Project Objectives

Easy-to-clean, soil release and antimicrobial properties are linked aspects that are of great importance affecting comfort and freshness in consumer apparel; reduction of spoilage or wastage during storage and transport; increase of the useful lifetime of articles; maintenance of health and avoidance of cross-contamination in medical textiles. These benefits further contribute to the overall goals of sustainable product development, and, through reducing in-built disposability, to reducing energy demands and the protection of our water resources. Such properties can be introduced into product through surface functionalisation. Many surfaces, however, have zero or very few reactive groups on the surface thus the introduction of any functionality requires the prior activation of the surface in some way.

Taking into account the needs of consumers and environmental protection this MTP initiative aims to develop a “soft nanotechnology” bonding concept, that is, a nano-technology that does not rely on nano-particulates, but on molecular structuring at the nano-scale. The new technology will offer a system consisting of:

(i) The chemical activation of the fibre surface with a polymeric nano-coating for durable binding of functional molecules and
(ii) The effective incorporation of selected functional finishes for permanent modification of the textile properties, in the first instance a non-leaching antimicrobial agent.