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Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

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A sample work on green manufacturing in textile industry

Emel Alay a,n, Kerim Duran b, Aysegul Korlu b

Ege University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Inonu Cad. No:656 D.10 F. Altay-Ukuyular, Bornova, Turkey
Ege University, Faculty of Textile Engineering, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 28 October 2015
Received in revised form
17 March 2016
Accepted 19 March 2016

It has been seen that the approaches related to green-manufacturing have signicant role in textile
industries upon improvement of awareness on environmentally friendly point of view.
Environmental impacts of the material should be taken into consideration for improving new textile
structures. Materials should be composed of environmentally friendly raw material and the harmful
emissions of whole production processes should be limited, while the material should be easily disposable with no detrimental effects on the environment after use.
The aim of this study is to develop textile structures which have sustainable, environmentally friendly
and functional characteristics. Antibacterial knitted fabrics have been improved in this study. Raw materials were selected among environmentally friendly new generation bers. PLA (Polylactic acid), lyocell
and chitosan bers were mixed, the single jersey knitted fabric composed of 80% PLA 15% Lyocell 5%
Chitosan having thickness of 30/1 were produced. Production processes which minimize harmful
emissions to the environment were used. Antibacterial efciency of the designed fabric was tested according to AATCC100. In addition, biodegradation of the improved knitted fabric was tested in soil burial
test under standardized laboratory conditions for a dened test period of 4, 12 and 24 weeks. After soil
burial test, the ecotoxicological assessment of soil was performed with plants growth test.
& 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Green manufacturing
Textile bers
Soil burial test
Antibacterial activity

1. Introduction
Textile industry is one of the most complicated industries
among the manufacturing industries which gathers the agricultural, chemical ber, textile, apparel, retail, service and waste
management sectors (Beton et al., 2006).
Sustainable development involves economic development, social development and environmental protection (UN General Assembly, 2005). The unfavorable impact of chemicals is one of the
environmental concerns regarding sustainable development in
addition to greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of water and resources, and acidication etc. (Ross, 2015).
Awareness on the health and environmental impact caused by the
use of hazardous chemicals in the textile industry is increasing. In order
to assess and reduce the exposure of people and nature to detrimental
chemicals, practical tools are needed (Beton et al., 2006; Dahllf, 2003;
World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2012).
Abbreviations: PLA, Polylactic acid; LCA, Life cycle assessment; LCI, life cycle inventory; LCIA, life cycle impact assessment; PES, Polyester; S. aureus, Staphylococcus
aureus; S. epidermidis, Staphylococcus epidermidis; MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; E. coli, Escherichia coli; P. aeruginosa, Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
K. pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae; C. albicans, Candida albicans
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (E. Alay).
2352-5541/& 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool that evaluates the environmental effects associated with the full life cycle of products
or production systems (Beton et al., 2006; Dahllf, 2003).
The life cycle impacts of the textile garments are analyzed in
four phases. These are production and processing, distribution, use
and end-of-life.
The production and processing phase is the most efcient
phase regarding the use of natural bers due to the fact that land
and fertilizers are required during cultivation period which impacts eutrophication, agricultural land occupation and natural land
transformation. Water or energy consumption and characteristics
of raw materials have signicant importance in production and
processing phases alongside wastewater generation and its contamination (Beton et al., 2006; Cleaner Production Institute, 2009).
Impacts of energy and water consumption which induce fossil
fuel depletion, climate change, ozone depletion, photochemical
oxidant formation and etc. are at the high level along with the
value chain of textile products. The use phase includes washing,
tumble drying and ironing. The detergent and the energy used
during the washing process have provided signicant contribution
particularly to the toxicity indicators related to human beings and
water ecosystems. Therefore, potential consequences of the effect
on freshwater and marine toxicity occur on ecosystem diversity.
On the other hand, the use phase is more important than
the production and processing phase because of high water


