Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Click on the picture to see the water falls.

The author-S K G Rao.C Text ATI,(UK).


Oh yes.
After over 300 years in INDIA:

We got"Freedom" from the rulers of our nation"The United Kingdom."&:
The textile Industry in the 50's
was an era of leading the country to all sorts of economic freedom to the rich and the other classes of society in the freedom country India.

The textile Industry in the fifties was an envy to all the industries in India.The reason was simple no imports and no competition.Govt giving all sorts of patronage to hand looms,power looms, knitting factories and garment manufacturers,the demand for yarn and cloth increased.The composite mills had a demand they could not meet and went outsourcing cloth from power loom industry.Spinning mills mushroomed in various places in different forms split horizontally.

Textile machinery manufacturers soon made their presence with machinery for full rage of machines or as required by the mills.It was open invitation to small scale industries to start suppling spares for these mills.Soon auxiliary suppliers appeared on the stage.Employment in textile field expanded in all spheres.Textile technicians were in demand in many mills.

Textile colleges had filled all seats.Everything was perfect for the generation.Everybody was happy.Govt saw the upswing in the industry and went on taxing year after year increasing the tax in every yearly budget.

With the help from World Bank Maharastra started many co-operative mills on the pretext of helping cotton growing farmers,and it was all the politicians that ate the cake and soon the co-operative mills faced crisis and many were closed or were handed over to contractors and the loan sanctioned to start the mills nor the cotton farmers who had paid their money in the form of shares were left with share certificate papers worth nothing.

Some 100 % EOU called mills also stood in the 'Q' to shut.

Everybody were going up not knowing that the other side is a deep slope which will take them down.Those who viewed the things with a fore sight started working to go with knowledge and determination guarding their finances for future investments that would arise without notice.

It was a nice ride to many till the 90's when the unorganized power loom sector entered the market with the help of few purely and separately started processing gray cloth like reputed mills and marketing them with these mills logo's.It was hard to stop this illegal entry.It was also a problem to common man to identify the real and the fake cloth in the market.Things could not continue forever.

It was good sailing until they met the tip of the iceberg " Synthetic fibers" and the flood gates for poorly managed textile mills opened wide.This was not just water that was gushing from the flood gate,there were other things along with the water and that was"technology".

Textile machinery manufacturers who thrived in the country had to give company to their brothers who were managing mills under "mismanagement scheme".Running mills started walking,walking mills started limping,limping mills sat down and closed their eyes(mill gates).

Millions of workers were thrown out of jobs and the govt could not sit and watch.Few Govt's took over the mills in some states especially Maharastra.Other states did nothing.The trade union leaders went on with their bundhs,hartals and strikes which made the govt sick and tired.

They had to do something and soon 111 closed textiles mills were taken over by the govt under a extraordinary overnight ordinance promulgated with no liabilities of the mills after take over.

Everything was like adding fuel to fire for the textile industry and particularly to family managed mills and haji haji managed mills.These mills also closed but the govt meanwhile who had burnt their fingers with the closed mills refused to take over these mills.

Few textile machinery manufacturers had to close their operations.

The Govt run mills under the name of "National Textile Corporation Ltd" with 9 subsidiary corporations grouped in different forms to be controlled from the central office in Delhi also could not control the mills fully with the result more than 70 mills were again closed under a VSR a golden hand shake formula for the employees,who went willingly and found other sources of employment.

Many well managed mills stood firm at the top with their money power.
The 20th century was coming to an end with a sour taste to many mill owners and their prodigy's .Very few mill industrialists with the advent of power looms who had the vision and courage successfully steered their mills through this crisis of the mid-80's that wiped out several composite textile mills in the country.They saw the future of garment and ready made on the global arena and not just fabrics.Mills like Arvind went after Denim,Century with 100% cottons,Bombay Dyeing with a big lead in exports and all these mills went in for ready made apparels of leading foreign brands. They changed the look of their production and manufacture with the most advanced imported textile machinery and the working conditions.Technology or man made fibers did not affect their mills.
" Technology & man made fibers "

The start of man made fibers was as early as 60's and it was staple fiber- viscose. All efforts were being tried to blend this cellelosic fiber with cotton secretly in as small a percentage as possible to bring down cotton cost.Yarn and cloth manufactures were finding that their margins were getting eroded due to cotton cost as it was nearing 50 plus in well managed mills and nearly 65 percent in other mills.It was time for cotton to give a back seat.Many mills started 100 percent Viscose staple fiber yarn production taking a risk and a challenge to the mills technicians.This also needed a royal treatment through out its run from raw material to packed marketable stage.The cost of this fiber was much less than cotton was the main factor for this experiment.

The start that started slowly gathered speed year after year.The demand outstripped the supply. The production of this fiber was also with one industrial giant.Quota system was introduced to customer as per his consumption periods.
The going was good till the ICI from UK started their "Wonder Fiber".
Many mills started manufacturing this wonder fiber Terelene,with different fibers in different percentages to manufacture different types of fabrics.
There were problems with processing this fabric in dyed stages as also in finishing the fabric.New processing machines were to be installed for this purpose.Improvements in processing machines were engineered to improve quality and production.Ever since its entry in to the textile mills there was no end.The fiber enjoys undisputed place in man made fibers ever since.

