Application and Importance of Biotechnology in Textile Processing

Last Updated on 16/10/2021

What is Biotextiles?
Application of living organism to the industries are called biotextiles. Biotechnology is one area which can help in making textile processing less harmful to environment. This is an emerging area where the use of enzymes in textiles is increasing popularly due to its harmless and eco-friendly processing applications–especially pre-treatment. Biotechnology in textile processing examines recent trends, techniques, and developments in the finishing and processing of natural fibers. Biotextiles are structures composed of textile fibers designed for use in specific biological environments where their performance depends on biocompatibility and biostability with cells and biological fluids. Biotextile is the latest and updated technology for textile industry where the enzymes are used in different process in order to achieve different goals. Living organism is used to carry out the enzymatic process. Biotextiles include implantible devices such as surgical sutures, hernia repair fabrics, arterial grafts, artificial skin and parts of artificial hearts.


Application of Biotextiles in Textile Processing:
The use of biotechnology is growing day by day in various textile industries and hope within very shorter will use it to make our environment be free from the contamination. In a textile industry the enzymatic process is used basically to remove sizing starch from the woven fabric. It also used in the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP).

The use of enzymes in wet processing results in time, energy and water savings; as well as improved production quality. The application of enzymes in textile are growing swiftly and the enzyme processing firms tend to work in an environment where the process will consume less energy and works. Enzymes also used to fade up the denim or woven fabrics. Cellulase enzymes have gained acceptance in the garment wash industry as a means to achieve a washed down appearance without the use of stones or with reduced quantities of stones. Cellulase enzymes are natural proteins. It reduces the percentage of damage caused to denim by the rough effect of stones on them. Cellulase attacks primarily on the surface of the cellulose fiber, leaving the interior of the fiber as it is, by removing the indigo present in the surface layer of the fiber. This method is also known as bio-stone washing.

The enzymatic process called bio-scouring allows cotton to be treated under very mild conditions. Due to use of less rinse water, bioscouring process reduces both effluent as well as water consumption. In bio-scouring alkaline pectinase enzyme is used for natural cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, hemp and blends. It removes pectin and other impurities from the primary cell wall of the cotton fibers without degradation of cellulose and thus has no negative effect on strength properties of the fabric.

Biopolishing is an important application of biotextile. Now it is widely used in textile finishing process. Bio-polishing is a process of treatment of cotton and other cellulosic textiles with cellulases enzymes to remove protruding fibers from textile fabrics and produce a softer and smoother hand-feel. Bio-polishing also reduces fabric pilling tendency and improves fabric luster, brightness and drape. Bio-polishing can also be used as a replacement or as a supplementary process for denim stone-washing. In bio-polishing, the celluases enzymes are used to break down the cellulose polymer chains of the surface fibers by hydrolysis, which are then easily removed during washing due to increased water solubility.

Biotextile is also used in the various textile wet processing such as bio-singeing, bio-desizing, integrated bio-desizing and bio-scouring, bio-bleaching, peroxide killers, enzyme effect on color, bio-carbonizing, degumming of silk, textile auxiliaries, wool carbonizing, reactive dyes washing, decolorization of dye water effluent, finishing of cotton knits and denim washing have been outlined with use of enzymes such as alpha amylase, pectinase, protease, lipase, and cellulase.

Biotechnology in textile processing is an essential resource for scientists and consultants working at R&D institutes and universities, practitioners working in textile engineering, enzymology, biotechnology, and environmental protection, producers and processors of textiles, and for students.

Importance of Biotextiles in Textile Processing:
The importance of using biotechnology in textile is worth-mentioning. Let us know some of them,

  1. Enzymatic process enhances the variety of plants used in textile fiber productions. It also influences the inner properties of fibers.
  2. The influence of enzymatic pre-treatment on color of bleached and dyed flax fibers
  3. It is very useful during waste managing.
  4. Prevents the adulteration.
  5. Bio-technology helps the quality control.
  6. Enhance the low energy type detergents.
  7. Using enzymes in finishing department.
  8. Used instead of harmful dyestuffs and chemical treatments.
  9. Tend to use micro-organism and bio-polymer in Textile which develop the total process of textile.
  10. Enzymatic scouring for better textile properties of knitted fabrics
  11. Designing wood fiber morphology and mechanical properties of fiberboards
  12. Enzymatic finishes of wool fabrics
  13. The effects of ultrasound on the performance of industrial enzymes used in cotton bio-preparation and bio-finishing applications.


  1. Handbook of Value Addition Processes for Fabrics By B. Purushothama
  2. Pretreatment of Textile Substrates by Mathews Kolanjikombil
  3. Textile Engineering – An Introduction Edited by Yasir Nawab
  4. Bioprocessing of Textiles by Dr. C. Vigneswaran, Dr. M. Ananthasubramanian and Dr. P. Kandhavadivu

You may also like:

  1. Lab Grown Biological Textiles: Fashion Trends for Future
  2. Biopolishing in Textile: Process, Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. Advances in Textiles Finishing and Applications
  4. Bioscouring of Cotton Fabrics | Comparison of Bioscouring and Conventional Scouring

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