E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

consumption for washing. Factors such as washing frequency,

washing temperature and drying methods inuence the environmental impacts related to this phase. Additionally, drying and ironing are also important when process frequency, time and temperature are considered. These parameters can differ for each
product depending on ber characteristics as well as usage area
and consumer behavior. For instance, products made of synthetic
bers are likely to be washed, dried and ironed at lower temperatures (Beton et al., 2006).
The end-of-life phase includes disposal treatments such as incineration, landlling and recycling processes. The environmental
impacts of this phase are small compared to the other phases.
Additionally, recycling and energy recovery schemes can lead to
negative contributions. The barriers in front of recycling are mostly
technological because of prints on clothes, composite materials,
waterproof applications etc. (Beton et al., 2006).
Efforts to reduce the overall impact of the textile garments
should concentrate on all phases. When LCA is used as a tool for
deciding on the best solution to create sustainable and ecofriendly products, the following parameters must be taken into
consideration; reducing agrochemical use, consumption of sizing
chemicals, developing easy-to-grow crop cultivations by replacing
cotton with hemp or ax in production and processing phase,
reducing washing temperature and tumble drying in use phase
and promotion of biodegradability in end-of-life phase which are
some of the determined options as stated in JRC's (European
Commission's Joint Research Centre) scientic and technical report
named Environmental Improvement Potential of Textiles. The
textile market is dominated by cotton, followed by polyester bers.
1.1. Cotton
Cotton is one of the main raw materials among all ber types
owing to large share in the textile market. Production of cotton
requires fertilizer and pesticide use as well as use of cultivating
machinery, cotton seed growing and irrigation processes and
tractor use which all cause emissions. Nitrogen, phosphorus and
potassium in fertilizers have been an impact on eutrophication.
Also, using insecticides provides signicant contribution on ecotoxicity. The impact of cotton fabric production is higher than
other ber types due to high amount of fertilizers and agrochemicals used during agricultural production (Beton et al., 2006;
Pesnel and Perwuelz, 2011). Furthermore, cultivation of cotton
requires large amounts of water, almost 99% of all water used. It is
average 5690 m3 per tone ber, whereas polyester and rejenerated
cellulosic bers such as lyocell are not needed (Shen and Patel,
Pre-treatment is associated with cotton fabric scouring to remove substances which are found on the ber during its growth.
This process requires energy as an input and contributes to the
overall impact. Finishing processes are also signicant in all ber
types. High amounts electricity are responsible for impact on human toxicity due to emission of arsenic into the air stem arising
from the production of copper wires which are used for distribution of electricity (Beton and et al., 2006).
1.2. Polyester
Polyester is one of the widely used bers in the textiles industry. The most signicant contribution of polyester ber is that
it requires huge amounts of energy for its production. Therefore,
polyester is an important agent to energy-related indicators such
as climate change and ionizing radiation. While cotton is responsible for around 20 kg, the full life cycle of 1 kg of polyester
fabric is responsible for release of more than 30 kg CO2 equivalents
to the atmosphere. Synthetic bers have higher impacts because

