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Modern Applications of Nanotechnology in Textiles


A.P.S. Sawhney, B. Condon, K.V. Singh, S.S. Pang, G. Li and David Hui
Textile Research Journal 2008 78: 731
DOI: 10.1177/0040517508091066
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Textile Research Journal

Article

Modern Applications of Nanotechnology in Textiles


A.P.S. Sawhney1 and B. Condon

Abstract

Nanotechnology (NT) deals with materials 1 to 100 nm in length. At the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), NT is defined as the
understanding, manipulation, and control of matter at the above-stated length, such that the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the
materials (individual atoms, molecules, and bulk
matter) can be engineered, synthesized, and altered
to develop the next generation of improved materials, devices, structures, and systems. NT at the
molecular level can be used to develop desired textile characteristics, such as high tensile strength,
unique surface structure, soft hand, durability, water
repellency, fire retardancy, antimicrobial properties,
and the like. Indeed, advances in NT have created
enormous opportunities and challenges for the textile industry, including the cotton industry. The
focus of this paper is to summarize recent applications of NT as they relate to textile fibers, yarns, and
fabrics.

Agriculture Research Service, United States Department


of Agriculture, Southern Regional Research Center, New
Orleans, LA 70124, USA

K.V. Singh
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department,
Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA

S.S. Pang and G. Li


Mechanical Engineering Department, Louisiana State
University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

David Hui
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of New
Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA

Key words

nanotechnology, fibers, yarns, textiles, technical fabrics

Although the term nanotechnology (NT) is relatively new,


the underlying technology is old, because the term submicro was used in the production of extremely small particles of polymers and copolymers. Today, the technology
that deals with the science and engineering of materials at
the dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nm (1 billion nm = 1 m)
in length is called NT. At the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), NT is defined as the understanding, manipulation, and control of matter at the above stated length
scale, such that the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials (individual atoms, molecules, and bulk
matter) can be engineered, synthesized, or altered to
develop the next generations of improved materials, devices,
structures, and systems [1]. Although, there is no clear
indication of when and how the term evolved, Professor
Richard Feynman, almost 50 years ago, in a lecture titled
Theres Plenty of Room at the Bottom, [2] demonstrated
that matter at nanometer dimensions can be exploited to
attain considerably improved material properties. Indeed,

in the decades following, there have been numerous


advances in NT and its many applications in the textile
industry. Because of its limitless potential in consumer-oriented applications, the textile industry is one of the premier beneficiaries of advances in NT. Being one of the
largest consumer-supported industries, with significant
impact on a nations economy, advances in applications of
NT to improve textile properties offer obvious, high economic potential for the industrys growth.1
It was demonstrated in recent years that NT can be used
to enhance textile attributes, such as fabric softness, durability, and breathability, water repellency, fire retardancy, antimicrobial properties, and the like in fibers, yarns, and
fabrics. In addition to the millions of dollars invested by
the private sector, it is estimated that for the year 2003,
worldwide government funding for research and develop-

Textile Research Journal Vol 78(8): 731739 DOI: 10.1177/0040517508091066


Figures 1, 2 appear in color online: http://trj.sagepub.com

www.trj.sagepub.com 2008 SAGE Publications


Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore

Corresponding author: e-mail: ap.singh@ars.usda.gov

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Figure 1 Fiber size and associated


manufacturing/processing technologies.

ment in NT was about $3 billion [3]. It is expected that in


the next decade, enhancement of textile materials through
advances in NT may evolve into a multi-billion dollar
industry with associated economic and ecologic benefits to
the textile consumers and society at large [4]. In this paper,
we compile and summarize modern developments and
applications of NT of textile fibers, yarns, and fabrics, and
provide references that relate information on research
groups and industries that are actively involved in the production, preparation, and finishing of improved textile fibers, yarns and fabrics.