What followed next.
With the usage of the new fiber changes were needed in the existing machines to process the new fiber on the old machines.Textile Machinery Makers had to engineer new machines and many were available to choose by the Industry.

New machines with power saving, space saving, high speed and with electronics gadgets were built in and changes in flexibility to process various fibers were made to run the machines even by semi skilled workmen.
Textile mills which had funds to invest installed these new machines and took other cost reducing methods and were in the market with much superior yarns.Other mills which were mostly family owned with the entire family members running the mills with no knowledge of technology in textiles had to face losses and were closed for non payment of power bills.

One after another such mills shut shop.
Even the Bureaucratic run mills of NTC faced closure without paying power bills,the easiest way to close the mills.
It was the survival of the fittest and well managed mills went on unhindered by any competition.They even started exporting and expanding their activities.

New products were out in the market for consumers who could afford any price for quality.

Just with in a radius of 100 miles over 100 mills had no marketing problems nor below margin sales in " COIMBATORE CITY ".only.
The big mills like MADURA COATS AND BINNYS in South and in North mills like DCM,TATA,FINLEY,RUIA AND KATAU had closed for one reason or other in Bombay.
Financially strong mills went on getting stronger and stronger year after year.They are still unaware of the " TECHNICAL TEXTILES ".
even if they are aware of it no one has gone for it all the way. Some have kept their doors half open.

Country's smaller than INDIA are now in the future of textile industry.
The most surprising fact being our Govt of India,Ministry of Textiles who control a large group of mills all over the country.
They have no plans for Technical Textiles.

Even our Textile Research Institutes have not taken up major research in this area as on today.

[1]INDIA has no Technical Textile Colleges in any University.






Please say True or False in Comments.

Research Project: Value Added and High-Volume Cotton Products and Processes

Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

2006 Annual Report

1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
This project focuses on four objectives to increase cotton's use in traditional woven textile markets, and in non-traditional nonwovens, polymers, and composites markets. The objectives are: (1) design and create compounds that afford wovens and nonwovens resiliency in use and protection against open flames and microbial attack; (2) design and create polymer (plastic) modified cotton fibers to enable cotton's use in new technical textiles, such as waterproof microporous membranes (or breathable skins); (3) design and create cotton-derivatives that are water repellent and reactive to explore their uses in making adhesives, coatings, and composites; and (4) eliminate the need, expense, and environmental consequences of yarn sizing (chemical coating on yarn) by improving yarn structure and quality; using natural chemicals found in cotton to effect lubrication; setting the yarn's twist to improve weaving efficiency; and modifying the surfaces of machine components to minimize yarn friction and abrasion in weaving.

Our objectives address the goals of the Strategic Plan of National Program 306, "Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products." Specifically, the project supports Goal 1, Objective 1.1 of the Strategic Plan to "Provide Science-based Knowledge and Technologies to Generate New or Improved High-Quality, Value-Added products and processes to Expand Domestic and Foreign Markets for Agricultural Commodities." The research supports the program component of natural fibers and materials, under the Commodity Classification Code C2110 and STP Codes (Industrial Processes and Products) and (Fiber Products).

How serious is the problem? This is a very serious problem because we need a concerted program within the Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC), the National Program Staff, and stakeholders to capture inventions and generate value from them through business development. To develop intellectual property generated with cotton, involvement of industry executives are needed to get early innovators and adaptors involved to build momentum to develop inventions and transform them into marketable products.

Why does it matter? Cotton was king in the south until disruptive changes were introduced by polyester, nylon, and other plastic fibers [polyethylene (PEO), and polypropylene (PPO)]. The 30-year U.S. market share (1970-2000) for cellulose fibers decreased from 43 to 8% of all fibers consumed (Chem. & Eng. News, 5-15-00, p.25), and composite formulators avoid using cotton in composites citing incompatibility of cotton with metals and plastics (Polym. Mater. Enc., 1996, Vol. C, Wiley, 1079). This trend can be reversed by successful fulfillment of the objectives in this research project, forging alliances with forward thinking cotton industry executives, appropriation of intellectual property developed with cotton, and generating an industry structure that brings new inventions into competitive markets. Consequently, the effort will enable the cotton industry, generators of the starting material, cotton, to create, capture, and deliver value to consumers through inventions made at Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC).

