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16
রাজশাহী টেক্সাটাইল মিলস লিমিটেড। ১৯৭৯ সালের ১৩ জানুয়ারি উৎপাদন শুরুর পর মাত্র দুই অর্থবছর লাভের মুখ দেখেছে মিলটি। বাকি অর্থবছরগুলোয় লোকসান হওয়ায় বর্তমানে মিলটির দেনা ১১১ কোটি টাকায় ঠেকেছে।

জানা গেছে, ১৯৭৪ সালের ডিসেম্বরে তত্কালীন শিল্পমন্ত্রী এএইচএম কামারুজ্জামানের প্রচেষ্টায় ‘রাজশাহী টেক্সটাইল মিলস’ প্রকল্পটি সরকারের অনুমোদন পায়। ১৯৭৫ সালের ১৩ ফেব্রুয়ারি তিনি মিলটির ভিত্তিপ্রস্তর স্থাপন করেন। উৎপাদন শুরু হয় ১৯৭৯ সালের ১৩ জানুয়ারি। মিলটি থেকে মূলত সুতা উৎপাদন করা হয়।

মিলের পুরনো নথি ঘেঁটে দেখা গেছে, উৎপাদন শুরুর প্রথম অর্থবছরে (১৯৭৯-৮০) উৎপাদন লক্ষ্য ছিল ২৫ লাখ কেজি সুতার। উৎপাদন হয়েছিল ১১ লাখ ১২ হাজার কেজি। 

মিলটি প্রথম লাভের মুখ দেখে ১৯৮৩-৮৪ অর্থবছরে। সে বছর ১৪ লাখ ১৫ হাজার কেজি সুতা উৎপাদন হয়, লক্ষ্য ছিল ১৯ লাখ ৮৪ হাজার কেজি। ১৯৮৩-৮৪ অর্থবছরে মিলটি মোট ৫৭ লাখ ৬৩ হাজার টাকা লাভ করে। এর পরের বছর (১৯৮৪-৮৫) লাভ করে ৬ লাখ ৫৪ হাজার টাকা। এর পর ফের লোকসানে পড়ে মিলটি। ৩৭ বছরে লোকসানের পরিমাণ দাঁড়িয়েছে ১১১ কোটি টাকায়। লোকসান কমাতে মিলটি বর্তমানে ভাড়ায় চালানো হচ্ছে।

১৯৯৮-৯৯ অর্থবছরে পরীক্ষামূলক সার্ভিস চার্জ পদ্ধতিতে ভাড়ায় চালানোর এ কার্যক্রম শুরু হয়। ২০০৩ সালে মিলটি পুরোপুরি ভাড়ায় চলে যায়। সে বছরের ৩০ জুন সরকারিভাবে মিলটি বন্ধ ঘোষণা করা হয়। সে সময় মিলটির এক হাজার স্থায়ী শ্রমিককে স্বেচ্ছায় অবসরে (গোল্ডেন হ্যান্ডশেক) পাঠানো হয়। পরে ২০০৪ সালের আগস্টে মিলটি ফের চালু হলে এ শ্রমিকরা দৈনিক মজুরিভিত্তিতে কাজ করার সুযোগ পান।

রাজশাহী টেক্সটাইল মিলের হিসাব শাখা সূত্রে জানা গেছে, ২০১৫-১৬ অর্থবছর পর্যন্ত মিলটির লোকসান দাঁড়িয়েছে ১১১ কোটি টাকায়। বর্তমানে দুই শিফট মিলিয়ে মোট ১৬০ জন শ্রমিক কাজ করছেন এখানে। এদের দৈনিক ১২০-১৮০ টাকা মজুরি দেয়া হয়। পাশাপাশি মাস্টাররোল ও স্থায়ী কর্মচারী রয়েছেন বেশকিছু। বর্তমানে মিলটি থেকে মাসে ৫ লাখ টাকার মতো আয় হয়, যার পুরোটাই বিদ্যুত্ বিল বাবদ চলে যায়। কর্মীদের বেতন ও মিল রক্ষণাবেক্ষণের জন্য প্রতি মাসে অন্তত ১০ লাখ টাকা বাড়তি খরচ হচ্ছে মিলটির।