they intensively cause depletion of fossil resource than bers

produced by renewable resources (Beton et al., 2006). Global
warming potential (GWP) 100 years of polyester bers is 4.1 t CO2
equivalent/t ber, while GWP of cotton bers is 2 t CO2 equivalent/
t ber and 0.05 t CO2 equivalent/t ber for lyocell bers in the
cradle to-factory gate (Shen and Patel, 2010).
The design of the product is the most signicant stage in terms
of this environmental approach. For example, it is possible to
produce an item made of renewable, environmental friendly raw
material and use a more eco-friendly production process. The use
phase parameters can be regulated to more environmentally
friendly implementations without compromising on cleaning and
drying quality. Biodegradability of the materials is also another
important function with regard to harmful impact on environment
and people's health (Beton et al., 2006; Roos, 2015, Cleaner Production Institute, 2009; World Business Council for Sustainable
Development, 2012; Arshad and Mujahid, 2011).
The correlation between green design and lifecycle environmental impacts shows a signicant difference between biopolymers and petroleum base polymers. Biodegradable polymers is top
of the green design classication because of their low energy demand, use of renewable materials, and biodegradability (Tabone
et al., 2010).
New generation eco friendly bers such as polylactic acid,
lyocell and chitosan bers has been signicant role in textile industry recent years.
1.3. Polylactic Acid Fibers (PLA)
PLA (IngeoTM) is new generation eco-friendly ber. It is generated by converting corn starch into lactic acid and then polymerizing. It is spun by melt-spinning process. Compared to the
solvent-spinning process applied for synthetic bers, melt spinning process allows them to have lower environmental cost and
the production type of bers are gained a wider range of characteristics. It is both renewable and non-polluting (Dugan, 2001;
Farrington et al., 2005).
Global Warming Potential (GWP) is one of the most important
indicator used in LCA. The total net cradle-to-factory gate GWP of
PLA (IngeoTM) is 0.62 kg CO2 eq/kg. The contributions of various
process steps in PLA production chain are 0.25 kg CO2 eq/kg in
corn production, 0.29 kg CO2 eq/kg dextrose production, 1.16 kg
CO2 eq/kg in lactic acid production, 0.54 kg CO2 eq/kg in lactic
production, 0.20 kg CO2 eq/kg in polymer production. On the other
hand, the net CO2 uptake from the atmosphere of PLA because of
renewable resources is 1.83 kg CO2/kg. In other words, the fundamental value for PLA is the CO2 removal from the environment.
Fibers made from fossil resources like polyester cannot provide
any CO2 removal. In addition, while primary energy of polyester is
70 MJ (HHV)/kg polymer, it is 40 MJ (HHV)/kg polymer for PLA
(Vink and Davies, 2015).
One of the benets of renewable polymers compared with
petroleum base polymers is a drop in the emission of fossil fuel
derived CO2. The volume of PLA production in 2020 estimates
3.6 billion kg/year. If PLA polymers displace an equal amount of
polyester polymers, 192 trillion Btus of fossil-derived fuel will be
saved per year. This scenario will cause 10 million tons reduction
in the emission of CO2 (Gross and Kalra, 2002).
1.4. Lyocell bers
Lyocell ber is a cellulosic ber derived from wood pulp made
by a solvent spinning process. The wood pulp is dissolved in a
solution of amine oxide (usually N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide).
The solution is spun into bers and passed through a washing
process. More than 99.5% of the solvent was recovered in the

E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

manufacturing process. The solvent is non-toxic and all residuals

are non-hazardous (White et al., 2005). A comparison of cumulative energy demand (CED) of the cradle-to-factory gate, cotton
bers are lower than lyocell and polyester bers. CED is 55 GJ/t for
cotton, 65 GJ/t for lyocell and 96 GJ/t for polyester bers (1tonne
staple bers) (Shen and Patel, 2010).
1.5. Chitosan bers
Chitosan is a well-known natural polymer that is biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic. It is obtained through deacetylation of chitin which is found in the shell of crab and shellsh. It
has antibacterial effect (Whang et al., 2005). The goal and scope of
this study is to develop textile structure which is sustainable,
environmentally friendly and has functional characteristics.
PLA (Polylactic acid) bers were used for reducing consumption
of the fossil resourced bers like PES (Polyester) bers. Thus, impacts were reduced due to high energy consumption which takes
place during acquiring of polyester ber within using PLA bers.
Lyocell bers were preferred instead of cotton bers for decreasing
high impacts of the cotton ber production and usage stage. To
gain antimicrobial efciency, chitosan bers which is renewable
were used.

2. Materials and methods

The study focused on improving sustainable, environmental
friendly new fabric. Taking into consideration LCA methodology, it
has aimed for decreasing detrimental impact of the raw material,
production processes, usage and end of life phases compared to
textile structures such as fabrics which consist of 100% cotton or
100% Polyester.
2.1. Materials
Raw materials were selected among environmentally friendly
new generation bers.

 Polylactic acid staple bers (IngeoTM) (1.4dtex, 38.1 mm) (Fiber

Innovation Technology/USA)

 Lyocell staple bers (1.3dtex, 38 mm) (Tencel ) (Lenzing AG/



 Chitosan staple bers (1.67dtex, 38 mm)(Crabyon ) (Swicol


2.2. Methods
Environmentally friendly new generation bers like PLA
(Polylactic acid), lyocell and chitosan bers were blended and
single jersey knitted fabric composed of 80% PLA 15% Lyocell 5%
Chitosan, having thickness 30/1 was produced. The fabric created
has antibacterial efciency because of chitosan bers characteristic. The bers were blended and spun with a yarn which consists
of 80% Polylactic acid ber 15% Lyocell 5% Chitosan. After, single
jersey knitted fabric weighing 121 g/m2 and having thickness of
30/1 was produced.
Firstly, the bers were mixed in blowing machines (Marzoli
and Trtzschler-C-058-01) and ber orientation was ensured in
carding machine (Trtzschler-DK 903) and drawing machine
(Trtzschler-HS 1000-Trtzschler HSR 1000). Following that,
bands were bent and slivers were obtained on yer frame (Zinser,
668), while yarns having thickness of 30/1 were produced using
spinning machine (Zinser, 351). Finally, the yarns were winded on
bobbin machine (Schlafhorst 338) and xation treatment was
applied on them.The yarn production parameters presented