2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
FY 2006: (1) Sub-Objective 1.1. Syntheses of oligomeric anhydrides, dibromide polymers, CM cotton salts, phosphonates, and inorganic phosphates. (2) Sub-Objective 1.1.2. Characterization of new polymer/cotton nonwoven composites. (3) Sub-Objective 2.1. Cycloaddition of benzyl cotton and PEO/PPO co-polymers. (4) Sub-Objective 2.2. Characterization of structural, thermal, and solution properties of new cyclo-polymers and cotton-derivative/cyclo-polymer blend. (5) Sub-Objective 3.1. Adjust functional groups of cotton with: amines, butyl ethers, benzyl ethers, hydroxyls and methoxy-ethoxy-methyl groups. (6) Sub-Objective 3.2. Characterization of structural, thermal, mechanical, and biological properties of the new cotton-derived polymers. (To be done in conjunction with 3.1.). (7) Sub-Objective 4.1. Production of 100% cotton yarn for size-free weaving. (8) Sub-Objective 4.2. Determination of the best technique to prepare a loom beam without the traditional sizing. Evaluate the technique through weaving trials on a modern high-speed weaving machine.

FY 2007: (9) Sub-Objective 1.1. Scale-up production of promising polymers. Prepare highlofts and barrier fabrics on small scale and test them with inorganic formulations and new polymers and phosphonates. (10) Sub-Objective 2.1. Benzylated cotton solution will be mixed with cycloaddition polymers and extruded into fibrs or cast into films. (11) Sub-Objective 2.2. Characterize structural and thermal properties of polymers blends. (12) Sub-Objective 3.1. Scale-up procedures to modify cotton's functional groups. Generate large batches of these polymers. (13) Sub-Objective 3.2. Continue characterization of novel polymers. (14) Sub-Objective 3.3. Explore and explain the curing behavior of pre-polymers by thermal and mechanical methods. (15) Sub-Objective 4.2. Seek Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) partner to develop size-less weaving technologies. (16) Sub-Objective 4.3. Prepare and test loom components modified with ceramic, polyethylene, and other proprietary grafted coatings for improved size-less weaving properties.

FY 2008: (17) Sub-Objective 1.1. Generate durable flame and antimicrobial formulations of new polymer/cotton nonwoven composites. (18) Sub-Objective 1.2. Characterize polymer/cotton nonwoven composites. Conduct burst, compression recovery, rupture, and resiliency tests. Determine insulation value and flammability. (19) Sub-Objective 2.1. Optimize properties of benzylated cottons and cycloaddition products. (20) Sub-Objective 2.2. Generate structure property relationships. (21) Sub-Objective 2.3. Begin developing methods to generate breathable fabrics. (22) Sub-Objective 3.3. Prepare and characterize cotton-based thermosets and composities. Characterize thermosets as adhesives and composites. (23) Sub-Objective 4.4. Test fabric appearance, hand, dimensional stability and finishing performance.

FY 2009: (24) Sub-Objective 1.1. Scale-up formulations. Finalize formulations of new polymer/cotton nonwoven composites. Explore commercial uses and transfer technology to interested and users. (25) Sub-Objective 1.2. Characterize the thermal, solution, physical, and surface properties of new polymer/cotton non-wowen composites. (26) Sub-Objective 2.1. Scale-up preparations of fibers and films. Develop methods to transfer membranes to fabrics and characterize these products. (27) Sub-Objective 2.2. Characterize fabrics from films and fibers. (28) Sub-Objective 2.3. Finalize formulations for the preparation of breathable fabrics. Conduct moisture permeation studies on breathable fabrics. (29) Sub-Objective 3.3. Develop new thermoset processing conditions. Finalize a process to generate cotton-based thermosets and explore costings formulations. (30) Sub-Objective 3.4. Evaluate cotton-based thermosets for end-use applications, e.g., adhesives, coatings, and composites. (31) Sub-Objective 4.5. Evaluate compact ring-spun yarns, and carded rotor-spun yarns conditions for these yarns. Transfer size-less weaving technology to industry.

4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Covalent reactive chemistry treatment for cotton has been developed and tested giving durable flame retardance on cotton fabric.

4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Silver containing chemical treatments for cotton were developed and tested rendering a more durable anti-bacterial treatment for cotton fabric.

The effect of cotton mercerization on its absorbance characteristics in nonwovens was investigated and shown to not enhance absorbancy.

4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.

4d.Progress report.
A subordinate project was established through a Specific Cooperative Agreement between ARS and the Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, 6435-41000-094-01S, entitled, "Comprehensive Mechanical Engineering Analyses of the Crictical Components of Weaving Process Toward Achieving Size-Free Weaving." This agreement creates a post-doctoral position to mechanically analyze yarns prepared without the use of coatings (sizing agents) and to study their weaving performance.

This post-doctoral appointment will terminate at the end of 2006; however, work on the topic area will continue with the same individual for an additional year at no cost to the ARS.

Hurricane Katrina significantly disrupted the progress of the project during 2005-2006. Along with loss of facilities, there was some loss of personnel that limited progress as well.

