Testing and Standards for a Global Textile Industry

Diana Wyman, Executive Vice President, AATCC

It’s no secret that we live in a global community and work in a global marketplace. Responding to global challenges like microfiber pollution and e-textile evaluation require new approaches. AATCC is finding new ways to incorporate diverse perspectives from across the textile industry and beyond to develop standard test methods that offer a common language for communicating expectations for safety, quality, and performance.

Advancements in Digital Textile Inks and Chemistry

David Clark, Ink Jet Textiles, Huntsman Textile Effects

In this presentation we’ll discuss how ink types and formulas have developed to meet market requirements and to become better suited for digital printing on an industrial scale. We’ll also discuss the basics of pretreatment chemistry and some of the advancements that have been made in this area.

A Novel Approach to Dyeing Using Foam Technology

Tim Heller, Vice President/Plant Manager, JB Martin

Presented is a way to dye cotton fabrics without the use of salt or alkali, while at the same time greatly reducing the water usage to less than one kg of water per kg of cotton and in turn reducing energy consumption. This more sustainable process has been validated with a production history over the last several years.

The ever-changing color trends often driven by fashion experts, keep the consumers appetite for the latest colors in apparel and home furnishings regularly unsatisfied. Both annual and seasonal changes help fuel sales which help the retailer, textile manufacture and all of the supply chain
that supports the production of these new products. Traditional methods of dyeing cotton fabrics require large amounts of water, a significant amount of energy to heat the dye bath and rinse water, as well as significant amounts of salt and alkali. An unfortunate byproduct of this production is significant water pollution from the processes that it takes to put the color into these products. This presentation delves into an alternative process in dyeing cotton that takes a
specially prepared cotton substrate and dyes the substrate with a very low moisture foam application. Dye liquor ratios of .5 to 1 are being used without the use of salt or alkali with speeds up to 50 yards/min and no rinsing of the fabric after dyeing. The resulting process reduces typical effluent and energy use by 75 to 80 percent.

Evolution of Chemical Applicators for Textiles – a Historical Review of Chasing Water

Preston Aldridge, Vice President, FTA, Inc.

Our industry began in fields out in the open when Man was mostly Nomadic and washers were rivers. With the change to a more stationary lifestyle, the location moved to the yards, porches, kitchens, and laundries of homesteaders. The General Store needed a supply chain thus creating large laundries followed by large mills for larger runs of fabric. As the world became more global, the larger mills moved to faraway places and we returned to smaller ones. Laundries for garments once again were in vogue and only recently have lost favor due to pollution and excess water consumption. Enter laser engraving of fabric, ozone gas treatment for preparation and plasma for finishing. Now water is gone. Enter nonwovens and applicators are gone with the placement of particles in the substrate which perform the roll of chemistry. What an exciting time to live!

Value-Added Finishing in the USA, Strategies Enabling Innovation and Entrepreneurial Business Development

Don Alexander, President, Anovotek, LLC

Textile products containing performance attributes offer great opportunity in the USA market but typically require global supply chains, large volume commitments and long lead times. Textile fabric finishing in the USA is viable, however finding cutting and sewing capacity in the USA is extremely difficult. Protecting IP when finishing fabrics offshore is nearly impossible despite the efforts being made through global trade agreements. This presentation will detail an innovative, entrepreneurial approach for value-added finishing in the USA. Utilizing both domestic and global supply chains for products while doing value added finishing in the USA coupled with direct-to-consumer sales will be discussed. A case study of a current manufacturing operation utilizing this approach and will be presented including processing options, process control and process performance data. The success of a performance apparel brand using this approach will also be discussed.

Evaluating Textiles with Performance Properties

Dr. Roger Barker, Director, Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC)

The commercial success of technical fibers, fabrics and finishes depends on their performance in a variety of applications ranging from flame resistant garments to outdoor and sports products. We can evaluate technical textiles as individual components, but there is great value in testing them as whole systems. This presentation describes how a new generation instrumented manikins called Pyroman™, Radman™ and Comfortman™ and other advanced tests can be used, either separately or together, to demonstrate the performance of technical textiles for first responder and work wear in ways that were never before possible. It will describe case studies drawn from recent TPACC research projects that have developed advanced clothing prototypes for homeland security, firefighting and workplace applications. These studies have shown the value of using a fully integrated product development approach supported by advanced product testing. Some have developed prototypes for protecting firefighters from extreme thermal or toxic environments, including wildland fire and exposure to contaminates and smoke. Others have developed clothing systems for comfort by combining advances in materials technology with garment design. All confirm the value of developing textile products using scientifically based measures of their performance properties.

Advancements in Digital Printing Machinery

Katelyn Lee, Textile Chemist, Cotton Incorporated

According to market surveys, the volume of digitally printed textiles has more than doubled in the past four years. This presentation will review advancements in digital printing machinery that have contributed to the increased productivity and reliability of individual machines and encouraged the rapid growth of digital printing in the textile industry.

