Saturday, January 31, 2009

Information on vast variety of Handicrafts


Handicrafts is a unique expression of art that beautifully keeps the age old culture alive and maintains its exotic legacy and tradition. Every country has its own unique style and form of bringing forth the diverse historical aspects in beautiful forms of handicrafts. People are deeply engaged in the production of cherished hand-made items.

Handicrafts of a country showcases the rich cultural and artistic history of that nation. The vibrancy of Indian ethnicity can be easily noticed to be alive in the exotic handicrafts masterpieces. All the beautifully handcrafted items which catches the fancy of art connoisseurs world over are mainly categorized under the following heads:

Cane and Bamboo Crafts
Handmade paper craft
Bell Metal Crafts
Jute Handicrafts
Clay and terracotta crafts
Textile crafts
Stone Crafts
Wooden Handicrafts

Techniques Applied
Artisans & craftsmen make use of number of techniques to give form to the unique handicraft items. These combined with exquisite & vibrant designs make the most intriguing artistic artifacts. The commonly used techniques are Beading, Bronze Casting, Carving, Chikan, Embroidery, Enameling, EPNS, Filigree, Hand Printing, Inlay, Painting, Phulkari, Polishing, Weaving and Tie & Die.

Highlighted with well-defined designs and finishes, each handcrafted item speak clearly about the excellent artistic skills which makes the masterpiece absolutely invaluable.

The Eco-Friendly Banana Fiber


There are many natural fibers that are liked for their comfortability and looks. With the increasing environmental awareness, these natural fibers have gained unimaginable importance. Now, many raw materials that were not traditionally used for making fabrics, at least not commonly, are there to make fabrics from. One such raw material comes from banana plant- the banana fiber. Although banana fiber have been used for making textile in some parts of the world such as Japan and Nepal since very early ages yet their application in many industries has gained momentum only in the recent past.

A native plant of Southeast Asia, banana is now grown extensively in all tropical countries for fruit, fiber or foliage. Generally, banana fiber extraction is done by hand stripping and decortication. While hand stripping, a narrow strip of banana leaf sheath is placed under a serrated knife with pressure. Fiber is then extracted by pulling the leaf sheath by hand. Decortication is a mechanized process in which, cut stalks are first crushed by roller and fibers are scraped by means of revolving wheels with knives.

The fiber extracted from banana plant is brownish, somewhat flat and darker in shade. It appears like bamboo and ramie fiber, but is fine and spins better than them. It is considerably strong and also has shiny appearance. It can absorb moisture very well and is bio- degradable, thus eco- friendly.

In Japan, the traditional dresses like kimono and kamishimo are made from banana fiber and are liked especially as summer wear. The Banana silk fiber yarns are used to make traditional rugs by Nepalese women. Banana fiber is also used to make fine cushion covers, ties, bags, table cloths, curtains and many other items all over the world. Due to the growing popularity of items made from banana fibers, many manufacturers are engaged in research to come up with cost effective and fast methods of making banana fiber. One such innovation has been made in India where a Banana Fiber Separator Machine has been developed. This machine uses the agriculture waste of banana harvests to produce silk grade fiber which is widely used by handicrafts and textile industry.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to Select a Hammock


The term 'Hammock' has come to be a synonym of 'Relaxation'. We enjoy the cool breezes, the sun rays, beautiful scenario, all lying in the hammock. However, for getting optimum benefits from your hammock, you have to be cautious while buying it, otherwise, you may end up with health problems like backache and the like. Here are some tips for rightly selecting your hammock

Fabric Hammocks

If comfort is what is on your mind then nothing is better than a fabric hammock but certain fabrics are more suitable than others. Cotton hammocks are great for indoor use and occasionally for outdoor use. Cotton is comfortable and breathable but is prone to mold & mildew and can't be left outside in bad weather. Polyester is very durable, weather resistant, lesser prone to mold & mildew and needs little maintenance so it is perfect for outdoor use. Canvas is also very tough & durable, making it ideal for outside use. However, canvas hammocks can be made from cotton or polyester so know what the material is so that proper care can be taken of it.