5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
Predicted impact for each objective over the life of the project are summarized below:

(1) Success in objective 1 will afford: (a) Novel fibers for flame resistant (FR) highlofts and barrier linings; (b) Crosslinkers that provide woven fabrics that have permanent press protection and dimensional stability; and (c) Plastics that graft or entangle cotton nonwovens for enhanced dimensional stability, allow heat printing, and protect against attack by microbes and flame. (2) Success in Objective 2 will afford blended cotton fibers that are elastic so that technical textiles like Gore-Tex can be produced. (3) Success in Objective 3 will afford new cotton-based plastics for the development of adhesives, and load bearing building materials. (4) Success in Objective 4 will afford new knowledge and technologies about sizeless weaving.

The developing of the envisioned products have significant impact on the cotton industry. The formulation of flame-resistant cotton fabrics opened potentially new large markets to cotton fibers that are currently being filled by synthetics. Technical cottons (water repelling cottons, flexible cotton-based fibers, cotton-based adhesives, etc.) will also add to potential markets. The development of size-less weaving processes will eliminate two processing steps that are currently necessary, whereby reducing processing costs and reducing the environmental impact of weaving. The incorporation of cotton into non-wovens products has the potential to impact several large downstream industries from automobile manufacturers to medical textile processors.

Sizeless weaving on large pilot scale has been carried out on a modern weaving loom.

Cotton-based plastic composites have been prepared on lab scale.

Absorbency characteristics of 100% cotton non-woven fabrics were evaluated.

Cotton has been chemically trated (benzylated) for water repellancy.

Cotton has been chemically treated with a vareity of synthetic materials to render different performance properties to cotton.

The above accomplishments relate to the National Program 306, "Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products." Specifically, the project supports Goal 1, Objective 1.1 of the Strategic Plan to "Provide Science-Based Knowledge and Technologies to Generate New or Improved High-Quality, Value-Added products and processes to Expand Domestic and Foreigh Markets for Agricultural Commodities."

6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Many presentations were made worldwide on new flame retardant crosslinking agents for cotton, silver containing antimicrobial gauzes, at national and international meeting attended by farmers, industrial representatives, and scientists in academia and industry.

Furthermore, many industrial representatives visited SRRC to consult and understand the sizefree weaving work and the flame resistant and antimicrobial non-wovens work.

7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Modern Cotton Materials Show Value of Ag Research, Farm Bureau News, Vol 85, No 12, June 12, 2006, interview given by Dr. Brian Condon.

Project Team
Sachinvala, Navzer - Nozar
Parikh, Dharnidhar - Dv
Sawhney, Amar - Paul
Condon, Brian

Project Annual Reports
FY 2006
FY 2005


Related National Programs
Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products (306)

Related Projects
Development of Flame Retardant (Fr) Cotton Blend Flame Barrier Mattress Pads.

Research Project: Value Added and High-Volume Cotton Products and Processes

Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

Project Number: 6435-41000-094-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 01, 2004
End Date: Jun 30, 2009

Design and create molecules that afford nonwovens resiliency in use and protection against open flames and microbial attack; design and prepare cotton-based polymer systems compatible with elastomers to generate new binary fibers and waterproof breathable membranes to make the products more useful as technical textiles; design and create cotton-derivatives that are water repellent and reactive with epoxies, isocyanates, and inorganic materials and explore their uses in making adhesives, coatings, and composites; and eliminate the need for sizing warp yarn for weaving.

The project will pursue research along four avenues. The first deals with generating molecules that impart dimensional stability and flame and microbial resistance to cotton, so that the new cotton derived materials pass or surpass in-use, stability, non-flammability, and antimicrobial test standards, as well as gain industrial acceptance. The second deals with polymer modified cotton fibers to enable cotton's use in new technical textiles, such as waterproof microporous membranes. The third searches for new water-repellent cotton derivatives that are reactive with epoxies, isocyanates, and inorganic materials for uses in adhesives, coatings, and composites. The fourth avenues focuses on eliminating sizing agents in warp yarn preparation to make weaving and textile operations efficient by creating reduced friction machine parts.

Project Team
Sachinvala, Navzer - Nozar
Parikh, Dharnidhar - Dv
Sawhney, Amar - Paul
Condon, Brian

Project Annual Reports
FY 2006
FY 2005


Related National Programs
Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products (306)

Related Projects
Development of Flame Retardant (Fr) Cotton Blend Flame Barrier Mattress Pads.

Will India become a manufacturing base for technical textiles?

There has been a lot of talk on technical textiles in the industry and the textiles ministry. However, progress is still very slow. Would the Indian technical textile manufacturing base be able to take off now, or will we miss the bus?

Reena Mital, Sudha Swaminathan, Sapna Dogra find out.

The industry and the government have recognised the potential of the technical textiles sector as the growth engine for the textile industry. This is one of the very few sectors of the textile industry, that is growing at a very fast pace, especially in the Asian region. However, in India, investments in this sector continue to remain a trickle.

And the inaction on the part of the government is adding to the delay in take-off. The Expert Committee on Technical Textiles has completed its report over seven months back, but there has been no action taken on this. The report is still lying with the ministry of textiles.