Improvements in Fiber/Yarn
Manufacturing by using
Nanotechnology
The properties and performance of textile fibers are essential to fabric manufacturing and utilization. While it is wellknown that fabrics made of cotton fibers provide desirable
properties, such as high absorbency, breathability, and
softness for wear and comfort, expanded utility of cotton
fabrics in certain classical and especially non-classical
applications is somewhat limited due to the fibers relatively low strength, less-than-satisfactory durability, easy
creasing, easy soiling, and flammability. On the other hand,
fabrics made with synthetic fibers generally are strong,
crease resistant, antimicrobial, and dirt resistant. However,
they certainly lack the comfort properties of cotton fabrics.
NT induces enticement to develop de novo fibers with the
advantages of both cotton and synthetics.
A wide range of fiber size or thickness can be utilized in
textile processing (Figure 1).
Ordinary and fine-denier textile fibers range from 1 to
100 m in diameter and are produced by established drywet-dry, jet melt spinning through spinnerets 1100 m in
diameter. Nano-fibers of diameters in the nanometer
range are mostly manufactured by electro-spinning process, although there are also other methods. Carbon nanotubes [5] (CNT) provide fibers of ultra-high strength and
performance. It was shown that super-aligned arrays of
CNT provide nano-yarns [6] that exhibit Youngs modulus
in the TPa range, tensile strength equaled 200 GPa, elastic
strain up to 5%, and breaking strain of 20%. In electrospinning, a charged polymer melt or solution is extruded

through sub-micrometer diameter spinnerets to afford fibers on a grounded collector plate subjected to high potential difference between the spinnerets and the plate. The
process is an established technique to generate fibers of
extremely small diameters and enhanced properties [79].
Further enhancement of fiber strength and conductivity is
achieved with heat treatment. The resulting nano-fibers
find applications such as bullet-proof vests and electromagnetic wave-tolerant fabrics. However, it should be
mentioned that mechanical properties of textiles reinforced by CNT do not necessarily meet the very high levels
of properties of constituent nano-fibers. This is due to the
fact that the transverse surface effects of the reinforced
textiles may not always proportionately contribute to the
latters mechanical properties, which traditionally are
determined in their linear direction. The growing applications of nanotechnologies in special-purpose, textile, and
related composites certainly have advantages of transverse
surface characteristics of reinforced materials.
It was discovered that unique composite fibers were
produced from synthetic nano-fibers obtained through an
advanced electro-spinning process, such as the coagulation-based carbon-nano-tube spinning method [10,11].
These composite fibers afford electronic textiles for super
capacitors. During electro-spinning process, nano-yarns,
comprised of Multi-Walled CNT (MWCNT) that consist of
several (usually 7 to 20) concentric cylinders of SingleWalled CNT, can be produced by simultaneous reduction
of fiber diameter and increase in twist (up to 1000 times) in
the electro-spinning process. These highly twisted yarns
facilitate extra strength, toughness, energy-damping capability, etc., and thus can be deployed to produce electronic
textiles for supporting multi-functionalities, such as capability for actuation, energy storage capacity, radio or
microwave absorption, electrostatic discharge protection,
textile heating, or wiring for electronic devices [12]. It is
clear that the current developments in nano-fibers and
nano-yarns will be utilized in producing the next generation textiles, which would be capable of providing radio or
microwave absorption, electrostatic discharge protection,
textile heating, or wiring for electronic devices of the
twenty-first century.
By changing the surface structures of synthetic fibers,
several diverse fiber functionalities can be obtained for
profitable exploitation of functional fabrics in special
applications. One of the possibilities to develop desired
functionality is by embossing the surface of synthetic fibers

