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Textile industry goes the nanotech way
13
Jul '07
As part of their effort to write a new chapter in innovative technology, Thailand Textile Institute has entered into a partnership with the National Nanotechnology Centre to come up with new products and production processes.

According to institute's Executive Director Virat Tandaechanurat, the partnership will help the institute widen its technological development for commercial use while allowing local textile manufacturers to develop a broader variety of products.

"We are trying to educate manufacturers associated with Thailand Textile Institute. National Nanotechnology Centre experts can guide them to pay more attention to innovative technology in textile industry," Tandaechanurat told Fibre2fashion.

To begin with, Tandaechanurat said the institute is exploring textile technology to give conventional textiles new properties. One example of this is using nanotechnology to give an anti-bacterial features to fabrics.

Some textile manufacturers have coated fabrics with silver nano particles, which have sterilizing properties, to give it anti-bacterial value. Tandaechanurat said with the help of nanotechnology experts, the country's textile institute is carrying out experiments on how titanium dioxide or zinc oxide can be utilized to developed functional textiles.

Titanium dioxide has self-cleaning properties that can keep clothes spotless while zinc oxide can kill microbes and bacteria. Meanwhile, the institute plans to carry out research on how to ensure that textiles maintain their new features for as long as possible. Currently, nano properties given to textiles last only till 30-50 machine washes.

Tandaechanurat said the institute hopes to apply technology developments discovered through this collaboration to three groups of textiles — fashion textiles, home furnishing textiles and technical textiles, such as fabric used by carmakers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk, India

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