Speaking to Express Textile, the textile commissioner, Mr Subodh Kumar, said, “We have sent the report of the Expert Committee on Technical Textiles to the ministry, and we expect an early and positive response. Once this happens, we can form the steering committee for implementation of the recommendations of the report. The industry is evincing interest in this sector, and it is not right to judge at this moment if India will become a manufacturer or remain a consumer of technical textiles. It is too early to say this, the industry is in transition phase.”

The industry is not very impressed about setting up yet another committee for implementation of the report recommendations. According to some of the leading manufacturers of technical textiles in the country, “Appointing committees at every step is only a way to delay implementation. And this is what will happen finally. We will miss the bus in manufacturing of technical textiles, even as our domestic demand grows substantially in the years to come.”

Industry experts point out that though consumption of technical textiles is very low at 0.3 per cent, this will pick up gradually. “Technical textiles has huge potential, however, there have been no investments in this particular sector because the textile industry per se was going through a bad phase and people are wary of investing in this high capital intensive segment,” says Mr DK Nair, secretary general, ICMF.

Mr Arindam Basu, director, SITRA

echoes similar views. “There has not been much happening in technical textiles in South India except certain pockets of Tamil Nadu which manufactures low value medical textiles and a couple of foreign players who have set shop here. Even as mills are eager to venture into technical textiles, it has been put off due to high capital expenditure required to bring in the necessary technology. Also, the industry is trying to find out the market for such products before setting up manufacturing base. For products like geotextiles and flame retardant fabrics, government is a big buyer and the industry is hesitant to deal with the government. The industry is uncomfortably placed in raw material availability. Nearly 85-90 per cent of fibre composition in technical textiles is synthetic fibres and specialty fibres, which has to be imported.”

“Segments like geotextiles and medical textiles have a huge market in India and it will pick up,” states Mr Nair. “All countries including US are changing a big portion of their textiles into technical textiles; even China’s 35 per cent of textiles are not apparel fabric but are used as technical textiles. There iss buoyancy in the industry and several sectors have been identified, which is a pointer towards the fact that technical textiles are poised for a stupendous growth,” says Mr Nair.

Agrees Mr Shekhar Agarwal, group vice chairman of LNJ Bhilwara, “Technical textiles is in its nascent stage in India. However it has great potential. At LNJ Bhilwara, we are developing technical textiles big time and are looking at it as part of our automobile fabrics and also specialty textiles related to safety, for soldiers at high altitudes, ballistic fabrics, etc. All these are textile reinforced products.” It is learnt that Ginni Filaments is also in the process of moving into this venture, as also some other companies.

According to official figures, till February 2005, under the TUFS, 22 applications for technical textiles have been sanctioned Rs 98.44 crore as project cost, of which bank component was Rs 54.78 crore and the amount disbursed is Rs 51.28 crore.

Marketing is one of the major areas that needs to be worked upon. Says Mr Mohan Kavrie, managing director, Supreme Nonwovens, “It may be true that the government can play a role in creation of market demand by putting in place certain mandatory regulations for use of such products in public places. However, the industry cannot depend on the government alone for this, it will have to work towards market creation also. The government can be depended upon for putting in place investor-friendly policies, for infrastructure development. The industry has to shed it practice of rushing into the existing market, while ignoring creation of new markets.”

Realising this, the Federation of Indian Textile Manufacturers’ Association (FAITMA) recently organised a seminar on technical textiles, alongwith the Textile Commissioner’S office, where it invited German delegates from the German technical textiles industry, so the Indian industry can understand the various applications of the products, and formalise their plans for moving into technical textiles. According to

Mr Arvind Poddar, “The Indian industry is interested in manufacturing of technical textiles, but knowledge about this is very little in the country.

The textile commissioner has been playing a very proactive role in promoting technical textiles, we felt that the industry too should supplement these efforts, and hence the seminar. We will follow up this seminar with a second one in October, where we will invite German technical textile manufacturing companies, for one-on-one interactions with the Indian companies. We expect that some form of collaborations would definitely take place then.”

Coordinated action to accelerate the development of innovative markets of high value for Europe – the Lead Markets Initiative.

Source : Commission Européenne ( - Actualité publiée le

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Concerted action through key policy instruments will speed up market development of fast-growing products and services, without interfering with competitive forces. The first six areas - eHealth, protective textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies - which have been identified for the "Lead Market Initiative" (LMI) are highly innovative, respond to customers’ needs, have a strong technological and industrial base in Europe and depend more than other markets on the creation of favourable framework conditions through public policy actions. The initiative calls for the urgent coordination of policy through ambitious action plans for these markets, rapidly bringing visible advantage for Europe’s economy and consumers.

How does the Lead Market Initiative (LMI) process work?

The LMI identifies promising emerging markets which could be supported by such concerted policy action and outlines a process to streamline the necessary legal and regulatory environments and accelerate the growth of demand.

To be successful, the process needs to:

Incorporate global market needs and customer preferences to maximise market potential;

Facilitate the acceptance of EU standards and approaches by non-EU markets, notably in domains affected by global trends (e.g. environmental issues);
aim at reducing the cost of bringing new products or services into the market, by easing market access and measures to facilitate demand.

