Antibacterial Finishes on Textile Materials

Antibacterial Finishes on Textile Materials

Sikander Anwer
Department in Textile Engineering
University of Management & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan


An antibacterial surface contains an antibacterial agent that opposes the ability of micro-organisms to grow on textile materials.

A. Anti-bacterial Agent:
Product is design to resists the growth or to kill the bacteria.

B. Anti-Bacterial Finish:
Treatment designs to prevent the growth of bacteria to reduce the number of bacteria or to kill bacteria.

C. Anti-Bacterial activity:
Activity of an antibacterial finishes used to resist the growth or to reduce the number of bacteria.

As the growing public health consciousness of the parasites effects the antibacterial finishes / materials incorporates a nice use in several departments. Furthermore, the Textiles, i.e. attire home textiles like towels and alternative daily touchy things that are employed in standard of living.

Now days it has also a good customer of sportswear and working clothes as well as mattresses, floor coverings, and shoes linings.

The customers are now well aware of being hygienic life styles and big necessity to have antibacterial and antimicrobial finishes / textiles to have healthy life.

There are many textile products are now available in market with different trade names with anti-bacterial properties.

Mostly the scientists now research on Natural occurring anti-microbial and Natural anti-bacterial finishes i.e.

Tulsi Leaves, Neem, Pomegranate fruits, Bamboo.

Chemical Formula:

Chemical formula of antibacteria
Fig: Chemical formula of antibacteria

Finishing Agents:

a) Quaternary Ammonium:
Quaternary Ammonium directly target to the microbial surface and the bacterial layers. For attaining a good response or excellent efficiency quaternary ammonium is used in a polymeric as monomeric link.

Quaternary Ammonium contains both:

  • Perfluoroalkyl Group
  • Diallyl Group

These both salts are suitable finishing agents and resists the micro-organisms and bacteria from the surface of the fabric. Furthermore it also prevents soil, oil, blood and water to penetrate in the fabric. These salts cannot only increase the anti-bacterial properties also enhance the properties of applications.

b) Triclosan:
Triclosan is an antiseptic and disinfectant agent. Triclosan is a derivate of phenol. It also used in toothpaste and cosmetics. It has a good resistance against positive gram bacteria, negative gram bacteria and mites.

In this agent benzyl Benzoate compound has an important role, which is used in spray or powder. It has a great effect on mites, molds and bacteria. It is non-toxic compound, its anti-bacterial properties due to the presence of benzyl benzoate. It has a large number of consumers and widespread products like toothpaste, deodorants, soap, polymers, and fibers.

c) Metallic Salts:
For cotton fabrics number of chemicals are used, these chemicals are toxic for bacteria, molds etc. They can form bond with fabric or move in freely state on the surface of the fabric. They also harm the bacteria by binding with intracellular proteins. As we know the phenomena of polyester extrusion method, before the nano-fiber formation.

The natural fibers always treated with metals in finishing stage and a lot of techniques are now discovered for enhancing the uptake and durability of fabric.

Cotton first treated with succinic acid, anhydride which reacts as ligand more metallic ions to improve the adsorption property of metallic salts (Ag+2, Cu+2), and also provides protection to the fabric material against bacterial and microbial activity.

Mechanism of Antibacterial Finishes:
Many chemical finishes area unit accustomed manufacture antibacterial and anti-microbial finishes. They’re accustomed provide the properties to alternative textile materials. The product area unit divided into 2 major type:

  1. One kind consists of chemicals which will be thought-about as “Controlled Discharged Mechanism”. The anti-microbial is bit by bit discharged on the material surface or within the core of the material. The ‘leaching’ kind could be a style of anti-microbial and is incredibly effective against microbes on the fiber surface or in atmosphere. Once the reservoir is depleted than the end can now not work. And if the microbes are introduced on the atmosphere than which will interfere the atmosphere pollution or with alternative fascinating microbes like wastes.
  2. Second type of anti-bacterial finish consists of molecules that are chemically bond to fibers surfaces. These antimicrobial finishes can only control those microbes that are present or exists on the fabric surface, not in the surroundings. These are also called “Bound Anti-Microbial” because of their attachment to the fiber can potentially be grinded away, or became deactivated and loose long-term durability.