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with nano-structures [13]. Integration of nano-sized antimicrobial particles into textile fibers leads to the development
of superior wound dressings. Similarly, by incorporating
ceramic nano-particles into a spinning solution, polyimidoamide fibers can be produced in which SiO2 nano-particles
are present. Such a nano-treatment can also produce antistatic polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers consisting of electrically
conductive channels, which not only possess antistatic properties but also have good mechanical properties [14,15].
Chemical modifications of synthetic fibers using nano-particles can enhance the fibers porosity and absorption properties, which are useful in producing thermal-resistant and
flame-resistant fabrics. Desirable thermal properties as
well as enhanced fiber tenacity can also be obtained by modifying the surface of the fibers with other (nano-) matters,
such as diamine (diaminodiphenyl methane), montmorillonite, and silica nano-particles, etc. [1620]. Specific functionality in fibers can also be achieved by another leading
chemical oxidative deposition technology, which deals with
the deposition of Conducting Electroactive Polymers (CEP),
that is, polyaniline, polypyrrole, polythiophene, and their
derivatives (in nano-form) onto different kinds of synthetic
fibers, resulting in special composite fibers with high tensile strength and good thermal stability [21, 22]. Surface
polymerization of CEP (by Graft copolymerization) of polymer fibers has a potential to increase the fibers conductivity almost 10 times by decreasing their electrical resistivity
[2325]. These so-called coated polymeric composite fibers
can be used in microwave attenuation, EMI shielding, and
dissipation of static electric charge. They can also be useful
in developing fabrics intended for military applications, for
example., camouflage, stealth protection, and the like
[26,27]. It may be mentioned that the polymer deposition
techniques can be further improved to obtain many other
desirable characteristics of CEP coated textiles.
The development of nano-composites usually containing 2 to 5% of nano-fibers has been extensively reviewed by
Mondal [28]. In his paper, the basic properties, fabrication
process, and some applications of nano-fibers or nanotubes are covered. Some nano-mechanical properties of
transverse sections of mature and immature cotton fibers
have also been investigated and the behavior, properties,
and potential applications of these textile micro structures
have been summarized [2930].
By uniformly dispersing aligned nano-tubes in the polymer matrix, some novel CNT reinforced polymer composite materials have been developed, which can be used for
developing multifunctional textiles having superior
strength, toughness, lightweight, and high electrical conductivity [31]. By using melt-spinning process, polypropylene/
nano-carbon fiber composites with significantly enhanced
modulus, compressive strength, and dispersion properties
can be produced [32]. The morphology, crystallinity, and
several mechanical properties of non-woven mats containing nano-structured poly-capro-lactone (PCL) have also

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been studied [33]. Through optimal orientation and crystallization of nano-fibers, excellent properties of composite
fibers can be achieved and successfully used for the microfiltration applications in the medical field [34]. In another
recent study, it has been shown that by melt extruding, a
range of nano-additives yarns of exceptional properties
can be produced [35]. Obviously, such a wide range of
advances towards the enhancement mechanical properties,
surface textures, and fabrication processes of fibers/yarns is
expected to lead to the development of the next generation
of woven and non-woven fabrics for thus far unforeseen
applications.

Progress Towards the Fabric


Finishing by using Nanotechnology
Finishing of fabrics made of natural and synthetic fibers to
achieve desirable hand, surface texture, color, and other
special aesthetic and functional properties, has been a primary focus in textile manufacturing. In the last decade, the
advent of NT has spurred significant developments and
innovations in this field of textile technology. Fabric finishing has taken new routes and demonstrated a great potential for significant improvements by applications of NT.
The developments in the areas of surface engineering and
fabric finishing have been highlighted in several papers
[3639]. There are many ways in which the surface properties of a fabric can be manipulated and enhanced, by
implementing appropriate surface finishing, coating, and/
or altering techniques, using nanotechnology. A few representative applications of fabric finishing using NT are schematically displayed in Figure 2.
NT provides plenty of efficient tools and techniques to
produce desirable fabric attributes, mainly by engineering
modifications of the fabric surface. For example, the prevention of fluid wetting towards the development of wateror stain-resistant fabrics has always been of great concern
in textile manufacturing. The basic principles and theoretical background of fluid-fabric surface interaction are
well described in a recent manuscript by Schrauth et al.
[40]. They have demonstrated that by altering the microand nano-scale surface features on a fabric surface, a more
robust control of wetting behavior can be attained. They
also showed that such an alteration in the fabrics surface
properties is capable of exhibiting the Lotus-Effect,
which demonstrates the natural hydrophobic behavior of a
leaf surface. This sort of surface engineering, which is
capable of replicating hydrophobic behavior, can be utilized in developing special chemical finishes for producing
water-and/or stain- resistant fabrics.
In recent years, several attempts have been made by
researchers and industries to utilize similar concepts of
surface-engineered modifications through NT to develop

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Figure 2 Fabric finishing for enhanced properties and performance.