মিল সূত্রে আরো জানা গেছে, বর্তমানে পৌরকর হিসেবে মিলটির কাছ থেকে ২ কোটি ৬৯ হাজার ৯৯৬ টাকা পাবে রাজশাহী সিটি করপোরেশন। সরকারি বরাদ্দ না থাকায় দিন দিন পৌর কর বকেয়ার পরিমাণ বাড়ছেই।

সরকারিভাবে উৎপাদন বন্ধ থাকায় মিলটির শ্রমিকরা অল্প মজুরিতে কাজ করতে বাধ্য হচ্ছেন।

এসব বিষয় নিয়ে যোগাযোগ করা হলে মিলের ব্যবস্থাপক কামরুজ্জামান বলেন, ‘মিলটি বর্তমানে পুরোপুরি লোকসানে চলছে। লোকসান ঠেকাতে মিলটির আধুনিকায়ন জরুরি।’

তিনি আরো বলেন, ‘মিলটি আধুনিকায়ন করতে অন্তত ৭০০ কোটি টাকা প্রয়োজন। বিষয়টি অনেকবার ঊর্ধ্বতন কর্তৃপক্ষকে জানানো হয়েছে। যদি মিলটির আধুনিকায়ন করে পুনরায় সরকারিভাবে উৎপাদন শুরু হয়, তাহলে বিপুল সংখ্যক মানুষের কর্মসংস্থানের পাশাপাশি সরকারের আয়ের একটি খাত তৈরি হবে।’

17
Textile Engineering / Experts call for using modern dyes in textiles
« on: November 22, 2016, 11:11:56 AM »
Experts at a seminar on Wednesday called for using modern dyeing chemicals in textile industries in place of traditional ones as it can reduce industrial water consumption by 30 per cent.

This simultaneously minimises hazardous chemical discharge in environment, they said.

The experts came up with the call at a seminar titled 'Greenline Information Day-2016' organised by Greenline Environmental Technology Ltd, a Hong Kong-based textile consultancy and solution provider at a hotel in the city's Khilkhet.

Head of Sustainability of Lidl Germany Alexander David said pollution level in the world is increasing with booming textile industries and it is estimated that around 20 per cent of the world's pollution is contributed by the textile sector.

He said 54 companies in Bangladesh have joined Detox campaign, an awareness programme related to chemical contamination, aiming at discharging zero quantity of hazardous chemicals in the environment by 2020.

Urging factory owners to be more responsible using water and energy, he said currently six factories in Bangladesh have adopted 100 per cent ZDHC- Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals and MRSL-Manufacturing Restricted Substances List.

Greenline Environmental Technology Ltd Chief Operating Officer (COO) Suvro Dev Saha said the target of their water saving technology (WST) project in many garment industries is to find out hazardous chemical pollution in different levels of textile manufacturing.

The textile factory owners can save 30 per cent of water by replacing traditional dyeing chemicals, he said.

He also said around 40 per cent of the dyeing chemicals are discharged as waste products in traditional process while it can be downed to zero using new generation chemicals.

Mr. Saha said around 104 companies are available in the country right now to supply such chemicals that reduce water consumption.

Attending the programme, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA) Senior Vice-President Mansur Ahmed said global warming has become a big concern of contemporary era and massive industrialisation is a major reason behind this.

Energy efficient and environment-friendly technologies are very much needed to reduce pollution level, he emphasised.

Mr. Ahmed also said all the BKMEA members and other stakeholders have been asked to install green technologies in their factories to protect the environment for the future generations.

Greenline Environmental Technology works on sustainable and eco-friendly innovations and constantly examines new technologies in the garment industry related manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh.

The company is registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.

