The garment industry's new drive towards high value added products is prompted by increasing competition from other countries. Current size of apparel industry is 45 Billion US$, which is 40% of the world market, highest amongst the other potential segments-Technical Textiles (18%), Home Textiles (20%). Worldwide chemical consumption in apparel segment is around 60%. Chemicals play a very significant role be it giving a class of touch through the effects colorful prints to soft handle, from easy care to nano finish and so on. But, the use of chemicals in finishing has created illicit effects of the environment as a whole.
Textile industries are facing a challenging in the field of quality and productivity, due to the globalization. The highly competitive atmosphere and the more stringent ecological parameters make way for innovations and changes in the present processes.
Textile industries must look to provide one-stop sustainable solution along the whole textile value chain from pretreatment, through dyeing to finishing. The understanding of how to minimize the impact of their production on the environment and maximize quality, innovation and efficient solutions using intelligent chemistry and eco friendly treatments must be their long term goal. This will promote eco friendly garments as a whole and counterbalance the harmful effects of the present day chemicals.
Thereby, Garment industries are developing textiles with smart functioning using new ecological products to provide extra comfort and increased performance in an eco friendly manner.
Garment Finishing though is synonymous word for the process in Denim industry called "Washing Effects", has now extended to the processing of whole range of ready garments from shirt, T-shirt, trouser, jacket to all types of clothing. In apparels, chemicals are widely used to add value to garments through effects varying from various feels such as soft, supple, dry feel, bouncy feel etc. and/or to adding to the functionality and durability of the garment such as water-oil repellant finish, wrinkle free finish, moisture management, stain protection, to name a few Both natural and synthetic textiles are subjected to a variety of finishing processes. This is done to improve specific properties in the finished fabric and involves the use of a large number of finishing agents for softening, cross-linking, and waterproofing.
A suitable textile processing method that delivers not only eco friendly finished products but also does not hamper the surrounding atmosphere and environment by way of polluting the air and water respectively, due to emissions and effluent water discharges.
Now world around us is fully aware of the implications of the damages already done to it for its water and environmental resources by way of gas and effluent discharges from polluting industries such as textile and leather processing. In order to reduce and save earth from the pollutions of industries, automotives etc., there comes in to existence stipulated norms and standards for the finished goods and the way of operation.
Throughout the world almost all countries have forms certain rules and regulations for importing and exporting processed textile goods. This paper depicts the various textile finishes employed in the finishing of garments with a major concern on the environment and new innovative concepts that can be employed in finishing.
The author is studying in III year, B.Tech (Textile Technology) at K.S. Rangasamy College of Technology