How Did Antimicrobial Fabrics Become the Best? Find Out

antimicrobial fabrics

The word antimicrobial states it characteristics by itself and which means active against microbes. So, we can say that the products which are antimicrobial, have the ability to fight against microbes. Although the ability of this protection may be vary from product to product. But on the whole, the ultimate purpose of this feature is to protect consumers from germs. Moreover, there are so many daily use items like socks, workwear suits, uniforms, towels and other footwear products. Those have the tendency to grab certain odor during and after use. Since these types of products are normally made by synthetic materials so that odor or microbes presence is obvious. The washing is not an ultimate solution to get rid from odor and germs issues. An antimicrobial treatment is the only way out for not only germs issues but also works for odor related issues.

There are so many products which are right now have the characteristics of antimicrobials. But today, we are going to discuss its contribution in our textiles and apparels industry. The antimicrobial fabrics market is no doubt is growing worldwide. The main reason behind this growth is an increasing rate of new diseases and infections.  So, this is why, the precautionary measurement awareness about health and safety of the general public is increasing. The most of the people prefer to adopt preventive approach instead of suffering from any illness.

Why Antimicrobial Fabrics:

The regular textile fibers don’t have any inherent feature to protect against microbes. On the other hand, it provides the room for growth of microbes due to sweating. Especially in warm or humid weather, the growth rate of microbes gets double. Keeping in view this thing, an antimicrobial fabrics finish is introduced to protect the wearer from germs. There are so many famous brands which are already offering such type of finish garments to their end users. Since the hygiene conscious approach in end users is increasing and now on top priority. This is why, consumers are really conscious about their wearing which is directly touching their body all the day.  As per the customers, the apparels which are direct interaction with your body normally considers as second skin. So, it should prevent or protect us from microbes instead of giving them room to grow.

Antimicrobial Fabrics Application:

The Potential of the antimicrobial fabrics and garments is really hot and trending now days. Although the antimicrobial products concept is old in healthcare industry and we can see so many products with this technology.  But with the passage of time, its implications or scope is getting broader day by day. Now, we are using this into our fashion and textile industry, military and other consumer industry as well. This is why, the experts are predicting that antimicrobial fabrics and textile market will be US$ 1,076.1m till year 2026. The estimated growth rate of antimicrobial products is about 7.5% per year. If we review the growth trend from regional market (Europe, North & Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia) point of view.  Then Asian market is on number one from growth point of view. After that European market is standing on number two and North America comes on number three.

The main reason of high growth rate in Asian market is an improvement in lifestyle, increasing income and especially tremendous investment in healthcare sector. And as the expert’s prediction, this list numbers will remain same for upcoming years. Because there are so many economic factors which are directly support this trend. And there is no doubt in this thing that medical industry is a key industry behind this positive growth rate. Other than the medical industry, the fashion or apparel sector is also influenced with this technology. This is why, the most of the fashion apparel brands and especially sportswear brands are using this technology. And now you can see so many products both outer and inner wears which have antimicrobial features.

Antimicrobial Fabrics Market Analysis:

For last few years, due to high potential growth rate, the Asian market is standing number one in antimicrobial textile market. Since the potential of the market is still too high so it is attracting the big giants of this industry to invest aggressively here. If we analyze the competition level of antimicrobial fabric industry then we observe a severe competition between the leading companies. Some of the leading companies include: Sciessent LLC, Sanitized AG, Trevira GmbH, Microban Int’l, Lonza Group, The Dow Chemicals, Biocote Ltd, Herculite Products etc. And in order to dominate into the industry, we observe several mergers and alliances between the big companies. The reason behind these mergers or alliances is just to offer unique and vast product line to the maximum market segments.

And if we closely review the target potential market of these big companies then we further conclude it few countries. These are the countries where companies are putting extensive efforts and finance to get maximum market share. And these countries include China, India, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Brazil. This is not the end as the demand growth rate in Europe and Latin America is also very encouraging. So, we can’t ignore these markets too for more future business opportunities and shares.