18
চলতি বছরের জানুয়ারি-সেপ্টেম্বর আইভরি কোস্ট থেকে  ৩ লাখ ২৩ হাজার ৮১৬ টন তুলা রফতানি হয়েছে। ২০১৫ সালের একই সময়ের চেয়ে তা প্রায় ১৩ শতাংশ কম। খবর রয়টার্স।

২০০২-০৩ এর আগে আইভরি কোস্টে বার্ষিক তুলা উত্পাদনের পরিমাণ ছিল চার লাখ টন। রাজনৈতিক অস্থিরতার কারণে প্রায় এক দশক দেশটিতে পণ্যটির উত্পাদন ব্যাহত হয়।তবে সাম্প্রতিক সময়ে তুলার বাজারদর আকর্ষণীয় হওয়ায় কৃষকরা আবারো তুলা আবাদে ফিরছেন।

চলতি বছর আইভরি কোস্টে তুলা উত্পাদন বাড়তে পারে। আইভরি কোস্টের আবিদজান বন্দর দিয়ে প্রতিবেশী দেশ মালি ও বুরকিনা ফাসোয় তুলা রফতানি হয়ে থাকে।

চলতি বছরের সেপ্টেম্বরে আবিদজান বন্দর দিয়ে ২ হাজার ৩০৯ টন তুলা রফতানি হয়। গত বছরের একই সময় এর পরিমাণ ছিল ১২ হাজার ৭৪১ টন।

19
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday requested the visiting European Parliament delegation to allow GSP Plus benefit to Bangladesh once it graduates to developing country from least developed one.


As an LDC, Bangladesh is now enjoying duty- and quota-free export facility for all products except arms and ammunitions in the EU market under the generalised scheme of preferences (GSP).

‘We have sought GSP Plus benefit in the European market once Bangladesh will graduate to developing country, which is expected by 2021, as there will be no longer GSP facility for the country [after the graduation],’ Tofail told reporters at a joint press briefing after a meeting with the 15-member European Parliament delegation at the State Guest House Meghna in Dhaka.

Bangladesh will meet all the requirements in line with the European Union for getting GSP Plus benefit by this time, he said.


He said that Bangladesh had made progress in improving worker rights and workplace safety in line with the Sustainability Compact which was adopted by EU, the United States and Bangladesh government after the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 in which more than 1,100 workers, mostly garment workers, were killed.


Tofail at the meeting also informed the European Parliament delegation that Bangladesh’s Election Commission would be reconstituted by the country’s president following the Constitution.

He made the comment, responding to a query about the issue from the delegation.

Bernd Lange, head of the delegation of the trade committee of the European Parliament, at the briefing said that Bangladesh would have to comply with 27 core international conventions which are related to democratic development, freedom of expression, environmental and labour standards and security issues.


‘Bangladesh will have to be prepared for that and should focus on completing requirements for GSP Plus facility,’ he said.

Though progress is being made, time is limited, he said adding that the country should try to improve the conditions through dialogues with the EU, which is the best way to go forward.
‘I am optimistic to work together for the facility [GSP Plus] for Bangladesh,’ he said.


Under the GSP Plus scheme, the EU offers complete duty suspension on about 66 per cent of EU tariff lines to developing countries and, in return, the countries must commit to ratifying and effectively implementing core international conventions on above mentioned issues.


Regarding Bangladesh’s improvement in safety and labour standard issues, Bernd said that there was really big improvement in results.

‘Though glass is not full, it is half full and we are working on the rest issues so that by the end of the day we can say that factories are safe and labour rights are respected across the country,’ he said.

Bangladesh has done best in terms of development among the all 48 LDCs enjoying GSP in the EU market, he added.

Replying to a question what was the role of the delegation in ensuring fair prices of Bangladeshi products in the EU market, Bernd said though the prices are set not politically but through trade negotiations, EU brands and buyers have responsibility for offering fair prices.

Commerce ministry acting secretary Zahir Uddin Ahmed and EU ambassador to Dhaka Pierre Mayaudon attended the meeting, among others.

20
Blue denim jeans are one of the most popular and iconic fashion items in the world; now a study published in Biotechnology Journal reveals a cheaper, more efficient and eco-friendly method for treating dyed denim. The process of 'surface activation' used to wash-down the denim following dyeing could also offer an alternative to the dangerous, and internationally banned, sandblasting technique.

"The global production of denim is estimated at 3 billion linear meters and more than 4 billion garments per year," said Thomas Bechtold, from the Research Institute for Textile Chemistry and Textile Physics at the University of Innsbruck. "To create blue jeans denim is dyed with indigo an organic compound which is estimated to be produced in quantities of over 30.000 tons per year."