Rope Hammocks

They are classy and stylish but relaxing on a rope hammock can be tricky. However, the material from which rope hammock is made can greatly contribute to its comfort and durability. Cotton rope is quite comfortable as it stretches according to body shape, and also feels good against skin. Durable & weather resistant polyester is not so comfortable but ideal for regular outside use. Polypropylene, shiny synthetic and mildew resistant rope, is also good for outdoor use but wears out quickly if left in direct sunlight.

Hammocks for smaller Spaces

If you are tight on space, choose from among hammock chairs or portable hammock with stand. Hammock chairs need only one point of support. Fabric choice has to be made in similar manner as for full sized hammock. For a family with children, they are all the more suitable as they are more stable and kids can't fall out of them easily. Buy the stand and hammock chair together after checking that both fit each other perfectly. Although hammocks are technically portable but some of them are even more portable examples being folding or collapsible hammock chairs. Consider the size when buying such portable hammocks with the view of storage and transportation. Take the light weight hammocks but avoid the flimsy frames which are not able to support much weight. When buying, make sure that it supports, at least, double of your own weight.

Size of Hammock

Always read the dimensions of the hammock, reason being some names might suggest that a hammock is larger than it really is. If buying for fitting two persons, then go for one which is a 54-inch-wide by 84-inch-long hammock and if its for family purpose then 60 inches wide will do. If hammock is to be used by a single person at a time then 45 inches wide and between 76 and 84 inches long is enough.

Camping Hammocks

There are many uses of hammocks. When buying a hammock for camping go for fabric hammock which is more comfortable. A bigger hammock will store your gear off the ground. If camping in bad weather then also buy a rain canopy so that you remain dry and include mosquito netting to keep yourself safe and secure. Always dry out hammocks completely before storing back.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Men's Footwear Trends for Spring Summer 2009


When it comes to fashion accessories, women are always in lead but men are not very far behind. And when it is something like that of footwear, men seem to be more cautious while choosing them according to the latest trends. Although, there is very little scope to be much innovative with mens shoes, yet knowing the fascination of men towards footwear, designers take it as an opportunity and try to introduce styles that are both trendy and comfortable. So what are the styles available this Spring Summer- 2009! Let's explore!!

Slip-ons: The casual slip-ons are going to be favorite of all. Being casual doesn't bring the tag 'sloppy' to them. They are in fact stylish. And this Spring and Summer, they'll be liked most in the shades of cream and light brown. Some of them are perforated so that your feet remain cool in the hot weather. They can well be worn with jeans, shorts or casual pants.

Leather Loafers: The classic and simple loafers will be available in classic colors like black, brown, white and tan. They go well with 'not so formal' dresses.

Suede Shoes: Widely known to be winter material, suede in its cool version is there for spring summer footwear too. They are used for practically any style- slip- ons, loafers or boat shoes. Shades like tan, black, brown and mustard as well as non conventional ones like yellow are there for all. The adventurous guys can try non conventional shades with light neutrals or denim.

Improvised Boat Shoes: The conventional boat shoes will now be seen in an improved avatar. These casual slip ons can be seen without laces and the upper part made of suede or leather. Available in almost all colors such as red, brownish- yellow, or black, they look great with shorts, jeans or khakis.

Formal Dress Shoes: Men can not escape formal wear any way. So the evergreen dress shoes also can't go anywhere. They look awesome with light colored suits and dress pants. Shining blacks, browns, light gray, all's there to choose from.

Other Details: Elongated Shoes will continue to dominate the market. Oxford shoes, slip-ons or summer boots- they can all be found in elongated style. Desert boots will also be there in natural, sandy shades. The indispensable sneaker can be found in bright colors, some of them having color blocking and graphic-art prints.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Women's Footwear Trends For Spring- Summer 2009


An Outfit is complete only when it has all the complementing accessories worn or carried along with it. Footwear is one of the most important fashion accessories that can make or mar the looks of your 'so cautiously chosen' apparel. So, its always better to be careful while selecting shoes that go with your wardrobe. Equally important is to know the trends prevalent in existing fashion circle so that you may always look hot and happening! It's time now to know the latest trends that'll make the heads move in Spring- Summer 2009!!