An action plan for the next years is presented for each market with a set of policy instruments boosting the competitiveness of the lead markets:

Improving legislation: it is designed to foster innovation and avoid imposing burdens on innovative business and facilitate an integrated approach along the value chain.

Encouraging public procurement for such innovative goods and services
Standardisation, labelling and certification: encourage standards that facilitate the operation of products and business processes with each other and raise the recognition and confidence of users in innovative products and services;

Complementary instruments such as business and innovation support services, training, communication, financial support and incentives.

Six markets of high economic and societal value were identified for the initial stage of the initiative: eHealth, protective textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies.

1. eHealth can help to deliver better care for less money.

eHealth tools or solutions include products, systems and services that go beyond simple internet-based applications, for instance tools for health authorities and professionals and as personalised health systems for patients and citizens.

Without significant reforms, including better use of eHealth, health expenditure is expected to increase from 9% of GDP at present to around 16% by 2020 in response to an 'ageing' Europe. Despite substantial research and development investments in eHealth, ICT investment in this area has lagged behind that in other service sectors.

Technical and organisational solutions often fail to be taken up because the market is strongly fragmented between different social security systems, a lack of interoperability between the various systems and lack of legal certainty.

Standardising various information exchange formats, for instance and certifying of interoperable systems should effectively overcome the interoperability barriers. Other measures within the framework of the LMI are clarification and guidance for applying the legal framework, networking of public procurers, as well as information of users, doctors, health managers and public authorities on eHealth benefits.

European citizens would greatly benefit from cost reductions, coupled with better efficiency of the healthcare systems through the wider development of eHealth.

2. Sustainable construction: towards sustainable development.

The construction market accounts for 10% of GDP and 7% of the workforce. Buildings account for the largest share of the total EU final energy consumption (42%) and produce about 35% of all greenhouse emissions.

Insufficiently coordinated regulations, coupled with the predominantly local business structure, lead to considerable administrative burdens and to a high fragmentation of the sustainable construction market. There is a lack of knowledge on possibilities within the existing legal framework for public procurement that could facilitate demand for innovation-oriented solutions.

A different, more goal-oriented approach to construction in the form of a lead market on sustainable construction solutions is needed. Besides applying its better regulation policy, the EU may further render the regulatory framework more efficiently by accompanying measures and awareness campaigns. Standardisation measures can improve the situation and introduce concepts relevant for sustainability.

The LMI could considerably speed up the access of citizens and business to new buildings features with enhanced quality of life and working conditions.

3. Technical textiles for intelligent personal protective clothing and equipment: increasing the knowledge content and the added-value.

Protective textiles are clothing and other textile-based systems which protect users from hazards and dangers in the conditions in which they operate. The current size of the market in the EU is estimated at € 10 billion, with around 200,000 jobs directly or indirectly related to these products and services.

Swifter development and use of European standards in the global market, combined with appropriate measures for the protection of intellectual property, e.g. through support services for smaal and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), would accelerate the increase in demand for protective textiles. Public procurement has an important role to play, but there is fragmentation of demand for protective textiles at the level of local authorities.

The action plan proposed by the Commission integrates all necessary actions in a synchronised way to favour the innovation of new products and accelerate growth. Other measures should facilitate public procurement for innovative protective textile products; strengthen awareness of intellectual property protection and SME involvement in the development of standards.

Citizens will also benefit from access to better products for key services such as civil protection, for instance in case of pandemics or terrorist actions with high risks to the population.

4. Bio-based products: innovative use of renewable raw materials.

Bio-based products are made from renewable, biological raw materials such as plants and trees. The long term growth potential for bio-based products will depend on their capacity to substitute fossil-based products and to satisfy various end-used requirements at a competitive cost.

Europe is well placed in the markets for innovative bio-based products, building on a leading technological and industrial position. Perceived uncertainty about product properties and weak market transparency however hinder the fast take-up of products.

The Commission's action plan for this lead market integrates all necessary actions in a synchronised way to favour the innovation of the new products and services. The actions range from improving the implementation of the present targets for bio-based products over standardisation, labelling and certification to ensure the quality and consumer information on the new products to harnessing the purchases of public authorities to show the way to the future.

European citizens will greatly benefit from reduced dependency on fossil products and of reduced emission of pollutants, through the wider use of these bio-based products. In the medium term, additional capacity could also help to reduce prices of average goods.

5. Recycling: proper and effective waste management.

Recycling reduces waste going to disposal, consumption of natural resources and improves energy efficiency. It therefore plays an essential role in the move towards sustainable consumption and production. The recycling sector has a turnover of € 24 billion and employs about 500,000 persons. The EU has around 30% of world share of eco-industries and 50% of the waste and recycling industries.

Despite significant market potential, barriers to market development remain. There is also significant potential to improve efficiency and capacity, by encouraging innovation and introducing more effective processes and technologies. This would save costs, energy, and natural resources and help Europe to be less dependent on raw materials prices.