Controversially a process of sandblasting is often used for some jeans which are styled with a worn or torn look. The technique is banned in many countries as it can lead to lung disease; however, it is still used in denim workshops in Bangladesh, Egypt, China, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. Many of the jeans sold in Europe are produced in these countries.

Dr Bechtold and his team focused their research on alternative treatment processes, studying the use of chemicals used to bleach the denim.

"A central step in the processing of indigo dyed textiles such as blue jeans are the wash and bleach processes used to create a final wash down effect," said Bechtold. "To remove the ring dyed indigo dyestuff manufactures use a combination of drum washing machines and chemical treatments."

Oxidising agents are an essential part of this bleach process, with chemicals such as Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl) used to reduce the amount of dyestuff. Due to its low cost and the broad amount of bleach effects it can produce NaOCl is currently used in 80% of jean production.

Because indigo dyeing is concentrated on the outer layers of fabric Dr Bechtold's team turned to a surface activation technique Because indigo dyeing is concentrated on the outer layers of fabric Dr Bechtold's team turned to a surface activation technique which could lead to a reduction in the amount of chemicals needed to achieve the same effect. .

The surface activation technique presents several advantages including preventing the decease of fabric strength, shortening the duration of the wash-down process and reducing the concentrations of costly chemicals.

"This method also offers a replacement of the sandblasting of denim, which is an extremely unhealthy process for which, until now, there have been few alternatives available," concluded Bechtold. "The surface activation method also allows for more eco-friendly processing of jeans in the garment industry which is approximately 10% of the total cotton market worldwide."

21
Darling, if you really love me, please, clothe me in the colors of precious metals" is a quotation that strikes the heart of Dr. William Todd, and well it should.

Todd, a researcher in the Department of Veterinary Science at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, has developed a method for dyeing fabrics with precious metals -- and at an affordable cost.

It may not be long before people are wearing clothes colored with precious metals if the microbiologist has anything to say about it.

The process, which Todd developed along with Nell Morris, an Ag Center research associate, from their experience in biomedical research, uses minuscule amounts of metals -- particularly precious metals such as gold -- to infuse colors in a host of fabrics.

"Gold colloids are used in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics as sensitive signals to detect the presence of pathogens," Todd says. "These metal colloids are attached to antibodies for rapid diagnostic tests."

When working with diagnostic assays, Todd concluded the same properties that allow them to be used as diagnostic tools could also allow gold and other metals to be used as dyes.

So instead of putting these particles in solution for diagnosis, Todd found a way to put them into textiles for color.

"In nature, minerals are colorful," Todd says. "We found a way to put this color into fabrics."

The microbiologist uses a reagent to bond the metal particles deep into the textile fibers and make the metal actually a part of the chemistry of the filament. The chemicals of the fabric influence the color.

The actual hue is determined by a combination of the element itself, the size of the particle, the chemical nature of the particle and the interaction of the metal with the chemistry of the fabric.

"Essentially, you can use any metal," Todd says, explaining his first experiments were with gold and titanium because they're common in the medical laboratory where he developed the process.

The simple process begins by soaking a piece of fabric in distilled water and then in a reagent that creates "sites" in the fabric where the metallic ions will bond. The fabric then is soaked in a solution of the metal -- typically at 0.01 percent of the element or compound. Finally it's rinsed and dried.

The result is a colored fabric, and the color is permanent.

By using different elements, reagents, textiles and solvents, Todd can create a surprising range of reproducible colors and tones. "The chemistry of the fiber and its interaction with the reagent are of critical importance both to the character of the color and to the stability of the final product," he says.

For reagents, Todd uses such common materials as chlorine bleach, ethanol, distilled water, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen peroxide and tannic acid.

"The reagents reduce metallic ions, which are then formed into particles and grown," Todd explains. "By controlling their size, we can vary the color.

"The particles are so small they can't be seen with a microscope," he adds. "But they produce a bright signal with a very small amount of metal. And since metals can be combined into alloys, different combinations can produce a variety of colors."

In addition to the fabrics' chemical compositions, the nature of the colors also is affected by how the fibers are spun.

"We've demonstrated we can produce a wide range of attractive colors using filament and spun viscose yarn with only a few elements," Todd says. "With some elements, such as gold, it's easier to control the color by dyeing strands of yarn rather than woven fabrics.

