Manufacture of multifunctional textiles with cotton/silver blended yarns

To exploit silver's properties to give antimicrobial, antistatic and thermo-regulating properties to textile materials. Either silver-containing yarns or novel finish formulations will be applied to this effect.

The European Textile and Clothing Industry has a longstanding tradition of being in a leadership role in terms of innovation and, despite increasingly fierce global competition and continued relocation of manufacturing to low wage countries, still represents one of Europe's major industrial sectors. Today, it competes through quality, functionality, flexibility and the production of new products for new market segments. Textile products and operational processes are becoming more and more sophisticated and based on multiple knowledge, including chemistry, biotechnology, physics, material sciences and engineering. This has led to the development of 'functional' textiles. These include textile products exhibiting barrier properties (e.g. fire redundancy, noise and thermal insulation, a shield against electrostatic or electromagnetic phenomena, antimicrobial effects) that are of significant interest. The proposed project aims at exploiting the properties of silver for the production of textiles possessing antimicrobial, antistatic and thermo-regulating properties. Silver is known to be a very effective, natural antimicrobial element. It is safe for human contact and has been medically proven to kill over 650 microorganisms that cause odour, discoloration, bio film formation and other aesthetic problems, as well as diseases. The ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) recognises silver as one of the best antimicrobials, while remaining harmless to humans. Silver also provides electromagnetic and electrostatic shielding. For example, it reflects the waves of a mobile phone and can be an excellent electrostatic shield against the accumulation of electric charges that may interfere with the activity of the nervous system, causing unpleasant sensations. In addition, silver-containing fabrics are thermo-regulating, i.e. they maintain the body's temperature within an optimum temperature range, called the 'thermo-neutral zone' (37 +/- 1 degrees Celsius). Therefore, exploiting the aforementioned silver properties in textiles is of interest to many fibre, yarn and textile producers and constitutes the objective of the proposed project. More specifically, the proposed project involves the research and development of textile products bearing antimicrobial, antistatic and thermo-regulating properties, through either the use of silver-containing yarns or the application of wet treatments that result in the addition of silver ions to the textile substrates. Due to the fact that cotton constitutes a primal agricultural product for GREECE, the project will focus on combining cotton fibres with silver and on applying an appropriate treatment to add silver ions to cotton fabrics. Through the proposed project, high added-value products will be obtained and will ensure human health protection. They may find application in wound dressings, bandages, sportswear, protective clothing or home textiles. Keywords: functional textiles, silver, antibacterial.
Project ID: 
3 871
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 020 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Finisher related to 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.