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Using naturally coloured cotton for good quality, attractive and ecological textile products

Elaboration of good quality, attractive and ecological textile products using naturally coloured cotton, and development of a technology to process coloured cotton in spinning mills.

The project aims to elaborate new attractive and ecological textile products of a good quality using naturally coloured cotton. A further objective is to elaborate a technology for coloured cotton processing in spinning mills. Cotton, as a natural raw material characterized by wonderful physiological and user-friendly properties, is used in all basic groups of utility goods. It is attractive to users due to its pleasantness to handle, good hygroscopicity, absorption of vapour and sweat, and lack of allergic reactions. Nevertheless, it has been shown that even in textiles made of natural fibres, it could pose a danger to user's health due to residuals of dyestuffs and other chemical substances used in the textile finishing process. Of particular danger to human health are dyestuffs of carcinogenic activity and azo dyes, which can split off a carcinogenic amine group as a result of reduction. Applied dyestuffs, as well as their contamination, can be a source of heavy metal residuum which, when exceeding the permitted percentage in textiles, are dangerous to the user. Naturally coloured cotton is being cultivated and processed following pro-ecological activities connected with textiles. This enables the dyeing process to be eliminated, and at the same time the danger to human health is limited. An additional advantage of naturally coloured cotton is that its cultivation is ecological. Nevertheless, there are some limitations to increasing the use of coloured cotton due to its properties. It is characterized by short fibres of lower tenacity in comparison to white medium staple cottons processed commonly in spinning mills. Therefore, there is a need to carry out research to elaborate a technology to process naturally coloured cotton in medium staple cotton spinning mill conditions, taking into consideration the specific properties of this raw material. At the same time, there is a need to carry out research to improve naturally coloured cotton varieties in terms of increasing their properties to an acceptable level. This will enable a good spinnability with modern textile machinery. The aim of this project is to elaborate a technology to process naturally coloured cotton and to produce new ecological textile goods designed for apparel characterized by an attractive design that is in line with modern fashion trends, or to create blends with white cotton. In this context, the project will: - assess the properties of naturally coloured cotton, - assess the spinnability of naturally coloured cotton and its blend in laboratory conditions, - measure yarns produced in laboratory conditions from the naturally coloured cotton and assess the behaviour of yarn behaviour during weaving, - elaborate technical-technological conditions and a production of pilot series of fabrics from yarns made of naturally coloured fibres, - assess the properties of yarns and fabrics produced on an industrial scale, - elaborate a processing technology for naturally coloured cotton and its blends with white cotton, - elaborate an assortment of ecological fabrics using naturally coloured cotton of modern, attractive patterns designed for apparel. A joint research project will be carried out by the INSTITUTE OF TEXTILE ARCHITECTURE (IAT) (Lodz, POLAND) and the (NATIONAL AGRICULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION), COTTON AND INDUSTRIAL PLANTS INSTITUTE (NAGREF) (Thessaloniki, GREECE). NAGREF works on improving the cultivation of cotton varieties and fibre characterization in terms of their spinnability and using modern measurement methods for cotton property assessment. NAGREF cultivates naturally coloured cotton and works on optimising cultivation conditions and cotton variety improvement. IAT (former Cotton Research Centre) has a technical facility and highly qualified staff with a large research scientific experience in the quality, technology and methods of cotton assessment. IAT has modern apparatus in the accredited Laboratory of Textile Measurements, enabling a complex cotton assessment as well as an assessment of produced yarns and fabrics. Since many years, IAT has carried out research on cotton and its blend with chemical fibre processing as well as on designing a modern assortment of textiles for a wide range of applications. In NAGREF, research is underway to improve the spinnability of naturally coloured cotton. Furthermore, the Greece partner will provide the naturally coloured cotton to perform laboratory and industrial trials. At the IAT, laboratory and industrial processing of naturally coloured cotton and its blends will be carried out. The assortment will consist of fabrics having a yarn from naturally coloured cotton only in a weft, or in both: warp and weft threads. In addition, an assessment of yarn and fabric quality will be carried out by IAT, taking also into consideration the parameters that influence physiological comfort. Cotton property measurements will be done in both research units according to measurement facilities. This project will allow the introduction of naturally coloured cotton into industrial processing, as well as the production of novel, ecological, user-friendly textiles of physiological properties that assure comfort for the user. At the same time, danger to human health and the natural environment will be eliminated. Keywords: color cotton, fiber properties, spinnability.
Acronym: 
NAGREFIAT
Project ID: 
3 151
Start date: 
01-01-2004
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
690 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.