"Because a strong color signal is produced by relatively few nanometer-sized particles, the method is realistic in cost, even with gold, " he adds. "We calculate that 1 ounce of gold will color about 380 miles of spun viscose yarn at a medium level of intensity. With some of the other elements, the cost is less than one penny per liter of the solution."

Colorfastness is another of the benefits of the metal dyes.

"Common organic dyes bleach out through the sun and chemicals," Todd explains. "Colors made by metals will remain forever."

To demonstrate the permanency of the process, Todd used delicate silk to show the effects of bleach. He soaked a swatch of cloth in undiluted chlorine bleach for 10 minutes, then rinsed it in water. The color of the gold-dyed silk remained.
Story Source:
Materials provided by Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

22
Textile Engineering / Creating 'greener' wrinkle-resistant cotton fabric
« on: November 21, 2016, 03:02:35 PM »
Ironing is a tedious chore, but wearing crumpled clothing is unprofessional. That's why "wrinkle-resistant" garments have become so popular. But the current methods for making these textiles often release formaldehyde -- a chemical that in large amounts is hazardous to human health -- into the air and water. Now a team reports in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering a method for making wrinkle-resistant cotton fabrics that is more environmentally friendly and cost effective.

Manufacturers typically use a chemical process called cross-linking to create textiles that are less likely to wrinkle. But these methods often involve agents that contain a significant amount of the hazardous chemical formaldehyde. This substance can leak from the clothing during the manufacturing, wearing or washing of clothes, and this has raised environmental and health concerns. Other processes have been developed, but they either still include formaldehyde, or they are exorbitantly expensive. Yiqi Yang and colleagues wanted to develop a cross-linking method that could create wrinkle-resistant cotton clothing that overcomes these challenges.

The team investigated several chemicals that had been shown to have wrinkle-resistant properties without requiring formaldehyde. They then tested different combinations of these chemicals. The best results were obtained by cross-linking citric acid with xylitol. Citric acid is a mediocre anti-wrinkling agent, and it tends to yellow fabrics. But when cross-linked with xylitol, the discoloration is mitigated and the anti-wrinkling effect is improved. This citric acid/xylitol combination is made entirely of renewable raw materials, making it environmentally friendly. The researchers also demonstrated a scale-up method that is more cost-effective than other "green" options and is cost-competitive with formaldehyde-based approaches currently used by textile manufacturers.

23
Textile Engineering / New fabric uses sun and wind to power devices
« on: November 21, 2016, 03:00:42 PM »
Fabrics that can generate electricity from physical movement have been in the works for a few years. Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have taken the next step, developing a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion.

Combining two types of electricity generation into one textile paves the way for developing garments that could provide their own source of energy to power devices such as smart phones or global positioning systems.

"This hybrid power textile presents a novel solution to charging devices in the field from something as simple as the wind blowing on a sunny day," said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering.

The research was reported September 12 in the Nature Energy.

To make the fabric, Wang's team used a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators.

Triboelectric nanogenerators use a combination of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction to generate small amount of electrical power from mechanical motion such as rotation, sliding or vibration.

Wang envisions that the new fabric, which is 320 micrometers thick woven together with strands of wool, could be integrated into tents, curtains or wearable garments.

"The fabric is highly flexible, breathable, light weight and adaptable to a range of uses," Wang said.

Fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators capture the energy created when certain materials become electrically charged after they come into moving contact with a different material. For the sunlight-harvesting part of the fabric, Wang's team used photoanodes made in a wire-shaped fashion that could be woven together with other fibers.

"The backbone of the textile is made of commonly-used polymer materials that are inexpensive to make and environmentally friendly," Wang said. "The electrodes are also made through a low cost process, which makes it possible to use large-scale manufacturing."

In one of their experiments, Wang's team used a fabric only about the size of a sheet of office paper and attached it to rod like a small colorful flag. Rolling down the windows in a car and letting the flag blow in the wind, the researchers were able to generate significant power from a moving car on a cloudy day. The researchers also measured the output by a 4 by 5 centimeter piece, which charged up a 2 mF commercial capacitor to 2 volts in one minute under sunlight and movement.