Stilettos: They are back with a bang! Stilettos are everywhere- on ramps and on roads. However, it has been mixed up with platforms to give an innovative style- a hidden platform at the front and a real high stiletto at the back. The higher the stilettos, the more they attract. If you prefer fashion over comfort, stilettos are for you. If not, then think twice before falling for them.

Tapered Heels: They are thick at the top and slim down as they reach the ground, often with a curve, into a stiletto-esque point at the bottom. If you can't wear stilettos, try tapered heels to be somewhat comfortable.

Platform and Wedge Heels: In spite of stilettos returning, platforms and wedge heels will remain. Thick heels are always more friendlier to feet and they can't be let out of fashion so easily.

Ballet Flats: Talking about heels, we can't forget shoes without them. Like platforms, ballet flats will also stay around. However, they'll come in new colors and luxe fabrics like satin.

Toe Shapes

Squared-off toes: They will return but with a difference. Rather than a fully squared toe, the new squared-off shape will be tapered in toe with a short blunt nose.

Pointed Toes: The razor-sharp pointed toe footwear is all set to make a comeback. When stilettos come, how can pointed toes remain behind? Those who don't get along with them, can definitely find 'always available round toes' or the squared off ones.

Colors and Prints

Bright Colors: Bright hues of red, orange, yellow and purple will make way into the shoe racks. If you are afraid that you can't pull off the oranges or purples, you'll find them paired with skin friendly colors like blue and white. Pinks will also be there ranging from baby pinks to even fuchsia.

Two- Tone or Multicolor: Contrasting colors will there be on different parts of your shoes like contrasting straps or heels. From bright colors to the classic greys and blacks, all will be used to bring style statement through shoes. Multi-colored shoe is not only for wearing with a plain colored outfit, they can well go with anything.

Floral Patterns: The evergreen flowers will be there either as prints, appliqu├ęs or embellishments. You will find them in subtle as well as extreme patterns.

Styles and Other Details

Gladiator Sandals: Footwear representing Greco-Roman fashion, heavily strapped and heeled versions and in bright colors will be the choice of the season.

Mary-Jane Style: The style was also popular last year but this year, it has changed its looks. They'll be now seen with double or even triple buckles, bright colors, luxurious fabrics or sharply pointed toes.

Open Toes and Cut-Out Shoes: Open-toes or peep-toes are pretty fashionable this season. If not open toes then cut-out heels or cut-away sides will be there to give relief to your summer stricken feet.

Heavy Accessory Shoes: Shoes are going to be heavy with the accessories like zippers, snaps and buckles. There might be one or multiple of such accessories on them. They'll nicely decorate our footwear whether it be sandals or pump shoes.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Global Market of Handicrafts


Handicrafts represents the rich heritage of a country. Artisans and craftsmen indulge in bringing forth the history, culture and tradition of the nation in handcrafted items. In this context, India is deeply engrossed into making of handicrafts. The rich vibrant color of these hand-made items has established a grand global market. Manufacturing of various crafts such as pottery, ceramics, clay pieces, paintings, sculptures, antique furniture, textiles, paper craft etc has helped in generating enough revenue of the handicraft industry.

Like India, the Oceania countries mainly including Australia & New Zealand are equally very much indulged into the handicraft's industry. Their industry is actually producing ceramic arts & crafts, jade jewelry, decorative hand blown glass, jewelry & paper crafts. The Govt of Australia is spending about A$6.3 million per year in this industry, since the country has grown excessively in the few past years.

United States is, in fact, one of the biggest & the most important contemporary market in the handicraft industry. This country has an approx 127000 people employed and accounts for approx US$13.8 billion in this world's largest industry. Canada has accounted for a total of over $100 million exports and comprises of individual craft persons, media guilds, studios, enterprises, public and private galleries & industrial organizations. The country employs about 22,597 persons in this sector.