These anti-microbial finishes can also control the growth and spread of microbes move properly called Biostats i.e. Bacteriostats or Fungistats.

Products that actually kill the microbes are biocides i.e. bactericides, fungicides. Some are as follows:

1) Tributyltinoxide:

(CH3CH2CH2CH2)3Sn -O- Sn (CH2CH2CH2CH3)3

2) Dichlorophene:

3) 3-Iodoprpynylbutyl Carbamate:

Essential Component of Anti-Bacterial Finish:

Chitosan is a derivative of chitin, which is normally polysaccharide mainly resulting from the shells and shrimps.

Chemically it can be designated as poly-β-(1→ 4) D-Glucosamine.

In addition to its antimicrobial activity, chitosan has some important advantages such as:

  • Non toxicity
  • Bio-Compatibility
  • Bio-Degradable

To provide anti microbic impact for textiles chitosan are often used as finishing agent for surface modifications, principally of polyose, cellulose/polyester and wool fibers.

Working of Chitosan:
Chitosan is a positively charged and soluble in acidic to neutral solutions because the amino groups in chitosan have a pKa of ~6.5.

Its anti-microbial function arises from its polycations nature, which is caused by protonation of the amino groups at the C-2 atom of the glucosamine units. Positive charged amino groups can bind to the negatively charged bacterial surface, resulting in disruption of the cell membrane and an increase in its permeability. Chitosan is also used to prevent protein synthesis.

Applications of Antibacterial Finish:

  • Antibacterial finishes are employed in medical devices like medical tools, instruments, devices, machines.
  • It is also used in health care sector, and devices.
  • These finishes have important role in water purification system.
  • In dental hospitals these finishes are profusely used for killing the germs and microorganism.
  • These finishes are utilized in hospitals in an exceedingly textile section like: bed sheets, lab coats, gloves, and shoes.
  • These finishes have a very important role in meditech.
  • These finishes are also used in food packaging systems.

Manufacturing Companies:

  • Dmoz
  • Bio Guard
  • Par-Filters
  • BarsanaHychem Industries
  • JK- Texbond
  • Gray ‘C Implex
  • Corner Stone

Trade Names:

A. AEGIS (Eco Fresh):
These finishes area unit combine with water and so apply to any textile material; they will defend the fiber from bacterium, microbes and different fungi’s. They are Eco friendly and simply bio-degradable.

B. AEGIS (Microbe Shields):
These finishes can resist the growth of dirt and odors due to molds, bacteria and mildew.

C. Agion:
Agion finishes are antibacterial finishes, the technology provides built in protection by continuously resisting the growth of microbes.

Finish is anti-bacterial and silver ion-exchange answer for poly ester materials.

E. Earthwhile:
Earthwhile finish is an eco-smart fabric natural organic and recycle.

As the population increases the hygienic problems and harmful diseases also come into being. It can affect the environment as well as the internal conditions of the human beings. To reduce these harmful and toxic diseases we have to take precautionary measures and protect the things from different parasites, bacteria, fungi and molds which we use in daily life.

The Antimacterial and Antimicrobial finish has overcome the fact of increasing the bacteria and parasites, by applying it at any of the thing which we used in our daily lives. The finish removes or kills the bacteria and parasites present on the surface of the material or fabric and protect us from different diseases that other faces commonly. Its major role is to resist the bacteria and protect the material from them, the finishing agents has played an important role in it like Chitosan, Triclosan, and Benzyl Benzoate. So, if we can take some of these precautionary measures we cannot harm with the viruses and bacterial infections that are commonly transmits from one to another.


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  5. Snodgrass, P. J.; Vallee, B. L.; Hoch, F. L. (1960). “Effects of silver and mercurial’s on yeast alcohol dehydrogenates”. J. Biol. Chem. 235: 504–508

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