Environmental concerns in recent times have assumed significance never before seen. There is now a tendency to reflect and review all that is before us to find out whether prevalent practices are good enough to continue with or would recalling back earlier ones be in our better interests.
In the textile industry this is very much a reality especially in the manner in which chemicals have made inroads into the use of dyes and coloring substances for fabrics, their disposal after the coloring processes an added worry on account of being unfriendly to the ecology.
Conventional white cotton versus the naturally colored cotton
In the last decade many comparisons have been made of the conventional white cotton fibre that requires dyeing and the naturally grown colored cotton. The conventional white cotton needs to be dyed or colored whereas the naturally colored one does not.
The study, a comparison of natural brown colored cotton knitted fabric with a white one was made in manner of process steps and cost by the data and methods of a dye house. Calculations were made by taking the treatment steps of the fabrics in the production into account.
A comparison of all the relevant factors were made, that threw up pleasant surprises.
- Naturally colored cotton was evaluated by washing and softening steps. The white cotton fabric dyed with the same color (brown) of naturally colored cotton in the laboratory and was evaluated by bleaching, dyeing, washing and softening steps.
- Calculations were made by taking the treatment steps of the fabrics in the production into account. Calculations and comparisons were made by taking energy, water, labor, electricity, chemical, auxiliary agent and dyestuff costs into account. As a result all the flowcharts in the dye house were evaluated.
- It was found that treating the naturally colored cotton fabric is 2.9 times less expensive than treating white cotton fabric in the dyehouse.