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Technical Textiles for Health and Environment

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech university, USA

Manufacturing sector is gaining attention worldwide due to the recent economic situation and supply chain issues.

Recently, United States, United Kingdom and Australia formed the AUKUS nuclear submarine partnership, which will boost jobs as well S & T partnerships in the pacific region.

India’s Air India’s proposed procurement of Boeing and Airbus planes will create many manufacturing and R & D jobs in the United States and France. These are some examples of the revival in manufacturing in developed nations. All these projects involve some form of advanced textiles such as soft composites, PPEs, etc.

Technical textiles sector globally is a growth sector with an annual growth rate of above 5 percent. On February 26, 2023, I had an opportunity to present the usefulness of advanced textiles in enhancing human lives, saving the environment, and creating jobs to a global audience at the recently concluded World Textile Conference-3 organized by the world’s largest professional association in the field of textiles, Textile Association (India) [TAI].

The talk featured the demonstration of a cotton-based oil absorbent and emphasized the importance of developing value-added textiles to enhance human life and protect the environment. I pitched the concept developed by U.S. Department of Defense that involves 4S for the growth of the industry: Sensing; Shaping; Sustaining and Shielding (Growing). The sector can sense the need of technologies and products, map the requirements, build, and grow. There is a need to involve more sustainable products and processes to combat global warming.

There is more work to do in the technical textiles sector to develop technologies and products in a cost-effective way to include sustainable aspects. Developing economies need marketing help in this sector.

In the audience were Tony Fragnito, President of USA-based INDA, Dr. Bryan Haynes, Chairman of the Board of INDA-USA. Dr. P R. Roy, former Group CEO of Arvind Group, Dr. Jaywant Irkhede, Department of Trade and Industry, Republic of South Africa, the office bearers of Textile Association (India) and many other participants representing all walks of the textile industry from fiber to fashion.

The conference attracted over 800 participants who were from India, USA, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and Uganda.

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