So here we are on the train from Manchester to Euston, having just attended the Textile Institute conference on Functional textiles in Manchester. As always with these conferences you have a varying level of presentations and a varying level of interest amongst the audience. The presentations covered research work being done in anti microbial / anti fungal, fibre modification and nano technology and 3D printing. In regards to nano technology an interesting discussion started whereby the presenters were asked if the treatment to the natural fibre they were doing, affected the bio degradable nature of the natural textile. To which the answer was “yes it makes it non bio degradable” In an age when textile sustainability and environmental issues are at the forefront of all the minds of the great and the good in the textile industry. You have to wonder why research is taking place to make a product less bio degradable and destined for landfill at end of life. Surely there is better work to consider.
On one presentation on durable flame retardancy and after a lot of chemistry, the presenter was asked about natural flame retardancy polymers. There was a silence while he tried to think of a polymer with natural flame retardancy. After a few moments silence an audience member came up with a simple answer – WOOL