The Commission proposes an action plan that integrates all necessary actions in a synchronised way to favour the innovation of the new products and services in the recycling market area. The actions range from standardisation, labelling and certification to ensure the quality of and product information on recycling products as well as the environmental friendliness of the recycling process.

European citizens will benefit from the consolidation of the position of Europe’s industry as a world leader, while environmental advantages will be significant.

6. Renewable energy: CO2-neutral energy sources.

The European renewable energy sector has an annual turnover of € 20 billion and provides jobs to 300.000 people while meeting approximately 8.5% of Europe's energy needs. The European Council in March 2007 set a binding target of a 20% share of EU energy consumption for renewable energy by 2020.

The development of renewable resources is held back by three factors:

The external costs of energy use are not fully reflected in energy prices.

Important learning curve effects which would lower prices in several technologies are exploited more slowly on account of present low levels of demand.

The fragmentation of renewable energy support systems and the existence of administrative and market barriers mean that the potential of the internal market is not fully exploited.

The main elements of the renewable energy action plan are removing barriers to the integration of renewable energy sources in the EU energy system and simplifying authorisation procedures.

A coordinated approach for standard setting and labelling on technologies as well as mobilising public and private financing are other measures to help reaching the 20% target by 2020.

More information.


By Sam Anson.

There are several UK-based companies which have successfully integrated their smart technical textile technology into clothing and other consumer softgoods — including bags and backpacks. The most prominent companies in this field are Auxetix, d3o lab, Eleksen, Engineered Fibre Structures, EXO2, Fibretronic and Peratech. Many of these are small and were formed through close alliances with academic institutions. Products made by three of these companies are being designed to interface with software from Microsoft and iPod music players from Apple.

The companies products are being sold under well known names with wide consumer appeal. Brands such as Berghaus, Burton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Kjus, Levi’s, Nike, O’Neill, Quiksilver, Reusch, Ribcap, Rohan, Schoeffel, Spyder, The North Face and Tommy Hilfiger are all using smart fabrics and interactive textiles from UK firms. Smart textiles cover a wide range of technologies. Individual categories include wearable electronics, heat conductive textiles, textile switches and shock absorbing fabrics. Eleksen is one of the most commercially advanced UK-based companies in its field, and its impressive financial performance over the last 24 months reflects its success. In the first half of 2006 its sales were up by 622% compared with the corresponding period of 2005.

Furthermore, it has been forecast that Eleksen’s sales will increase by as much as 168% in 2007, while the capital employed to support this growth will rise by 165%. Eleksen has been highly active in managing its patent portfolio to protect its intellectual property. To date, the company has been granted 30 patents, including 12 in the USA, which cover its core technology and applications. Moreover, it has a further 38 patent applications pending, covering developments in soft switching and sensing technology. Eleksen’s components are used in a variety of segments, including consumer, industrial and military applications.

The components are already employed in a wide range of end use products, such as interactive apparel, bags, backpacks and cases for entertainment and communications controls. The technology has also been incorporated into computer keyboards made from smart fabrics which can be rolled up and put in the inside pocket of a jacket. Smart fabrics and interactive textiles are being used in a wide range of end uses, and the number of applications is growing rapidly.

Textiles are being made from intelligent molecules to protect against injury in sports. During natural body movement, the molecules flow past each other at low rates of cohesion. But in the event of a sudden impact, the molecules instantaneously lock together to provide a protective barrier.

Clothing is being designed with built-in switches or joysticks to control equipment for electronic entertainment, particularly iPods. The key components are smart textiles which are sensitive to pressure, and which can be stitched, stapled or glued. * Researchers have developed a special conductive yarn which can be woven into a textile to produce gloves for controlling computers, games consoles, machines and other electronic devices remotely.

A manufacturer in Scotland has developed a conductive polymeric yarn which can be knitted into a clothing fabric to keep the wearer warm. The yarn heats up when a power source is applied, either from a battery or mains power.

One company has developed textiles which can change colour under tension. The materials are “auxetic” — which means they become fatter when stretched, unlike conventional flexible materials.

Smart fabrics are also being designed to protect against terrorist bomb attacks by absorbing energy. The most common application of smart fabrics made in the UK has been in wearable electronic control systems. Success stems largely from strong growth in the market for iPods and other portable electronic devices. Intelligent fabrics are also being used in high performance sportswear. d3o lab’s shock absorbing fabrics have been launched via alliances with a number of sportswear manufacturers for use in a range of applications — including protective skiwear with integrated protective fabric at key contact areas (knees and elbows), motorcycle gloves, football gloves and shin pads, and protective headgear. One challenge being faced by some of the more successful players is the rate at which they are able to raise additional capital in order to expand their production capacity and meet rapidly rising demand. However, demand for smart textiles has grown so rapidly that a number of manufacturers have secured additional funding from private investors in 2006 and 2007 to expand their production capacities and further develop their technologies. “Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles in the UK: Seven Companies at the Forefront of Innovation” was published by the global business information company Textiles Intelligence.