Synthetic Fibers Industry- Becoming Eco Aware


With the declaration of 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a doubt is raised as to whether synthetic fiber has gained so much of significance in the recent years that a whole year has to be dedicated to natural fibers. This year will be dedicated for promotion of benefits of natural fibers as against the disadvantages of synthetic fibers. This also makes it necessary to do an analysis of synthetic fibers industry as to what is being done by it in order to contribute to world's sustainability and for reducing its carbon footprint.

Synthetic fabrics had been liked by masses due to their low cost, easy manageability and technical competence. However, with rising costs of energy, transportation, and raw materials and growing concern for environment, the challenge before this industry is that of making available eco-fabrics at competitive prices.

The synthetic fibers industry has already started changing its attitude by focusing on business with the aim of sustainable development. REACH, the regulation that will monitor the usage of chemicals, has already come into effect in the European Union which is being studied by other countries that are expected to follow suit. The artificial fibers manufacturers have increased the use of more renewable raw materials like cellulosic fibers. Some companies are already using polymers recycled from post-consumer waste, such as polyethylene terephthalate bottles. New researches are underway to explore new raw materials from quickly growing plants like sugar cane, grass and straw. Retailers too have started providing eco labels giving information about the eco friendly processes and materials used for making the final garments.

The Synthetic fibers industry is an indispensable part of textile industry and with growing demand for technical textiles and nonwovens as well as for managing demands for ever increasing global population, it will survive but with eco-friendly options.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Select Window Treatments


Windows are indispensable parts of a house. If selected thoughtfully, they add character to any room. Before buying Window Treatments, one has to consider at least four aspects- Privacy, Light Control, Heat & Sound Insulation, and Style.

Cellular Fabric Shades: Made of honeycomb fabric, cellular shades give privacy, sound & heat insulation as well as light filtration. Single-cell shades are good for small and medium-size windows and double-cell shades for larger ones. Darker colors cut sun glare more efficiently than lighter ones and fade-proof colors block nearly 100% UV rays.

Roller Shades: For privacy and light control, roller shades made of vinyl or fabric are a good option. Fabric used for making these shades include both light filtering and room darkening materials. They come in standard version or with a reverse roll where the fabric hides the roll of the shade, or with a cassette headrail system. You can customize them with a variety of trims, hems, and decorative pulls.

Blinds: Mainly for heat insulation and protection from sunlight, Blinds come in horizontal and vertical versions. They provide nearly private environment as there is a small possibility of seeing through the slats at certain angles. Horizontal blinds also called Venetian blinds, are made from metal, vinyl, aluminum, real wood, or faux wood in a range of slat sizes that overlap each other when closed. You can have decorative tapes to add color to the blind. Vertical blinds are often made of fabric and can open quickly from the side or be split in the middle. Most verticals have decorative valance that hides all the hardware on top. Wood blinds are great for light control and keep rooms warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Drapes and Curtains: The timeless window solutions made of fabric can be used for any purpose just by choosing right type of fabric. Light or dark color will let in or block light and sunrays. A lining can be used for added privacy and longevity of these curtains. Drapes and Curtains are, in fact, great for window insulation. Medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat by as much as 33%.

All of the above window treatments can well be used for rendering style to your rooms. Just select the patterns according to the mood you want for the room- casual, romantic or formal. A good amount of fabric flowing from floor-to-ceiling gives a formal look. Swags made of sheer fabric draped across wide window rings lend contemporary elegance and a simple frame covered in a colorful cotton fabric can be great for casual look. You can even take expert opinion for right selection of window treatments.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Popular Hats and Caps- Great Winter Accessories


Men and women have been wearing different types of headgear for ages now. Hats, caps, bonnets, masks, veils, hoods, turbans and many more, though the names and also the purpose for wearing these head gears can be different in different parts of the world, yet they are regarded significant everywhere. Hats and caps were much more in use in the past but it doesn't mean that they have come to loose their status in the present times. They are still used for protection, religious and medical purpose, as a symbol of status or office, as a part of social convention and even for hiding baldness. However,todays generation love hats and caps because they have become a style or fashion statement. Besides, caps are essential winter accessory to protect one from cold. Head wear is given its due recognition by the fashion accessories companies too who regularly introduce stylish head gears.

