechanical molecules and compounds in to really,
really small machines. This will happen in many different ways and it raises
many new issues. The answer of these issues is revolutionary NANOTECHNOLOGY -
the promising technology for Future. Nanotechnology is an umbrella term
covering a wide range of technologies concerned with structures and processes on the nanometer scale
We are living in this exciting era and feeling the great
impacts of technology on the fibers and textiles industry. In spite of
nanotechnology, being a vast field itself how can textile technology be
discrete from it? Definitely not, as nanotechnology has left its print on other technologies as well as on textile technology. For instance, the application of
nanotechnology in the field of textiles has led to the development of Nanofibers,
NanoCompositions, NanoPolymers, NanoFinishes, etc.
The subject nanotechnology in textiles is as vast as
universe so to restrict in few words is merely impossible. This paper
summarizes the recent development of nanotechnology in textile areas including
textile formation to textile finishing. Details on two major technical aspects,
using nanosize entities and employing specific techniques to create nanosize
structure inside textile materials, have been eluding. A number of nanosize
fillers and their resultant performances have been reviewed. Particularly,
monolayer assembly has been introduced. At the end, perspectives regarding
future development of nanotecnogy for smart &intelligent textiles have been
At first glance, the lotus, a flowering wetland plant native
to Asia, may not be of interest to researchers. But, a leading German chemical
manufacturer has developed a spray-on coating that mimics the way lotus leaves
repel water droplets and particles of dust. Lotus plants have super hydrophobia
surface and this effect arises because they are coated with hydrophobic wax
crystals of around 1 nm (nanometer) in diameter. This nano structure, observed
in nature, had led to the development of an entirely new area of manufacturing
and research nanotechnology.
As the extent of materials to which nanotechnology can be
applied is increasing, opportunities for application are widening.
Nanotechnology has potential applications in computers (nano chips), aerospace
(launch vehicles, nanotubes), colorants, and biotechnology and in varies other
fields. Nanotechnology is without doubt, the technology of the future. In the
field of textiles, nanotechnology has been employed in the synthesis of quantum
dot (semiconductor nanocrystals). Dye molecules are used to cloud fibers. In
nanocrystals, the color changes with increase in particle size. It is thus
possible to create different size particles from a single material having
different optical properties that cover the entire visible region.
The prefix 'nano' is used to indicate the billionth part or
109th part of a quantity. Nanotechnology, also called molecular manufacturing,
is a branch of engineering that deals with the design and manufacturer of
extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the
molecular level of matter. This technology has enabled scientists and
researchers to gain precise control over matter at the atomic and molecular
level. A scientist had once said that some of the problems of chemistry and
biology could be simplified if we could work at the atomic level and actually
see what we are doing. Colour is imparted to fabrics by a process called subtractive colours mixing. Many of the colours produced in nature are a result
of interaction of light with matter, by interference or diffraction phenomenon.
This ideology can be applied to textile dyes to obtain pure and bright hues.
Nanocrystals as colourants are stable and, when mixed with dyes, can produce a spectrum of colours, which is not attainable by either dyes or pigment. Finishing of
textiles and fiber manufacturing are areas where nanotechnology has great
potential for application. The lotus effect finish mentioned earlier is an
example. Moreover, it is estimated that nanotechnology in textiles will be
billion dollar business in the next few years.