"That indicates it has a decent capability of working even in a harsh environment," Wang said.

While early tests indicate the fabric can withstand repeated and rigorous use, researches will be looking into its long-term durability. Next steps also include further optimizing the fabric for industrial uses, including developing proper encapsulation to protect the electrical components from rain and moisture.

24
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed new technology that takes care of the thermal, moisture and flow-technical behaviour of smart clothing. The temperature of smart clothing, for example, is automatically adjusted according to the wearer's individual needs. The technology is also suited to demanding conditions such as hospitals and sports.
The technology is based on the Human Thermal Model calculation tool developed by VTT, enabling the calculation of a person's individual thermal sensation from the prevailing conditions. Individual thermal sensations are ultimately caused by differences in body composition. There are statistically significant differences between men and women, for example, because men have on average 5 to 15 kg more muscle mass than women.

The wearable smart technology developed by VTT can be applied extensively even in demanding conditions, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and different consumer groups such as police officers, firemen, soldiers, outdoor workers, athletes and small babies.

In hospitals, the technology enables new solutions and makes individual treatment more effective. Wearable technology helps surgeons if they get too hot during an operation. The clothing is constantly calculating and adjusting how much the surgeon's body needs to be cooled. "Hospital patients have been asked about their most unpleasant experience, and the most common answer is feeling cold -- pain comes only second," says Principal Scientist Pekka Tuomaala from VTT. For example, patients often feel cold after surgery. Body temperature can be individually adjusted, when a smart blanket identifies the person, measures the ambient temperature and adjusts the blanket's temperature to meet the patient's actual needs.

The Taiwan Textile Research Institute has already tested VTT's methods in designing clothing for long-distance runners in different temperatures. The technology can also be utilised when developing solutions for the individual recovery after a sporting event.

"VTT is now looking for companies to join in the development and productisation of this technology for the market. We also have extensive technological know-how, for example in fibre technology of the future, functional clothing solutions such as microfluidics, and detectors, sensors and the Internet of Things," Tuomaala says.
   

Story Source:

Materials provided by Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

25
Pioneering research paves way towards nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under a light bulb or worn out in the sun.
Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a cheap and efficient new way to grow special nanostructures which can degrade organic matter when exposed to light -- directly onto textiles.
Dr Rajesh Ramanathan said the process developed by the team had a variety of applications for catalysis-based industries such as agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and natural products, and could be easily scaled up to industrial levels.

"The advantage of textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter," he said.

"There's more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles."

The researchers from the Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility and NanoBiotechnology Research Lab at RMIT worked with copper and silver-based nanostructures, which are known for their ability to absorb visible light.

When the nanostructures are exposed to light, they receive an energy boost that creates "hot electrons." These "hot electrons" release a burst of energy that enables the nanostructures to degrade organic matter.

The challenge for researchers has been to bring the concept out of the lab by working out how to build these nanostructures on an industrial scale and permanently attach them to textiles.

The RMIT team's novel approach was to grow the nanostructures directly onto the textiles by dipping them into a few solutions, resulting in the development of stable nanostructures within 30 minutes.

When exposed to light, it took less than six minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean themselves.

"Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine," Ramanathan said.

The research is published on March 23, 2016 in the high-impact journal Advanced Materials Interfaces

26
The fashion industry generates a lot of waste, which is why a team of researchers developed a new fiber that's 100 percent biodegradable. Researchers are testing the fiber – made from a green tea byproduct – to see if it's a viable alternative.
Rows of shallow plastic bins cover nearly every available space inside one of the textile and clothing labs in LeBaron Hall. The lab is really more of a "greenhouse," but it is far different from the other greenhouses on the Iowa State University campus.

Instead of soil and seeds, each plastic bin contains a gel-like film consisting of cellulose fibers -- a byproduct of kombucha tea -- that feeds off a mixture of vinegar and sugar. The film is grown by using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Young-A Lee, an associate professor of apparel, merchandising and design at Iowa State, says the properties of this SCOBY film are similar to leather once it's harvested and dried, and can be used to make clothing, shoes or handbags.

