Microorganisms can be found almost everywhere in the environment. NASA researchers have found microorganisms even at a height of 32kms and to a depth 11kms in the sea. During oil drilling in the ground, to a depth of 400 Mts microorganisms have been found. For their growth and multiplication, the minimum nutritional requirements are water, a source of carbon, nitrogen and some inorganic salts. These are normally present in the natural environment. Textiles, by virtue of their characteristics and proximity to human body, provide an excellent medium for the adherence, transfer and propagation of infection-causing microbial species.
Increasing public awareness about the risks of microbial infection is growing demand for products. The most textiles currently used in hospitals are conductive to cross infection or transmission of diseases caused by microorganisms, particularly bacteria and fungi. The medical textiles, such as fabric liners for prosthetics and casts, also require odor control. The conditions are damp and inclined to bacterial growth, which causes odor. An antimicrobial needs power, speed, and durability to deal with those odors. The increasing need for incontinence odor control is not just confine to garments, but also is required for bedspreads, linens and upholstery.
Antibacterial fibres and variable antibacterial chemicals available in international market are mostly from synthetic base and are not environment friendly. Consumer preference has changed and higher demands are placed on the functional fabrics these new requirements necessitated a production process thats environment friendly. There are many natural plant products, which show anti-bacterial properties for e.g. extracts from roots, stem, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds of diverse species of plants exhibit anti bacterial properties. These anti bacterial extracts can be use as a textile finishing agents in the crude form or as microcapsules to enhance the durability and controlled release of the extracts. To read more,