Popular Hats and Caps – For Men and Women

In a survey about men's perspective about fashion items, one item about which men agreed that it is a great fashion accessory was caps, hats and head wear. Modern Popular hat styles for men include the baseball cap, the cowboy hat though it is popular in only some parts like Texas, and the newsboy or messenger caps. The most popular hats and caps with women are straw hats, felt and velvet hats, cotton knitted hats, and as winter accessory they like to don wool bucket hat or wool beret. Woolen hats are also there for men and that too stylish ones, of which embroidered hats and caps are most liked by men. Women love it when their hats are embellished with fur, bows, satin ribbons and the like, so that they may look stunning in formal dresses too. There are some unisex caps too, like baseball caps, that are worn by both, men and women. Apart from hats and caps, masks have also become very popular these days. These face masks are worn over a part of the face or all over face, mainly to disguise the wearer but sometimes also to protect the face. Their popularity is due to pleasure factor when it is required to disguise the wearer, say at fancy dress parties, masked balls and during Halloween parties. The ones which are worn for protection are popular with sports persons like ice hockey goalkeepers and yes with sporty persons too who enjoy throwing snowballs on each other!

In most of the cultures, headgear is a sign of respect and there are specific rules about when, where and how to wear a hat. The prescribed etiquettes for hats and caps go to show how important an accessory are hats and caps!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Historical Overview of Indian Handicrafts


The rich history of Indian Handicrafts has evolved over the centuries. The endowment of Indian culture promises all aspects like form, style, beauty and dignity. The mesmerizing appeal of Indian civilization, united by its diversity, resides in its exclusivity and perfection that leaves people astonished. Handicraft, as the name implies, is a craft made completely by hands without taking help of any modern technical equipment.

Symbol of Religious Culture & Beliefs

Experience the richness of 5000 year old historical culture, glory and triumphs with the diverse array of hand crafted masterpieces. The brilliant artistic skills of the artisans reflect the wide range of ethnic patterns. Each and every hand-made piece is bound to offer elegance to any interior. The choices range from vibrant colors to soft hues, from simple styles to the most intricate artwork.

The tradition of making handicrafts in India started thousands of years ago. The interesting story of evolution of Indian Arts and Crafts revolved around some specific factors like geometrical construction, availability of constituents, local needs, religious beliefs and a focus on national and foreign trade.

Evolution of Handicrafts

Since 18th century A.D., Handicrafts evolved to high level of skill and perfection in India. The tradition became a significant part of the lifestyle. At that time, the caste system of India reserved some handicrafts to certain castes which became the identity of that caste. People belong to that caste worked hard to impart their idea of creativity and innovation to the craft they made as this was the only mean for their sustenance and livelihood.

The endless array of handcrafted goods has created an incisive entry into home furnishing, furniture, jewelery, decorative articles, fashion world, etc. It is a fact that a handcrafted item cost much more than a synthetically made products. Still, people are willing to pay the deserved value for the art piece. Hand crafted articles are, now, considered to be a possession, a fashion statement and an item of luxury.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eco-Fashion: Clothing with Style and Concern


We are the children of nature and just like we have some responsibility towards our parents, we do have some towards earth and its environment too. The least we can do to show our concern is to go green while living our life. One of the most widely used daily items are our clothing. While we cannot dictate the terms to apparel, clothing and garments companies about manufacturing their products yet we can contribute in changing their minds about using eco- friendly raw materials and processes. We can go for green apparels!

While going green, do we have to sacrifice style and wear whatever is available? No! Today, many fashion designers have also become responsible and are adopting eco- friendly clothing lines. So, now we can get fashion clothing that is environmental friendly too! But do the tags saying “Eco- Clothing” are enough to identify such garments? Are there other facts too that can be known and checked while going for eco- fashion? Of course there are! Here are some ways to make a green wardrobe.

Earth-Friendly Fabrics: There are three categories of such fabrics. One, fabrics made from recycled materials such as fleece that is made from used plastic bottles. Two, the natural fabrics but natural is not enough, they have to be organic or renewable too. If you opt for traditional cotton, it is grown with tons of pesticides and processed with even more chemicals. Organic cotton can be the answer to this. Other natural fabrics like wool, linen, and silk that are renewed with organic makeover so as to make them less toxic to the environment, can also be used. Third, Renewable fabrics, in the sense that the source of such fabrics can be replenished easily, such as bamboo, jute, soy or corn fabrics. Fabrics like polyester or nylon are not renewable as their source, petroleum and its products, take millions of years to get created.