In a chapter of the book "Sustainable Fibers for Fashion Industry," Lee writes about the results of her case study of cellulosic fiber. The material has been tested for other applications, such as cosmetics, foods and biomedical tissue for wound dressing, but it is relatively new to the apparel industry. The fact that the fiber is 100 percent biodegradable is a significant benefit for the fashion industry, which by its very nature generates a lot of waste, Lee said.

"Fashion, to most people, is an ephemeral expression of culture, art, and technology manifesting itself in form. Fashion companies keep producing new materials and clothing, from season to season, year to year, to fulfill consumers' desire and needs," Lee said. "Think about where these items eventually go. They will take tremendous underground spaces of Earth like other trash."

The cellulose fiber reduces waste by creating a continuous cycle of reuse or regeneration, what is known as cradle-to-cradle design, Lee said. Even if clothing is recycled or repurposed, it still eventually ends up in the trash. Lee envisions a truly sustainable fabric or material that is biodegradable and goes back into the soil as a nutrient rather than taking up space in a landfill. And using the SCOBY gives new purpose to the tea byproduct, lessening the fashion industry's dependence on nonrenewable materials.
Product development and testing

Working with a novel fiber is not without its challenges. Lee and her research team received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop sustainable clothing and shoes from the harvested cellulosic fiber. They've conducted several tests to determine if the SCOBY-based cellulosic fiber is a viable alternative to leather for the fashion industry.

The tests revealed that one of the biggest problems is moisture absorption from the air and the person wearing the vest or shoes. The moisture softens the material and makes it less durable. Researchers also discovered that cold conditions make it brittle. Mass production is another issue to confront. Lee says it takes around three to four weeks, depending on temperature and room conditions, to grow the material in the lab. Her team is working on how, and if it is possible, to reduce the growth cycle for mass production.

"It does not take that long to make certain synthetic materials, but for this new material we are proposing, it requires a certain amount of time to grow, dry, and treat the material within specific conditions," Lee said. "If our experimental effort from this EPA project is successful, this cellulose-based renewable fabric can be an alternate future where we move to a cradle-to-cradle system, instead of relying on materials derived from unsustainable sources."

Despite the challenges, Lee says this is a necessary step forward. More is at stake than just the waste from cheap, disposable clothing. The chemicals used to make the synthetic materials and dye fabrics can contaminate the water and soil, Lee said. The fashion industry is working to do better, but consumers must also be on board.

"Socially conscious awareness from the consumer end plays a lot," Lee said. "Employees who work in the fashion industry need to be fully educated on this movement. The industry cannot shift things at one time. It is all about people in this industry. The key is changing their values to consider the betterment of people and the planet in a long run, instead of focusing on a consumer's short-coming interest."

   

Story Source:

Materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

27
Textile Engineering / Cost of exports to Germany soars after cargo ba
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:58:58 AM »
The cost of shipments to Germany, Bangladesh's second largest export destination, has increased at least 5 cents per kilogram for suspension of direct cargo flights from Dhaka to Berlin for security reasons.

Germany's federal civil aviation authority imposed a ban on direct flights from Dhaka to Berlin on June 27 citing Bangladesh to be a 'high risk' country due to poor security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

As a result, businesses now have to carry the goods after re-screening at another airport, said Mahbubul Anam, president of Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association.

The cargos are sent from Dhaka by Emirates, Etihad, Saudia and Oman airlines to different airports in Middle East. From there, the goods are re-screened before loading them onto a Berlin-bound flight.

Before the suspension of the direct flight, the German national flag carrier, Lufthansa, used to carry 80 tonnes of goods from Bangladesh in its lone weekly fight from Dhaka to Berlin.

Germany is the third country, after Australia and the UK, to impose a ban on direct cargo flights from Bangladesh on security grounds. Of the total German-bound cargos, almost all goods are garment items, as Germany is the second largest apparel export destination for Bangladesh after the US, he said.

Germany is also the largest air cargo destination for Bangladesh, according to Anam.

The average air freight cost from Bangladesh to Germany is $1.85 per kg, he said. Exporters go for the option of air shipment only when strict lead-time is set by international retailers, he said.

Most of the samples of garment items are exported and imported via airways to save time. It takes one or two days to send and bring goods by air, while in seaways it takes many days, Anam said.

“Air shipment is very expensive,” he said. Of the total goods shipped through airways, 15.86 percent are destined to Germany, Anam said.

