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Eco-friendly fibres focus of textile sector

27
Aug '09
Mr Virat Tandaechanurat
The future of the textile sector in Thailand lies in eco-friendly fibres and functional textiles to address the growing environmental concerns in the globe along with ensuring growth of the industry, said the Executive Director of the Thailand Textile Institute (THTI), Mr Virat Tandaechanurat.

Giving an example, he said the CoolMode fabric collection launched by a Thailand company was initiated by the Institute to encourage other textile manufacturers to produce environmentally friendly fabrics and clothing and more research was being conducted on natural fibres from plants such as hemp or kanchong .

Under partial funding by the Office of Industrial Economics, the Institute has conducted research on functional textile and natural fibres and this year, two of the fibres, banana fibre and coconut charcoal blended with polyester fibre, won the Design Excellence Award 2009.

Giving details he said, “Burnt coconut shells, when turned into activated carbon charcoal and mixed with polyester fibre, create a fabric with 1 percent moisture absorption that can resist up to 80 percent of bacteria and clothing made from the same, would improve wearers' comfort and reduce odour in garments such as socks”.

"Thailand has a lot of coconut shells lying around and people do not benefit from them. We can make use of the carbon function and the Institute is focusing on exploring materials that can replace widely used synthetic and other man-made fibres”, he added by saying.

He continued by saying, “Thailand's research in successfully blending coconut charcoal with polyester fibre will encourage manufacturers to invest both in producing the fibre and clothing and since the fibre is environment-friendly, as activated carbon from the process can be used in other industries”.

“The new fibre could also offer cost savings as Thailand produces very less cotton but imports almost 400,000 tons of cotton and silk per year at a cost of almost 50 billion baht and ninety percent of cotton used in the country is imported and this way, we will be using plants instead of petrochemicals," he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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