Table 1
The yarn production parameters.
Yarn production parameters
Carding machine (Ne)
Drawing machine (I. Passage)
Drawing machine (II. Passage)
Flyer frame
Twist coefcient (m)
Spinning machine
Twist coefcient (m)

0.100 Ne
0.115 Ne
0.120 Ne
0.80 Ne

at Table 1. The yarns were knitted on circular knitting machine

(Mayer). Single jersey circular knitting machines of 30 in. diameter
having 22 gauge have used for knitting single jersey fabric. Stitch
length used for this experiment was 3.05 mm.
Determination of hydrophilic degree of improved fabric was
performed by test standard DIN 53924. DIN 53814 was applied for
measuring method of water retention power of sample.
Antimicrobial activities of the improved fabric were tested according to AATCC100 and AATCC30. Test bacterias Staphylococcus
aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Klebsiella pneumoniae and C. albicans were used for evaluation of
antimicrobial efciency of improved fabric in this study. Incubation was applied at 37 72 C (99 73 F) for 1824 h. The number
of bacteria present was determined and the percentage reduction
was calculated. In addition, the biodegradation behavior of the
improved knitted fabric was analyzed with soil burial test under
standardized laboratory conditions for a dened test period of 4,
12 and 24 weeks by visual and mass loss evaluation without additional microorganisms (DIN EN ISO 11721-1).
The soil burial test includes the investigation of a mold resistance as well as the biological composting characteristics of
textiles. After the test period, the buried test samples were taken
from the soil containers, cleaned, dried and acclimatized at 20 C
and 65% r.H. and the rate of degradation was determined (Prospectuses of Hohestein Laboratories).
Ecotoxicological assessment of the soil sample after the soil burial
test was determined with plants growth test according to OECD
208:2006. The chronic toxicity of the test soil after contact with the
test sample was determined for garden cress (Lepidium sativum) to
assess the soil quality. The seeds were geminated in both control and
burial soil for 7 days.The test was applied on the samples of burial
time 12 weeks and 24 weeks.The biomass and the shoot weight were
measured in control soil and compared to burial soil.

3. Results and discussions

Technical parameters of improved fabric are shown in Table 2.
Hydropilicity and water retention capacity of improved fabric was
Table 2
Technical parameters of improved fabric.

%85 PLA %15

Lyocell %5


Weight (g/m2) Hydropilicity

(cm/90 sn)

Water retention capacity







E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

PLA has very good wicking ability as informed by Farington

et al. (2005). It derives from D-lactide materials (415%) are more
amorphous in polylactic acid polymer structure. On the other
hand, Lyocell bers have brous structure.They have got tiny
channels between brils which arrange moisture absorption. Thus,
moisture is completely and naturally absorbed (
Water sorption properties of bers depend on the crystalline,
amorphous region and void fraction. Especially, structure of void
fraction and orientation of amorphous area of bers contribute to
process of water sorption. Lyocell and chitosan ber have less ordered amorphous regions and void structure which are responsible for sorption properties (Kreze et al., 2001; Kreze and
Malej, 2003; Siroki et al., 2012; Ozturk et al., 2010)
While polyester bers are inherently hydrophobic, improved
fabric has shown hydropihilic characteristic. Water retention capacity of 100% rejenerated cellulosic bers is 105%, it is approximately four times more on improved fabric in this study (Chatterjee and Gupta, 2002). Hydrophobic or hydropihilic characteristics of bers affect on biodegradability.
Taking hydrophilicity, water retention power values into account, designed fabric does not require pre-treatment procedure
before dying. This is important in terms of cost and energy-water
consumption in textile production.
3.1. Antimicrobial efciency
Microorganisms are in human body, in air, on soil and everywhere. When suitable conditions are provided, they reproduce
rapidly. Microorganisms lead to deterioration of product, generating stains, undesirable odors and allergic reactions which can
result in infections in human body (Supuren et al., 2006).
Antimicrobial efciency is important since microorganisms
lead to undesirable effects on textiles. Especially when body
temperature rises, they have proper environment for multiplication and cause malodor afterwards. Furthermore, they induce
discoloration of the textiles in some cases besides allergic
Bacterial reduction according to AATCC 100 is shown in Table 3.
Antifungal activity of the improved fabric is 31.11% against C. albicans according to AATCC 30 (Table 3).The improved fabric has
excellent (more than 97%) antibacterial efciency against common
pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), while it has low
efciency against the others like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae according to AATCC 100.
Antifungal activity against Candida albicans of the improved fabric
is low.
The antimicrobial effect of chitosan depends on concentration
and molecular weight. The effects of chitosan were different for
varied kinds of bacteria. It is estimated to mechanisms for antimicrobial activity, either chitosan on surface of cell can form a
polymer membrane, which prevents nutrients from entering the
cell or chitosan of lower molecular weight entered cell through
diffusion. It inuences physiological function of bacteria and metabolism in the microorganisms. Mechanisms of antimicrobial
activity of chitosan were different between gram-positive and
negative bacteria and also differ from that of other polysaccharides
because of positive charges on surface of chitosan. Chitosan has
been showed high effect for Gram-negative bacteria than Gram-