Sustainability Feature in Antimicrobial Fabrics:

Although the key features of antimicrobial fabrics are really tremendous from all aspects. And there is no doubt this thing too that most of textile companies are extensively using it into their product line. But the traditional treatment of this technology is not as environmental friendly as it should be. So, keeping in view the current scenario, the experts are striving their best to come up with some perfect solution. The solution, which is not only, covers the germs problem but the treatment is also sustainable and eco-friendly.

The Canadian based firm “Flispec” introduced two sustainable alternatives for antimicrobial treatment. The first one is “Rayon”, it takes its main ingredient from oyster shells. And this ingredient offers antimicrobial feature (moisture absorption, soft hand-feel) to the wearer. So, such kind of material are normally suitable for sportswear or footwear (socks). The second alternative is “RecoveryFil”, it uses zinc oxide as main ingredient. This ingredient combines with Tencel which gives the wearer to ultimate protection from UV rays. So, you are taking double benefits from your clothes. On one side it is protecting you from microbes and on the other way, it also keeps you safe from Ultraviolet rays.

Future of Antimicrobial Fabrics:

Although there are so many alternatives that are now exists into the market to make any fabric or product antimicrobial. But we can’t sure about the method sustainability through which it becomes antimicrobial fabrics or garments. That’s why; the researchers and scientists are focusing on natural ways through which the fabric gets sustainable and antimicrobial features. And for this, plants materials are consider as best antimicrobial agents.

So, the research is going on these lines that how they could take maximum benefit from bioactive textile. And how they could utilize its maximum benefits for the protection of wearer from microbes which causes diseases. Moreover, these natural agents are non-toxic as well as don’t spread any allergy issues. Although there are some other natural antiseptic agents are already available yet there is still need to dig out more. That how we could utilize or take more and more benefits from these natural available antibacterial agents in textile industry.

06 Basic Guidelines for Denim Jeans Manufacturing

06 Basic Guidelines for Denim Jeans Manufacturing

The history of denim jeans started in 19th century at America. The Levi Strauss and Jacob Devis were the main key persons and founder of denim jeans pant. The Levi Strauss came from Germany to US in 1853 where he joined his brother’s dry goods business. He was dealing in different items in which cotton fabric was also included. Whereas, the Jacob W. Davis (a tailor of different items like tents, horse blankets, and wagon covers) was one of his customer of cotton fabric. One day, Jacob Devis customer ordered him a stardy pant that could bear hard work. So, he bought denim-jeans fabric from Levi Strauss and made stardy pant with copper-rivets at different parts of the pant.

After making the first successful development in jeans, the Jacob decided to do continue this line with some more advancement. So, he contacted the Levi Strauss and asked him to join him for this project. The Levi Strauss agreed to support him for this development and then they started work on denim jeans garments. So, this is how the first jeans pant was invented in 1873 with the joint efforts of Jacob Devis and Levi Strauss. And after that their jeans factory introduced and changed the main concept of jeans pant. And it’s the tireless efforts of both experts which introduced the denim jeans from workwear to fashion wear.

History of Denim Jeans Fabric:

As we all know that the jeans are made from denim. The word denim is derived from sturdy fabric called “Serge de Nîmes” in French language. The weavers of Nîmes in Italy were trying to reproduce the cotton corduroy fabric but due to some error they developed a sturdy twill fabric known as denim. And this twill fabric’s weft passes through two or three warp threads. Initially, the warp thread was indigo blue dyed whereas the weft threads remained in white color. So, the facing part of the fabric was blue whereas the reverse side of the denim fabric was in white color.

