Potential of nanotechnology for sustainable textiles - an overview

Updated : October 2020


  • Entrepreneurs
  • Researchers or innovators
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile chemicals professionals
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals

This article explores some of the emerging opportunities for use of nanotechnology for sustainable textiles.

Nanotechnology has been used in the clothing industry for nearly two decades, but to a limited extent, where many brands have worked on incorporating silver nanoparticles in the garment to create antimicrobial and anti-odour effects. Nano-particles embedded clothes remove the harmful bacteria and odour causing bacteria, thus clothes could be washed less frequently. Other innovative characteristics which could be achieved through this technology include self cleaning clothes where due to the property of high surface area per volume ratio, nanomaterials like silver and copper absorb visible light to break down the organic matter.

Water repelling textiles is another innovative opportunity, where nanoparticles like silicone can help create lotus-like effects to remove water particles, while also removing the dirt. Other nano materials capable of removing the dirts include copper and silica which can chemically breakdown the organic matter and cause complete odour elimination.

The article concludes that nanotechnology is still in its infancy and more research needs to be done to understand their environmental impact when discharged into the wastewater.

Read More: Potential of nanotechnology for sustainable textiles - an overview


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