Eco- friendly laundering: Researches have shown that the fault does not, so much, lies with the construction and distribution of garments but the way they are cleaned. Washing clothes can consume a lot of water, energy and chemicals. Go for green threads, the one that can be cold washed and line dried. Learn how to eco- laundry.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Home Furnishings: Present Day Trends


Home Textiles have always been important for providing comfort, protection and decoration of home interiors. Fashions keep on changing but the styles and fabrics used for home furnishings rotate in a cyclic manner. As a result of significant developments, consumers have a wide variety of choice to be made from among fiber combinations, fabrics, designs, textures and colors. There are conventional fabrics and patterns as well as modern performance fabrics that are antimicrobial, stain and fire resistant as well as fragrance encapsulating and environmental friendly. So, what are the present trends regarding interior furnishings. Come, let's explore!

Eco-friendly furnishings: People these days are becoming more and more environmental conscious having preference for naturally occurring options such as soy-based cushions or upholstery made of recycled polyester. Cotton, jute, bamboo fiber, and other such natural fabrics are extensively used for various furnishings such as bed linen, table linen, carpets and rugs.

Vintage home furnishings: One of the styles making way into people's home is that of antiquity. Not only people are preferring antique furnitures but also opting for vintage and royal fabrics like cashmere bed throw or silk comforter and duvets.

Embellished furnishings: Decoration is associated with beauty and whatever is beautiful, is liked by people. Traditional embellishments such as sequins and fur along with contemporary over- scale prints, graphic designs, all are in vogue.

Functional Home Furnishings: It's not like that people are only concerned about the beauty aspect of the home furnishings. They pay equal attention to functional aspects too. Now all home dwellers, most of them health conscious, want such performance fabrics for home furnishings that have antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties, and that can regulate temperature as well. Durable and easy to clean fabrics are the choice of the present day.

That was a little effort to find about the fabrics that are mostly preferred by people at large for home furnishing purpose. There are other interior decor trends too, like color, wall furnishings, flooring, lighting etc. that need equal amount of attention so that homes may become truly welcoming!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Private Labeling – Textile Service Providing Customized Clothing


If you love to dress up in quality clothings, it's more than likely that you fall for established brands most of the time. However, sometimes, it might happen that you could not find anything fulfilling your specific requirements. What do you do then? Do you change your requirements and compromise with the features available in the brands of your choice? More often you might be doing so because you are not prepared to compromise with the quality with which your brand is associated. But hold on, there's another option for you in such a situation. You can go for clothing lines with private label branding!

What is Private Labeling?

Private label products are manufactured by one company to be sold in the market under other company's brand. In garments business, they are clothing with a label exclusive to a store or a chain of stores. These clothings can be designed by retailer's in-house designers or by outside manufacturers. There are many textile services available these days. One of such service is that of private labeling. The firms engaged in providing private labels, help the retailers in customizing their clothing lines for their specific groups of consumers. The stores know their target market and its requirements through constant research. In fact, many of them have their own product evaluation centers that talk to shoppers about their present and future needs.

How are customers benefited?

Consumers get to select quality clothing at much lower prices as compared to manufacturers' established brands and that too without waiting for any discounts or promotional pricing. To eliminate all doubts about quality, some stores keep others brands too with their private labeled clothing. When the customers compare the two and see that they can save significantly and also get equivalent and sometimes better quality, they prefer to buy the private labeled clothing. Moreover, the retailer's name or symbol assures that the product meets the retailer's quality standards and specifications. Although the concept of private labeling was more prevalent in food products and other health & beauty products and it's comparatively new to the clothing business, yet it's making big in this sector, growing day by day. More and more store brand clothing lines are expected in this year 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Environmental Friendly Chitin- Its Application In Textile Industry


