Developing sustainable fabrics with plant-based formulations
Thakker, Alka Madhukar
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Sustainability is at the fore, so the textile industry is ambitiously parading towards alternative ecological materials to refute the air and water pollution from petroleum-based contenders. Hence the envisaged research aimed to create plant-based formulations for application on wool and cotton fabrics. Firstly, the instigated study explored and identified eight new sources of native flora enclosing copper and ferrous element to be implemented as biomordants and colourants on cotton fabrics. These discoveries would assist in circumventing the depletion of corresponding mineral ores hence sustainable. The techniques of extraction, mordanting and colouration with natural plant materials were executed ecologically. The ATR-FTIR, FAAS, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer and ANOVA outcomes inferred the cotton fabric biomordanted with black cherry stems and coloured with hops flowers to be most concentrated in the chelated form of ferrous element content of 11 mg/l and copper element content of 6.49 mg/l, respectively hence gaining the K/S value of 7.05 and demonstrating 87.02% of protection from ultraviolet rays. The spent solution DO and ORP levels measured 8.05 and 129.2 mV, respectively hence safe to aquatic life and could be readily upscaled. The sustainable fabrics developed with rue leaves and mugwort leaves, dandelion, nettle, and bilberry leaves were equally promising. Secondly, water-based inks were formulated from plant extracts distilling blue from bio indigo leaves, red from quebracho red bark and yellow from the flame of the forest flowers extracts. The sought-after black colour was achieved by implementing the primary colour theory. The concocted plant-based inks were scrutinised for stoichiometry, rheology, colour yield, inkjet print quality and coffee ring effect employing a viscometer, conductivity meter and USB microscope. The viscosity range of 8.5 to 10 cP, the relative density of 1.06, conductivity value of 2.51 mS/cm, the surface tension of 60 mN/m and pH of 4.9 was inferred to be most effective in obtaining the K/S values acquired on inkjet printing of wool and cotton fabrics. Another objective was to study the implications of plasma surface modification upon the treated and untreated wool and cotton fabrics, subsequently inkjet printed with plant based inks. The colour values and fastness properties remarkedly improved after plasma surface treatment. These findings were supported by data achieved from optical tensiometer, ATR-FTIR, drop test and SEM, justifying the enhanced wettability of the modified fabrics. The factorial experiment was designed for this segment of research, and it was further validated with ANOVA one-way test.