Authors: Shivangi Agarwal, Dr. Shalini Juneja, Dr. Sumit Nathani
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The population explosion and the environmental pollution in recent years have forced researchers to find new health and hygiene related products for the well-being of mankind. In the past few decades, a wide range of medicinal and aromatic plants has been explored for their essential oils. Essential oils have great potential in the field of biomedicine as they effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. In this study, the essential oils uptake and oil retention property on the textile surface were observed. The essential oils were applied at 1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 9% concentration on cotton/lycra, cotton/polyester/lycra and viscose/nylon/lycra double jersey knitted fabrics. The findings revealed that viscose/nylon/lycra absorbed as well as retained the maximum amount of essential oils.
Micro-organisms ubiquitously cover the environment. This can cause problems in textiles when they are in raw form, while they are in chemical process or during wet treatments, even when they are in warehouse and during transportation (Strand et al., 2010). For the growth of the micro-organisms textiles are unfortunately an excellent medium, when moisture and nutrients are present in them. The large surface area of the textiles also allows micro-organisms to grow on it in a considerable amount. The bacteria, fungi and moulds grow in humid conditions and warm temperatures, which is the desired environment for their growth (Yip & Luk, 2016). The transfer of micro-organisms from the surface of contaminated textiles onto food products is possible (Hilgenberg et al., 2016), thus, the micro-organism growth on textile material imposes several undesirable effects on textile material and also on the wearer. Therefore, it is important to develop textile materials that avoid the growth of microbes and also give desired antimicrobial effect (Babu & Ravindra, 2015). The micro-organism's growth on the surface of the textile has resulted in the evolution of antimicrobial finishes (Banupriya & Maheshwari, 2013). Antimicrobial finish is a chemical treatment, which inhibits the growth of microbes. In textiles antimicrobial finishes provide two different functions; 1st, protect the wearer against pathogens or micro-organisms; 2nd, protect textile against damage caused by mould, mildew or micro-organisms. The cross-contamination of pathogenic micro-organisms also prevented and from contaminated clothing infectious diseases are suppressed from spreading through the antimicrobial finish (Yip & Luk, 2016).
Presently numerous antimicrobial agents used in the several goods of textile industries are used to impart antimicrobial properties. Commercially synthetic antimicrobial agents are also available, which may be environment affable. The specific defence mechanism and skin immune system are interfered by antimicrobial agents that are used to finish textiles goods. The antimicrobial finish used on the textile should be active towards undesirable microbes, durable to wash, non-toxic and safe. For the biofunctionalization of textiles, natural bioactive agents are important with antimicrobial properties because they enable non-toxic, safe production, skin and environment friendly bio-active textile goods. Most antimicrobial compounds are extracted from the plants, such as, tulsi, tea-tree, aleovera, eucalyptus, grape seed, neem etc. The bio-active compounds also include phenolics and polyphenols, terpenoids, essential oil, alkaloids, lactins, polypeptides and polyacetylenes (Babu & Ravindra, 2015).
Essential oils are natural oils, obtained from the distillation of plant materials such as buds, leaves, flowers, seeds, barks, twigs, herbs, fruits, roots and wood. The essential oils are known for their multiple benefits such as antiseptic, virucidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, antioxidant, insecticidal, antiparasitic, radical-scavenging properties, anti-inflammatory, emollient and healing effects (Hangratanaworakit et al., 2018).
The application of essential oils on textile materials allows a controlled release of the active substance and antimicrobial effect. Most preferred textile materials are made of cellulose fibres, the resulting products being used as bandages, wound dressing, absorbent items, hygiene products, etc.
Textile materials when treated with essential oils get valuable specialities such as the feeling of well-being, therapeutic effects and freshness in the wearer. The essential oil treated textiles are used in home textiles, cosmetic products, household cleaning, medical and alternative healing textiles and body care textiles. Essential oils from the textile material are absorbed by the skin through control release mechanism (Cerempei, 2017).
The research work had been carried out with an objective to evaluate oil uptake and oil retention in knitted fabrics.
In the present study, three variations of double jersey knitted blended fabrics of different fiber compositions were treated with four essential oils viz., camphor oil, peppermint oil, pine needle oil and wintergreen oil. Three fabrics were blends of cotton/polyester/lycra, viscose/nylon/lycra and cotton/lycra. The blend ratio of cotton/polyester/lycra, viscose/nylon/lycra and cotton/lycra were 60:35:5, 63:32:5 and 95:5 respectively.
Table 1: Codes given to the fabrics used in the study
Name of the Fabrics
A. Pre-treatment of the Knitted Fabrics
The scouring process was performed for the pre-treatment of the knitted fabrics. Scouring is the process of removing natural as well as added impurities of essentially hydrophobic character from the textile material. The scouring bath was prepared with 2 g/l commercial detergent and 2 g/l soda ash in 1:40 material liquor ratio for 1 hour at 80°C temperature. Then, the fabric was removed and washed with cold water and dried (Shenai, 1999).
W=weight (gm)28×36×3620 (sq inch)
B. Application of Essential oils on the Knitted Fabrics
The four essential oils viz. camphor, peppermint, pine needle and wintergreen respectively are applied on the knitted blended fabrics through the pad-dry-cure method. This method was comprised of three components: padding, drying and curing. Firstly, the fabrics were immersed in the prepared oil solution of different concentrations i.e. 1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 9% along with the emulsifier (PEG400) at 10% concentration and then passed between the rollers of padding mangle at uniform pressure of 2kg/cm2 along with the uniform speed of padding mange i.e. 30 rpm. So that the excessive oil solution was squeezed out from the fabrics. Finally, the fabrics were oven dried at 60ºC for 1 hour 30 minutes and then cured at 140ºC for 3 minutes.
C. Determination of oil Retention of oil Sorbent Knitted Fabrics
The fabric sample (5× 5cm2) was placed in 150 ml oil for 15 minutes. The sorbent was removed and hung vertically and the oil absorbed by the sample begins to drip. The weight of the sample was measured after 15, 30, 60, 120, 300 and 1800 seconds of drainage. The difference between the weight of the wet sample after drainage and the initial weight of the sample was determined as the amount of oil retention (Ramya et al., 2018)
Oil retention = Weight of the wet sample after drainage – Initial weight of the sample
D. Determination of Uptake of oil in the Treated Knitted Fabrics
The initial fabric weight (fabric weight before the application of oil) and the final fabric weight (fabric weight after the oil application) were determined to estimate the uptake of oil. The per cent of uptake of oil was calculated with the following formula (Ramya et al., 2018):
The result given in Table 10 and Figure 8 shows that the maximum wintergreen oil uptake percentage is in VNL fabric as compared to CL and CPL at every concentration.
It is observed from the above results that VNL fabric retained the maximum amount of all four oils (camphor, peppermint, pine needle and wintergreen) in comparison to the other two fabrics viz., CL and CPL. Similarly, the above results also concluded that the VNL fabric has maximum oil uptake percentage for each oil at every concentration in comparison to the other two fabrics viz., CL and CPL. CPL retains less oil in comparison to VNL and CL may be because of polyester fiber in it which is highly crystalline fiber as well as hydrophobic in nature. In VNL and CL, the reason may be the polymer system of viscose and cotton, the viscose polymer system is rather similar to that of cotton. However, there are some differences. The viscose polymer system is about 35-40% crystalline and about 65-60% amorphous, on the other hand, the cotton polymer system is about 65-70% crystalline and about 30-35% amorphous. In the cotton polymer system, countless polar –OH group makes it absorbent. However, viscose along with polar groups has an amorphous polymer system which makes it the most absorbent fiber in common.
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