The report can be obtained from the AKTRIN Textile Information Center:

Web: Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles in the UK Article Source:

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Virtual texiles


Virtual reality takes first steps into haberdashery.

Virtual reality has just taken its first steps into haberdashery as European scientists have pioneered a new interface that allows people to touch, feel and stretch virtual fabrics. Still in its prototype stage, the researchers from Haptic sensing of virtual TEXtiles (HAPTEX) see this technology as having huge potential for the textile industry, online shopping and even gaming.

The interface consists of a specially designed glove, a sophisticated computer model and the visual representation to reproduce the sensation of cloth with a sufficient degree of realism. Within three years, HAPTEX, a small consortium of five research institutes, have created the pre-commercialisation prototype and its corresponding multi-modal software.

Inventing the prototype was not without its challenges. The interface required a vast amount of modelling and much precise measuring of the textiles being bent and stretched.

High resolution

Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, coordinator of the HAPTEX project, told ICT Results: “You also need very high resolution; the visual system will give a realistic impression of movement with just 20 frames a second, but touch is much more sensitive. You need a thousand samples a second to recreate touch.”

Furthermore, the project required two models: one to track the overall properties of the materials, and the other to have a fine-resolution that maps the actual sensation of the skin. Then the team combined this information with a visual representation of the fabric.

To overcome these challenges, HAPTEX developed a powered exoskeleton glove with a pair of pin arrays that provide tactile sensation to two fingers. The glove gives the sensation of bending and stretching the fabric, while the pin arrays convey texture. Then, to give the overall impression a visual reality, the team combined the integrated device with the visual and tactile database.

The next step for the HAPTEX project is to secure funding for a second project to take the device from prototype to full commercialisation. The device will be the first of its kind once released onto the market.

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Source: scenta

Date Published: January 31, 2008.

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This gown lets medicos get feel of surgery.

It Has Zips Showing Where Surgeons Make Cuts In The Body.

An unusual meeting of art and medicine has come up with a gown that will give medical students an understanding of what it is to under the scalpel.

A unique surgical gown,to be unveiled on Thursday in Boston,should significantly improve understanding of where operation incisions are made,and what they mean to the patient,say its developers at Durham and Ulster Universities in the United Kingdom.

It is hoped the gown,which would be worn by medical students in the classroom,will supplement the traditional plastic models of the human body that are currently in global use as teaching aids,reports Science Daily.It will also help in explaining procedures to patients,according to experts.

The gown has nine zips showing where surgeons make cuts in the body for various operations such as removal of the appendix and open heart surgery and its silk material is more like human tissue than plastic of the traditional models.

Medical students will wear the gown in the classroom whilst fellow students learn about surgical incisions using zips.It will lead to a greater understanding of what it means to be the patient,say the developers.

Researchers say it will contribute to an improvement in teaching aids currently available.They say that,although the traditional plastic models can be used to show areas of the body and where incisions will roughly be made,they are not able to give medical students a sense of the feeling if they were the patient or show them the type of texture they will find once they have made an incision.

Leading medical developer professor John McLachlan,associate dean in Durham University's School for Health,explains:"Current anatomical teaching aids describe but they don't evoke.They take no account of emotional involvement or the feel of the body.The way medical students distance themselves emotionally from the patient's body has long been seen as a desirable outcome of current models of medical training."But this 'desensitization's brings with it the risk of objectifying the body.The patient becomes liver in bed four' rather than Mrs.Smith.We think we can use art to bring meaning back into medical teaching and we want to help students understand the significance of the body as well as its structure."

The Garment,named 'Incisions',was funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of wider project to explore teaching,learning and thinking about the body through a series of art works and artefacts.'Incisions'has been selected for inclusion in two major exhibitions with the first one at the Museum of Science in Boston,USA opening on Thursday.

The research team aims to feed the use of the gown into medical schools around the UK and beyond.


Times of India.Feb1,2008,Bangalore.


Sajithkumar said...

I am in the process of assisting a leading textile and retail firm recruit students from various textile colleges and was browsing when I noticed your blog. The list of engineering textile in India is not accurate I think.

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Human said...

All said and done about downfall of Textile Industry in India,one very important point is missing.Most of the Textile Mills in India like managed by owners (Seths)who kept in mind only making money.A time came when Realty business in India started booming all these Seths were attracted there.They sold sick units premises to builder for enormous return.Indian Govt.instead controlling the situation started taking over the so called sick mills.
The other reason was the activity of strong Labour unions-with political clout-compelled Mills for exorbitant pays which gradually proved unaffordable.
Technicians and research institutions were up to date with developing technology but Mills could not afford to avail.Even to day some Mills like Arvind Mills have survived.Why?They have not been diverted their finance elsewhere and kept on investing for developing technology available mostly locally.They reduced labour content with modern machinery.The same thing other Mills could do but they had no will.I can say this my career of more than half a century.All this was told by the then Textile Association committe to both owners and Govt.but they had no will,not dearth of technology or knowledge.

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