Potential Applications of Fibrillated Nanocellulose for a Sustainable Textile Coating Technology

Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC), is an engineered 1D nanomaterial that can be produced from abundantly found natural cellulose sources. Having a very high specific surface area (above 500 m2/g), thixotropic (shear thinning) behavior and reactive structural side groups (cellulosic hydroxyl groups) make NFC a perfect binding material for functional coatings. Cylindrical fiber geometry in NFC facilitates constructing stable ultrahydrophobic and omniphobic coatings on textiles [1]. This result in formation of hierarchical coatings (from submicrometer to nanometer range) at a broad range of length scales.

NFC promotes adhesion of the functional material to fabric surface by acting as a binder, ensuring higher fixation and retention. Based on this concept, our research team has studied two major applications of NFC in textiles,

1). Properties of NFC functional coatings 2). NFC based novel environmentally sound textile dyeing technique for the cotton industry.

We have investigated the effectiveness of NFC as a binder and properties of NFC coatings in various textile applications.

With phase changing materials (PCM) for thermal regulating textiles.
With phase changing materials (PCM) for thermal regulating textiles.
As an efficient size exclusion textile filter
For durable and launderable conductive coatings, NFC improves adhesion of AgNW wires on the fabrics.

As a conformal coating on different textiles such as cotton, nylon, and blended fabrics.

Using NFC as a carrier for textile dyes led to developing a novel dyeing technique. For the past seven years, the UGA-team has developed NFC based sustainable and industrially applicable textile dyeing technology which promises more than 80% dye fixation and excellent dye performance [2]. Furthermore, the life cycle analysis of this new dyeing technique also shows this process utilizes less energy and has a lower carbon footprint compared to the conventional dyeing method. Most importantly, this technology consumes ten times lower quantity of water and dye auxiliaries compared to the exhaust-dyeing method. We are currently in the phase of optimizing this research, concerning macro and micro business aspect of the current textile industry. Based on the recent research updates, we have achieved following milestones in NFC based dyeing technology.

  • Dyeing of diversify textiles, such as cotton, nylon, polyester and blended textiles.
  • Optimization for batch or continuous dyeing process using different deposition methods such as knife-coating, spraying, and printing.
  • Compatibility of NFC with different dyes such as reactive, indigo, sulfur and vat dyes.
  • Dyeing with monochromatic reactive dye color systems (red, blue, black and yellow) and trichromatic color shades (e.g. brown shade).

As per our new findings, dye performances (fixation, colorfastness, and retention) of NFC dyeing can be further enhanced from chemical crosslinking post-treatments that increase the adhesion between NFC and fabric surfaces.

We have studies in progress to elevate fabric comfort and texture (such as stiffness, air permeability, and fire-retardance) to meet consumer needs.


[1]. I. Usov, G. Nyström, J. Adamcik, S. Handschin, C. Schütz, A. Fall, L. Bergström and R. Mezzenga, “Understanding nanocellulose chirality and structure–properties relationship at the single fibril level,” Nature Communications, no. 7564, 2015.

[2]. Kim, Y., et al., “Environmentally sound textile dyeing technology with nanofibrillated cellulose”. Green Chemistry, 19(17): p. 4031-4035, 2017.


Cotton Incorporated, The NATO Science for Peace and Security Program, Walmart Manufacturing Innovation Fund, and The Elsevier Foundation.


Precision Application Technology for Textile Finishing

This presentation will highlight the adaptation of precision spray technology from a 35-year history in the printing industry to effective use in textile finishing. Through cooperation with textile industry leaders, OEM machine builders and chemistry suppliers, print spray dampening systems have been re-engineered for the purpose of applying softeners, water repellents, other chemistries and remoistening applications and is now in deployed on over 40 stenters in the Americas and Europe. The precision spray systems are providing remarkable reductions in chemistry, water and energy requirements while also improving production capacities. A brief history, application examples and future advancements of the technology will be presented.

AATCC Test Method 100 (TM 100)

AATCC Test Method 100 (TM 100) is one of a number of standard test methods commonly used for quantitative assessment of antimicrobial textiles performance. However, as currently written the method allows for a number of steps to be conducted with several options and can be problematic. Options for the number of swatches and inoculum carrier (nutritive vs non-nutritive) were hypothesized to be primary drivers for variability. The study described here attempted to identify sources of inter-laboratory variability and consisted of two parts: 1) four testing laboratories conducted TM 100 using their in-house method while tracking parameters such as inoculum carrier, number of swatches, incubation conditions and enumeration methods; and 2) conducting TM 100 with certain steps specified (i.e., single swatch, dilute nutrient conditions), while tracking other test parameters. Log reductions were determined and correlated with tracked parameters to identify variability. It was shown that specifying the number of swatches and inoculum carrier did not eliminate variability, as these parameters were not alone responsible for the outcome. Log reduction profiles were similar regardless of whether the in-house or single swatch methods were used. Many parameters such as inoculum prep, swatch incubation conditions, cell recovery, and enumeration methods were done differently and assumed to not affect the outcome. Additional systematic examination of these parameters are needed to determine their role in causing inter-laboratory variability.