certain high-performance fabrics. Most successful developments in this regard can be attributed to a US-based company [41], Nano-TexTM. By using NT, they have developed
several fabric treatments to achieve certain enhanced
fabric attributes, such as superior durability, softness,
tear strength, abrasion resistance, and durable-press/
wrinkle-resistance. In fact, this company is a pioneer in the
development of several fabric coatings and treatments,
which are capable of providing the above-stated high-performance fabric attributes. For example, their trademark
Nano-Pel technology for stain-resistance and oil-repellency
treatments utilizes the concept of surface engineering and
develops hydrophobic fabric surfaces that are capable of
repelling liquids and resisting stains, while complementing
the other desirable fabric attributes, such as breathability,
softness, and comfort. Basically, this sort of surface treatment attaches small nano-whiskers, which are nano-structures, to provide roughness to the fabric surface so that
fluid-surface interaction and consequently fluid penetration can be avoided and so the treated fabric has permanent water- and stain-resistant properties. The same
company has also developed several other fabric treatments and trademarked technologies [4249]. Nano Touch
is a trademark for one of their nanotechnologies for treating a core-wrap type of fabric. In a core-warp yarn or
fabric, a core of usually synthetic fibers is wrapped with
natural fibers, such as cotton. The (nano)-treated core
component of a core-wrap bicomponent fabric provides
high strength, permanent anti-static behavior, and durability, while the traditionally-treated wrap component of the
fabric provides desirable softness, comfort, and aesthetic
characteristics.

Nano Care technology is offered to produce wrinklefree/resistant and shrink-proof fabrics made of cellulosic
fibers, such as cotton. Nano Dry technology, on the other
hand, provides hydrophilic finishing to synthetic fabrics.
This nano-based finish allows the fabric to whisk away the
contact bodys moisture/sweat, which quickly evaporates to
provide comfort to the wearer. This company has also
developed a technology in which Nanobeads are used into
the textile substrate for carrying bioactive or anti-biological
agents, drugs, pharmaceuticals, sun blocks, and textile dyes,
which subsequently can provide desired high performance
attributes and functionalities to the treated fabrics [50].
Recently, Beringer and Hofer have demonstrated that
by combining the nano-particles of hydroxylapatite, TiO2,
ZnO and Fe2O3 with other organic and inorganic substances, the surfaces of the textile fabrics can be appreciably modified to achieve considerably greater abrasion
resistance, water repellency, ultraviolet (UV) resistance, and
electromagnetic- and infrared-protection properties [51].
For example, the titanium-dioxide nano-particles have
been utilized for UV protection. Similarly, by using nanosized silicon dioxide as an additive in coating materials, significant improvements in the strength and flame-resistance
of textile fabrics can be achieved [52,53]. For cotton fabrics, wrinkle resistance can be developed by using the
nano-engineered cross-linking agents during the fabric finishing process. Besides the wrinkle resistance, such finishing is also capable of eliminating toxic agents, while
maintaining the desired comfort properties of cotton [54].
It has also been shown that a wide range of so-called functional finishing of fabrics can be obtained by using a microencapsulation technique, which is widely used in the phar-

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735

Figure 3 Some representative applications of NT in textiles.

maceutical industries. This technology enables to carry out


several liquid or solid agents (fragrant, flame-retardant
agents, etc.) that are encapsulated in phase-changing materials acting as binders (e.g. wax). This technology, for
example, can be used to develop odor-eliminating finishes
of fabrics. Fire-retardant and anti-microbial agents can
also be microencapsulated for advanced fabric finishing
[55,56]. These advances in the application of NT are
expected to further improve fabric finishing for the next
generation of fabrics.

A Few Representative Textile


Products Based on Nanotechnology
Within the last decade, NT-based progress in textile fibers,
yarns, and fabric-finishing have led to the development of
several new and improved textile products (Figure 3).
Numerous references in the literatures are now available,
which highlight the various applications of NT for the textile industries [5766]. Throughout history, the textiles
have been used worldwide in a very wide range of consumer applications. Natural fibers, such as cotton, silk, and
wool, along with synthetic fibers, such as polyester and

nylon, continue to be the most widely-used fibers for


apparel manufacturing. Synthetic fibers are mostly suitable
for domestic and industrial applications, such as carpets,
tents, tires, ropes, belts, cleaning cloths, and medical products. Natural and synthetic fibers generally have different
characteristics, which make them ideally suitable mainly
for apparel. Depending on the end-use application, some
of those characteristics may be good, while the others may
not be as good to contribute to the desired performance of
the end product. As stated previously, NT brings the possibility of combining the merits of natural and synthetic fibers, such that advanced fabrics that complement the
desirable attributes of each constituent fiber can be produced. Towards that end, companies such as Nano-Tex
have already made significant progress in the development
of improved apparel. Their fabric finishing products are
now widely available to the textile apparel industries for
clothing, active wear, casual and business attire, uniforms,
etc. These novel products are now available to the consumers through the worldwide retailers, such as Old Navy,
GAP, Eddie Bauer, and LL. Bean.
Recently, a Swiss company Scholler [67] has also developed a nano-based technology to produce a new line of
brand name fabrics, such as Soft-Shells, functional
stretch multi-layer fabrics. The fabrics and the garments