positive bacteria because of surface characteristic of cell wall like

hydrophilicity of cell wall for bacteria and inhibition degree of
chitosan (Zheng and Zhu, 2003; Chung et al., 2004; Rabea et al.,
Therefore, for instance, while improved fabric shows excellent
antibacterial activity on S. aureus (Gram negative), it shows low
efciency on E. coli (Gram positive).
3.2. Biodegradation
Biodegradability is inuenced by crystallinity, degree of orientation and polymerization, hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of
textile materials, condition of buried soils and species of microorganisms in buried soil. Biodegradability of polymers are greater
in polymers of lower molecular weight and crystallinity or orientation and higher hydrophilicity. (Park et al., 2004)
3.2.1. Visual evaluation
In order to estimate the degradation behavior of the test
sample, a visual evaluation was made and images of the buried
sample are taken in Figs. 1 and 2.
The optical comparison showed an advanced degradation of
the cotton control material compared to the improved fabric under
given conditions (Fig. 1a and b).
The evaluation of soil burial test samples after 4 weeks shows a
degradation of the control fabric and discoloration of the test
sample. After 12 and 24 weeks respectively, a stronger degradation
of the test sample and a signicant breakage of control material
were observed by stereomicroscopy (Figs. 1 and 2).
After 12 weeks, the knitted fabric sample was considerably
thinner and lighter than before. This indicates degradation of
cellulosic ber share, but a less degradation of Polylactic acid ber.
Loss of the original characteristic of the test sample under soil
burial conditions was evident (Figs. 1 and 2).
There were no distinguished changes in polyester fabrics, when
100% polyester fabric was tested by ASTM D 5988-03 and composting methods for 90 days even if some additional microorganisms and cellulase enzyme applied on it as mentioned study
of Li et al. (2010). The surface appearances of improved and control
fabric after biodegradation (90 days and 120 days) showed higher
degree. Cotton bers have three hydroxyl groups (OH) and also
are known to have relatively high crystallinity and orientation. On
the other hand, regenerated cellulose bers such as lyocell have
lower crystallinity and a more amorphous region. Due to hydrogen
bonds, methyl, methylene of cotton bers, microorganisms enter
the cellulose chain easily and cause degradation. On the other
hand, degradation rate of PLA are controlled by the copolymerization of selected amorphous L-D-isomer ratios of lactide. PLA
degrades primarily by hydrolysis, not microbial attack (Gross and
Kalra, 2002; Park et al., 2004).
3.2.2. Mass loss evaluation
The investigation of tested samples shows an obvious decomposition of the material. The percentage of mass loss under the
inuence of microorganisms increased to 11% after 4 weeks, to
21.1% after 12 weeks, and to 49.2% after 24 weeks (Table 4).
The fabric made of 100% cotton was already degraded by 99.4%
after 24 weeks while the improved fabric was degraded by 49.2%.
A linear correlation between the incubation time and percent of

Table 3
The results of antibacterial and antifungal activity applied on improved fabric.