Although with the passage of time, there are too much enhancements in the characteristics and look of the denim fabric. But, the regular denim jeans fabric still has the same look (reverse side white and front side blue indigo). The blue indigo is a dye which was initially made from trees. But with the passage of time, it is now making with synthetic chemicals with some advance look and features. There are mainly four types of denim fabrics which are usually extensively use in denim jeans fashion industry. The main denim jeans fabrics are cotton/stretch, poly cotton stretch, 100% cotton and poly cotton. Although there are some other types too in denim yet they are not as hot selling items as above said qualities.

Denim Jeans Garment Making Process:

After having a basic information about denim jeans history, making and types of denim. Let’s have a look on below step by step detail of denim jeans pant making process. And for this we will start the same from development process from fabric development to garment finishing step:

Spinning & Weaving:

The cotton denim jeans fabric is developed by cotton thread which is made from cotton crop. The field workers picked the crop from fields and send it to spinning mills for yarn development. The spinning mills follow the sequence of processes that convert raw cotton fibres into yarn. And by following these numbers of spinning processes, they get clean, strong, uniform yarns required for weaving process. After going through rope dyeing and sizing process, the yarn sized beams are ready for weaving. This yarn is used both in warp and weft thread of the denim to develop a stable and long lasting fabric. After weaving process, the fabric is moved to finishing department for final finish/look.

Cutting:

At cutting, first of all, the required garment (top/bottom) patterns are made before cutting start. And these patterns are drawn on cutting layers on denim fabric. Cutting layers length and thickness (05/200 layers per cutting table) are decided according to the requirement of order. Once the layers are done, the plotter machine drawn the paper pattern which is laid on the denim layers for cutting. The sharp cutters are used to cut these layers according to the drawings.

Stitching:

The cut parts of denim fabrics layers are then move to stitching department for stitching purposes. In some garments, the embroidery or printing is required. So, these parts normally move to embroidery or printing department before stitching process. The stitching of normal pant is done by polyester/cotton thread (top thread: 30-40 count, inner thread: 50-100 count). And normally the stitching process is done in chain production system (garment stitching operations divided into number of operators). Once, the stitching is done then raw top/bottom moved to washing process.

Washing:

The washing process is divided into two steps, the first one is dry process and the other one is wet process. In dry process, all the before wash effects like distressing, sand blasting, tie & dye, pintuck effects etc. are done before the washing process. After completing the dry process the garment steps into enzyme/stone wash process. During this process, the shade and grain effects are matching through different enzymes and bleaching chemicals. The white used effect at front and back is normally made with KMNO4 (Potassium permanganate) chemical. If the wrinkles are required on garment then the garment wrinkles are cure into oven after washing process.

Finishing:

After washing, the garments are landed on finishing department. Here, all pre-finishing (cropping, buttoning, mending etc.) and finishing (pressing, quality, tagging & packing etc) processes are done. Once quality is done then garments are packed into cartons according to the required client’s ratio for final dispatch.

Some Ending But Important Points:  

The above fabric and garments making process is a conventional process. Although there are so many enhancements are already made in the above process but the basic procedure is still same. If someone wants to closely understand the denim jeans making process then he/she must go through the above steps first. After having a complete know how about the conventional method. Then he/she should review the other modern steps which are mostly related to environment sustainability in garment manufacturing process.

As it’s really necessary to know these sustainable technologies enhancement too. Because the old or conventional manufacturing process is not eco-friendly. Although the manufacturing steps remain same in new method yet the techniques which we adopt in these steps will be changed. For example, the crop cultivation method and spinning method has improved now. As in old cultivation method, we were consuming too much water and chemicals in our fields. Whereas now, the consumptions of water and chemicals are now too much controlled in both cultivation and spinning process.

Same is the case with garments manufacturing. After knowing the above steps, you should know about the lean manufacturing process. As it considers as best manufacturing approach which guides you how to enhance manufacturing with zero waste. The traditional or old washing process was the more water and hazardous chemical consuming process. So, now there are some enhancements in washing process too which  considers as eco-friendly. There are so many technologies which are working perfectly and saving too much water and chemicals. And more importantly, it is saving our land from the toxic chemicals of washing and finishing process of garments.