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made there from are capable of dynamic climate control,


which provide optimal balance of comfort, air permeability, and wind and water resistance, through their soft
inner layer and tough and durable outer layer. The
technology is being used in the manufacture of apparel for
extreme cold weather conditions and for out-door, mountain sports, ski sports, and various other sportswear applications. The company has also developed an innovative
Nano-Sphere finishing treatment of the fabrics, which
provides a self-cleaning feature and resists stains. The
companys Schoeller-PCM technology offers moisture
management features and provides comfort and protection at the same time [68,69]. The combination of NanoSphere finish and Soft-Shell technology is capable of
producing fabrics/garments that repel rain and snow. Several fabric and garment manufacturing companies have
utilized these advanced technologies in developing a wide
range of special-purpose apparel. For example, ski-wear
and jackets with 3XDRY Moisture Management System
by Allsport, extreme performance jacket and pants by
Mammut Mountaineering, cliff pants and jackets by Millet,
and abrasion- and tear-proof footwear that is light, breathable, and air permeable is offered by Schoeller-Keprotec (material provided by Springboost), and gloves by
Reusch and Swany [70]. Similar lines of products have also
been designed by several other companies. For example,
Germanys Franz-Ziener has introduced ski jackets, which
feature Nano-Tex coatings to make them windproof, waterproof, and breathable [71]. With the help of advanced finishing products, UV protection can also be obtained, in
addition to the good durability, good air permeability, and
soft hand feel [72]. Incidentally, the technology of incorporating NT in textiles is not only limited to the United States
and Europe. In fact, it is now evolving worldwide. The
growth of NT in Asia is also significant. It is expected that
within a few years, thousands of companies worldwide
will be engaged in the production of CNT and nano-fibers
[73].
Significant advances are envisioned towards the development of military and combat uniforms and apparel,
using NT. One of the largest and perhaps unique research
centers in the world, whose main focus is on the development of next generation of materials for soldiers, is the
Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) [74]. This
institution is a consortium of research collaboration among
the US Army, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), and several industrial organizations. The research
conducted by this consortium is dedicated to developing,
mainly for the military, advanced textile materials and
products by utilizing NT. The main focus is to develop a
variety of textile fabrics and other products/materials that
are lightweight (so that the overall load on soldiers can be
reduced significantly), strong, abrasion/wear resistant,
durable, waterproof, capable of changing color (to improve
camouflage), energy absorbent (bulletproof), temperature

sensitive (for different climate controls), and embeddable


with multipurpose micro-/nano-sensors [75]. In addition,
several antimicrobial textile treatments are currently being
produced that can play very significant roles in protection
against a wide range of physical/chemical/biological threats
[76]. To produce battle-ready smart textiles, several disparate technologies, such as micro capsulation, biotechnologies, and information technology, are being utilized [77].
An interesting review, which specifically focuses on potential developments of textiles that would carry and/or bear
various bioactive compounds, is presented by Breteler et
al. [78]. Advanced nano-fibers of nano-sized particles are
also being developed for efficient applications in wound
dressings [79,80]. Quantum Group Inc., in its recently patented technology, has shown that the combination of
nano-fibrils (0.41 nm), produced by electro-spinning
processes with reinforcing, strong fibers, or filaments) can
be used to produce yarns as well as non-woven fabrics that
can be utilized in tissue engineering [81,82]. Otsuka
Kagaku has developed new electro-conductive (nano-)fibers that can be used for protection against radiation emitted
by electronics. Several other technologies for producing fabrics to shield from radiation are also being investigated [83].
It may be noted that the above-mentioned nano-based
advances affect the advances of not only military applications but also the civilian applications, such as those in the
biomedical fields. Development of nano-functional fibers
has been directed to the manufacturing of hygienic fabrics
for undergarments. Several companies are using these new
fibers to develop odor-free clothing, such as socks, stockings, and undergarments, etc. For example, socks containing nano-particles of silver minimize foot odor [84]. NanoTex is developing a new technology known as NanoFresh, which is intended to absorb sweat, dry quickly, and
trap odor. Several other high-tech fabrics are being developed that will remove sweat, repel stains, provide a massage, and even provide a sensational fragrance. Hanes has
developed some anti-cellulite shaper wear fabrics, which
utilize the micro-encapsulation techniques to modify the
appearance of cellulite.
Nano-based textile composite materials comprise another
promising sector, which is leading the developments of
new materials for engineering applications. Strong graphite nano-fibers have been developed, which can support
large engineering loads and high pressures at room temperatures. A research group in Belgium is exploring the
possibility of developing novel yarns by melt extruding a
range of nano-additives [85]. Research in this sector has
led to a number of significant developments, such as:
a. anti-SARS masks for use by medical personnel [86];
b. acoustic fibers for automotive textiles [87];
c. nano-surfaces suitable for bioactive culture matrices,
textile nano-sensors, and microelectrodes [88,89];
d. wireless sensing devices;