% reduction

S. aureus

S. epidermidis


E. coli

P. aeruginosa

K. pneumoniae

C. albicans








E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946


a) Degradation behavior of control fabric

b) Degradation behavior of improved fabric

Fig. 1. The visual evaluation of degradation behavior of improved fabric compare to the control fabric (100% cotton). (a) Degradation behavior of control fabric. (b) Degradation behavior of improved fabric.

degradation shows a coefcient of determination of 98.6% loss of

these fabric samples were compared.
Fig. 3 shows the trend of degradation simplied as the gradient

of the straight line (b 0.99) and a value for the coefcient of

determination (R2) of 98%.
Polyester fabrics showed 20% degradation rate under composting


E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

%100 Cotton Control Fabric-Initial state

Improved fabric,Initial state, right side side

Improved fabric, Initial state, left side

Improved fabric,Initial state, right side

Improved fabric,Initial state, left side

%100 Cotton control fabric-After 4 weeks

Improved fabric, After 4 weeks, right side

Improved fabric,After 4weeks, left side

Improved fabric, After 12 weeks, right side

Improved fabric, After 24 weeks,left side

Fig. 2. The visual evaluation of degradation behavior of the improved fabric and the control fabric.

E. Alay et al. / Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy 3 (2016) 3946

Table 4
Comparison of mass loss of improved fabric and control sample after incubation
Soil burial time

4 weeks
12 weeks
24 weeks

Weight loss (%)

Control sample

Improved fabric



Fig. 3. Time dependent behavior of degradation.

Table 5
Cress test (7 days) with control soil and soil after contact with test sample.

Cress test after a burial time of 12 weeks

No. geminated seeds

Control soil 38
Burial soil

Rate (%) Growth

rate to
control (%)


dry weight

weight rate



Cress test after a burial time of 24 weeks

Number of
Control soil 29
Burial soil

Rate (%) Growth

rate to
control (%)


dry weight

weight rate



condition which included multiple organisms and enzymes after 90

days (Li et al., 2010). Improved fabric was more degraded in this
study in spite of no additional microorganism in burial soil.
3.3. Cress test
It was planted 40 seeds in both burial soil and control soil. After
7 days, the ratio between the number and biomass of geminated
seeds in burial soil and the number and biomass of geminated
seeds in control soil was determined for soil of burial time of 12
weeks and 24 weeks.
After the germination phase, a growth rate of 81.6% for cress
was observed after 12 weeks and 93.1% after 24 weeks compared
to the control soil. The biomass weight rate was 74.5% after 12
weeks and 98.7% after 24 weeks (Table 5).
4. Conclusions
The goal and scope of this study are collected under 3 main
themes. First, the materials should be composed of raw material


which is environmentally friendly. Second, the harmful emissions

of whole production processes should be limited. Third, the material can be easily disposed of with no detrimental effects on the
environment after their use.
It has been estimated that the cloths which are designed of
improved fabric need less washing cycle at the usage phase of the
life cycle. Compared to the cloths made of cotton fabrics, the improved fabric can be washed and ironed at lower temperature
because of the characteristics of the materials. In addition to
preventing spread of the microorganism, antibacterial activity is
gained without using heavy metal antibacterial agents such as
silver, zinc, copper, cobalt and etc.
As expected, degradation behavior of the improved fabric was
slower than the degradation of cotton control material. When we
compare the improved fabric to 100% polyester buried in soil for
four weeks, polyester bers show no change in structure of bers
because of the very uniform structure according to Arshad and
Mujahid (2011). This indicates that the degradation rate of the
improved fabric in soil for four weeks is more compared to 100%
polyester fabrics. The results of hydropihilic characteristic and
water retention capacity of improved fabric show connection between biodegradation behavior and sorption characteristics of bers. In addition, designed fabric does not require pre-treatment
procedure before dying contrast with cotton fabrics. This causes a
decline in energy-water consumption in textile production.
The analyzed soil burial of the test sample had minimal effect
on the germination and formation of biomass in the toxicity test
with garden cress. Improved fabric will not release any adverse
effect into soil after biodegradation. Therefore, it can be called
green material.
As a result of this study, a sustainable, environmentally friendly
and antibacterial textile structure has been developed. It can be
used as a potential replacement of synthetic fabrics or cotton

The authors would like to thank to Republic of Turkey, Ministry
of Science, Industry and Technology and Sun Textile R & D Center
for their support (Stz 1099/2011-2).

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