Exporters have to face a backlog at the airport in Dhaka for the ban.

Many times, they had to take back the goods from the Dhaka airport for failing to get the screening done on time, he said.

Following the ban, in June, David Mann, a regional security expert of Lufthansa, audited the security measures taken by Biman and Civil Aviation Authority of Banglades

28
Textile Engineering / Deemed accessory exports rise over 9% in FY 16
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:55:38 AM »
In the last fiscal year, deemed export earnings of garment accessories and packaging stood at $6.12 billion, which is 9.28% higher compared to $5.6 billion in the fiscal year 2014-15.

The industry people hope that the figure will be more than double to $12 billion by 2018.

The backward linkage industry, however, has directly exported accessories and packaging products worth $610 million in the same period.

RMG industry, the highest foreign currency earner, earned $28.09 billion, posting a 10.21% rise while deemed accessory exports made $6.12 billion with 9.28% contribution in the last fiscal year.

The accessories and packaging sector is considered a strong backward linkage industry for the country’s apparel industry, the lifeline to export earnings. It saves foreign currency by providing accessories alongside helping to meet lead time.
Bangladesh has production capacity to meet the local demand and even it can export directly, but the growth of earning from accessory exports depends on RMG export as we are shadow exporters,” Abdul Kader Khan, president of Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) told the Dhaka Tribune.

Khan apprehended that the recent terrorist attack on Gulshan Holey Artisan Bakery may affect the sector as the attack was aimed at foreigners involved in RMG-related business.

RMG sector, the lifeline for the country’s economy, is moving ahead to reach the $50 billion export target by 2021, he said, adding that the accessories industry would play a vital role in this matter.

BGAPMEA leader thinks that his sector can contribute $10 billion to achieve the target.

He also urged the government to provide them with cash incentives to turn out to be direct exporters.

Bangladesh has a huge potential for exporting accessory products, he said, adding that “I think the government should come up with initiatives to help the manufactures to explore direct export market.”

“If the government provides support, the sector could be another export earner in near future as we are now self-sufficient in meeting local demands.”

Currently, local manufacturers of accessories and packaging are capable to meet 90% local demands.

Alone with the deemed exports, the sector can also directly export 20% accessory products to the global markets.


29
Textile Engineering / Textech Expo begins Aug 31
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:53:06 AM »
CEMS Global will hold “Textec Expo Bangladesh 2016”, an international textile and apparel technology and machinery show from August 31.

Meherun N Islam, MD of CEMS Global USA and Asia Pacific, made the announcement at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.

The exhibition on the textile and garment industry of Bangladesh will be held from August 31 to September 3 at the International Convention City, Bashundhara, Dhaka.

The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL), Basic Chemicals Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics Export Promotion Council (CHEMEXCIL), & The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) are also participating with their Members in this expo.

Nearly 1050 exhibitors from over 23 countries along with important industry associations are participating in these exhibitions.

30
Scientists have developed a new high-volume production method for hot embossing microscopic channel structures onto large areas of plastic film at a low cost for use, for example, in wearable technology and cosmetic applications. One of the goals is to engineer a smart fabric adjustable with a mobile app for controlling the wearer's temperature.
With VTT's high-volume method, microchannels can be produced on large areas of plastic film in a short time. Pumping cold or hot liquid through a network of microchannels enables the temperature control of functional clothes.

So far, the utilisation of microscopic channels for other than diagnostic purposes has been limited by relatively high production costs and the small size of the networks of microchannels that can be manufactured through traditional methods.

Microchannels for large surfaces.
The channels can be embedded either into hard or soft plastics, depending on the purpose of use. For example, the feel and shape of a soft and elastic plastic film is better suited for integration into a coat compared to rigid plastics, which in turn are better suited for application in card format, such as a handy travel perfume dispenser that is the size of a credit card.. Other possible uses of the thin cards include very precise dosing of medicine or serving strong spices in restaurants.

VTT is currently developing a smart fabric which can be used as "personalised air conditioning" in outdoor clothing. VTT is now seeking partners within sports, outdoor recreation, wearable technology and the cosmetics industry for the commercialisation of this new technology.

Source:
    Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)


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