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e. Dyneema (a high performance polyethylene fiber)
combined with CNT; and
f. electronically, chemically, and/or biologically integrated smart fabrics [9092].
Recently, USDA researchers have developed a patented
technology for producing cellulose-based nano-composites, using nano-particles of clay as the nano-filler material
[93]. Cellulose from a variety of very cheap sources, such as
grass, kenaf, cotton fiber, cotton plant material, etc., may
be used. These composites improve the thermal stability
of the cellulose and, therefore, may lead to the development of certain flame-retardant end-products, such as
non-wovens, special-purpose papers, filaments, coatings,
etc.
In addition to the development of improved textile fabrics and materials, several advances in the area of textile
processing have also been made. For example, the textile
dyeing and finishing processes use dyes and other chemicals
that are expensive and cause a serious environmental concern when after processing the effluents are discharged into
public waterways. Nano-filtration membrane technology
developed in recent years is being aggressively investigated
to try to recover the dyes for economic and environmental
benefits and, at the same time, conserve precious water [94
97]. Nano-filtration technology consists of a separation
process in which relatively small organic molecules along
with some ionic components are retained by a nano-porous
membrane. These grafted membranes are capable of
removing the dye molecules, so that the dye can be recovered and the processed water can be recycled and reused
[98101]. A novel, spiral-wound membrane technology also
exists for the treatment of textile effluents, using nano- and
ultra-filtration units [102]. NT is also widely applied in the
developments of pigment particles used for dyeing and
printing of textile fabrics [103]. Recently, in order to mass
produce nano-fibers for textile applications, Nanospider
technology was invented and patented by the researchers at
Technical University of Liberec (Oldrich Jirsk) [104].

737

repellant, while still maintaining the cottons well admired,


excellent comfort character, and aesthetics. By deploying
NT, ultra-strong, durable, and specific-function-oriented
fabrics can be efficiently produced for a number of end-use
applications, including medical, industrial, military, domestic, apparel, household furnishing, and much more. It is
now conceivable that by combining the optical fibers,
micro mirrors, functional coatings, and electronics, customized fabrics and garments can be developed, which will
change their colors as per the consumers desire and taste.
The textile industry certainly has the biggest customer base
in the world. Therefore, the advances in the customer-oriented products will be the main focus for future NT applications, and the textile industry is expected to be one of the
main beneficiaries. However, it goes without saying that
there certainly are some limitations and unknown health
risks pertaining to the rapid development and growth of
NT and also their end-use products. For example, it is
extremely difficult and complex to process carbon fibers of
< 200 nm with traditional textile practices and procedures.
Regarding safety of personnel involved in production, conversion and even use of nano-fibers and their products, we
still do not know of any short-term or long-term (unknown)
health risks, especially the probable risks of pulmonary
(lung) diseases due to the nano-size of the particles
involved. The Washington Post recently had raised an alert
to this effect [105].

Acknowledgment
This study was partly supported by the specific cooperative
research grant by the Southern Regional Research Center,
Agriculture Research Service, United States Department
of Agriculture (SRRC-ARS-USDA). This article is an
extension of the underlying research project on size-free
weaving and the research collaboration between the Louisiana State University and the Cotton Chemistry and Utilization (CCU) Research Unit of SRRC-ARS-USDA, New
Orleans, Louisiana.

Summary

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If the information technology (IT) is the wave of the


present, the nanotechnology (NT) is certainly the wave of
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and other textile industries. Its application can economically extend the properties, performance, and hence values
of textile processing and products. Predominantly cotton
fabrics may efficiently be made fire retardant, shrink proof,
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Textile Research Journal 78(8)

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