There are certain natural substances that are used widely in textile industry. The most common ones are cotton, wool, jute, silk etc. that are used for making various textile products including apparel garments. There are other items like natural dyes made from herbs and other natural ingredients. There are many others that are not very common in public knowledge but very useful for the fabric companies is one of such naturally occurring substances that is used in the textile finishing processes for improving the quality of finished fabric. It is present in the outer skeleton of insects, crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. It is a polymer, abundantly available in nature, only second to cellulose. From chitin is obtained chitosan. The primary source of chitin and chitosan is the shrimp and crabs industry for which they are wastes. Apart from textile industry, chitin is also used in other industries such as health and beauty, water purification, biomedical applications, agriculture, biotechnology, and nutrition.

In textile industry, chitosan is used in pretreatment and finishing processes of textiles. As it is biodegradable and is distributed into the environment in a dispersed manner, it has come up as an environmental alternative for the textile chemical companies who have to meet certain guideline while manufacturing textile chemicals for protecting environment. Chitin is used both for pretreatment as well as after treatment of fabrics. During pretreatment process, it is used on yarns before the yarn is woven into fabric. Alternatively it used in pretreatment of fabrics having neps on them. Neps are the small knots or fiber entanglements on the surface of fabrics and appear as white specs on the surface of dyed fabric, especially cotton and wool. The fiber with neps is pretreated with a mixture of chitosan, a non-ionic wetting agent, and sodium sulfate. It increases the dyeing ability of direct and reactive dyes and eliminates differences in color between dyed immature and mature fibers thus improving the quality of overall fabric. When applied in after treatment process, chitin is used for covering neps on rejected fabric's surface. This process also results in all those benefits that are obtained from pretreatment of fabric with chitin.

Now the only hindrance that remains in the way of its popularity is that the textile manufacturers are not aware of the benefits accruing from chitins application. Awareness about chitin- the eco friendly textile finish, is essential so that it finds its due place in the textile industry.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Smart Fabrics for New Year


Fresh and New Year 2009 is here! I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year! New is always charming, always better from the old. Something new is being developed at every moment- a new life, a new song, a new dish, a new cloth! From being made from natural fibers like cotton, jute and wool, the fabric companies introduced new clothes made of synthetic fibers. Then these synthetic fabrics were improvised upon and introduced with new features for comfort in all seasons- warm fabrics for winters, cool fabrics for summer and water repellent fabrics for rainy season. Now with all its research and development, textile industry has introduced new and innovative smart fabrics- the hi- tech textile. Let's have a look on some of the new textiles in this new year!

New Electronic Wearables

Health Smart fabrics: Fabrics enriched with vitamins, algae or nutrients spare us from taking them orally. Electrical wearable are also there for tracking heart rate, ECG & body temperature or warn against allergy causing elements. This is not all, smart bras can detect breast cancer at early stages. Now these doctors in form of fabrics can be with us all the time! Some fabric companies are researching for sensors which can measure conductivity, electrolyte level, temperature and pH of the users' sweat, so very useful for sportswear.

Heat Modifying Textiles: No need of different clothes for different seasons now. Heat Modifying fabrics can make the heat pass out when body gets hot and as it gets cold, they keep back the heat. Some of them are made with electric wiring to regulate the body temperature. Researches are on for Inherently Conductive Polymers (ICP) so that fabric can make the body warm or cold without any electrical wiring, lets see whether we can wear it in 2009!

Interesting Smart Wearables: Forget those anti bacterial ointments and powders, just wear underpants treated with silver for permanent anti-bacterial treatments and also get rid from odor. If you have that common embarrassing problem of emitting gas, then wear underpants that filter out the smell of emitted gas through a triangular pocket strategically placed over the bottom containing carbon for filtering out smelly gases.

Progress is not only made in the field of electronic wearables, smart products too are there for your convenience. Get a new smart fabric keyboard this year and roll up to keep it in your pocket. Use it with your pocket PC or blueberry. Now your office moves with you! Are you a music enthusiast, get a bag made of smart fabric and operate your MP3 in bag through its straps, keep your hands free for other works! There are many more smart fabric products for your use. So, what are you getting this new year!