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Finishing Technical Textiles

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While using normal fibers to produce technical textiles it is imperative that high tech functional finishes are imparted to them to make them functionally superior and relevant to the end use application such as anti-bacterial, anti-static, UV protective, thermal, or biodegradable functions – are playing an increasingly important role. Since technical textiles are generally not fashion oriented, performance requirements and technical specifications determine the success of a product.Therefore fi


Finishing technical textiles is a multifaceted endeavor that unlocks their full potential. From enhancing performance to ensuring durability and functionality, finishing processes are the backbone of the technical textile industry. As innovation continues to drive this sector, technical textiles are set to play an even more pivotal role in addressing the evolving needs of industries and consumers alike, driving progress in areas ranging from healthcare to sustainability.

Technical textiles represent a remarkable convergence of science, engineering, and textiles. Unlike traditional textiles primarily designed for aesthetics and comfort, technical textiles are engineered to provide specific performance characteristics. These textiles find applications across a wide range of industries, from automotive and construction to healthcare and aerospace. The critical bridge that transforms raw technical textiles into high-performance materials lies in the finishing processes applied to them.

Types of Technical Textiles

Understanding the various categories and classifications of technical textiles is crucial for appreciating their versatility and impact. We’ll explore the broad spectrum of technical textiles, ranging from high-performance composites to intelligent and responsive fabrics. Real-world examples of their applications will highlight their significance.

The Importance of Finishing in Technical Textiles

Finishing is the process that breathes life into raw technical textiles. It is the gateway to enhancing their performance, durability, aesthetics, and functionality. In this section, we’ll delve into why finishing is vital in the context of technical textiles, emphasizing the value it adds to the end product.

Key Finishing Processes

The heart of technical textile finishing lies in the various processes applied to these materials. Coating and laminating techniques, dyeing and printing methods, surface modifications, and thermal and chemical treatments all play pivotal roles in optimizing technical textile properties. We’ll explore each of these processes in detail, along with the emerging role of nanotechnology.

Materials Used in Technical Textile Finishing

Materials used in finishing technical textiles are just as critical as the processes themselves. Specialty chemicals, functional coatings, advanced fibers and filaments, and smart and responsive materials form the building blocks of enhanced technical textiles. We’ll delve into the properties and applications of these materials.

Applications of Finished Technical Textiles

The versatility of finished technical textiles is exemplified by their widespread applications across various industries. From revolutionizing automotive interiors and ensuring the safety of healthcare professionals to enabling lightweight and durable aircraft components, technical textiles are indispensable. This section explores their role in diverse sectors.

Innovations in Technical Textile Finishing

The world of technical textiles is in a constant state of innovation. We’ll examine the latest trends and breakthroughs in the field, from sustainable and eco-friendly finishing methods to advanced composite materials, bioactive and antimicrobial textiles, smart and wearable technologies, and the growing role of 3D printing.

Challenges and Future Trends

Challenges abound in the technical textile industry, from regulatory compliance to cost-efficiency and scalability. We’ll discuss the hurdles that need to be overcome and explore the future trends that will shape the industry, including the integration of nanotechnology, circular economy principles, and customization.

Environmental Sustainability in Technical Textile Finishing

With sustainability at the forefront of global concerns, we’ll delve into the initiatives and practices aimed at making technical textile finishing more environmentally friendly. Green chemistry, reduced chemical usage, recycling, and the development of biodegradable materials all contribute to a more sustainable future for technical textiles.

Army Clothing

Usual fiber composition: 100 percent CO, CO/PES 85/15, CO/aramide 65/35. Finishing goals: dimensional stability, water/ oil repellency, waterproof, flexible at low temperatures, fast to washing and dry cleaning, flame retardancy, heat-resistant, IR remission.The finishing’s can be affected by any of following procedures :

  1. Padding
  2. Coating

Besides these two basic procedures, there is a requirement of either pre-calendaring or post calendering to enhance the effects.

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Finishing Product Ranges


Mainly, fluorochemicals applied by padding or coating onto the textiles to impart resistance to water pressure, water repellent, oil repellent (stain repellent), stain release properties.Ciba(r) OLEOPHOBOL or Ciba(r) PHOBOTEX range of products provide durable effects.


Organic phosphorus compound, applied by padding normally. Ciba(r) PYROVATEX CP New imparts durable effects especially required for work wear. Ciba(r) PYROVATIMPBS gives semi-durable effects required for the upholstery industries of the automotive & aviation industries.


Paraffin wax based products giving excellent waterproof properties to a range of textile fibers such as cotton, polyamide, PAN, and wool. Ciba(r) HYDROPHOBOL ZAN or APK gives good water repellent effects and high water pressure resistance.

Fast to rotting/mildew resistant

Emulsion free of metal salts consisting of fatty acid esters of dihydroxy dichloro diphenylmethane and a benzamide azoles derivative. Ciba(r)FUNGITEX ROP can be used for the fungicidal finish of cotton, linen, polyester/cotton fabrics for tents, tarpaulins, and rucksacks.


The modified organic phosphorous compound is extremely effective at preventing static build up. Ciba(r)ZEROSTAT(r) AT new is an extremely effective antistatic agent for treating synthetic fibers and their blends to overcome electrostatic-related problems in fabric use.

Thermal insulation

Aluminum foil coated under high vacuum conditions: the foil is glued on in a high vacuum so that a bond between the surface of the fabric and the foil are guaranteed at nearly every point; for technical applications (mainly in use with Kevlar or preox/p-aramid) to insulate thermal radiation. Also in use as outside of suits and clothes made from Kevlar (melting ovens and blast-furnace plants).

Weather protection

Membranes coated onto protective clothing (e.g. firemen) assure, that no water can penetrate the clothing from outside to inside; at the same time, the membrane has good porosity, i.e. vapor (body perspiration) can penetrate through the membrane to the outside.


Aqueous based coating using acrylic/ poly urathane compounds are used for adhesion of yarns successfully to prevent slippage under stress. Ciba(r) DICRYLAN AHS gives good adhesion on nearly all substrates, especially on polyester and polyamide.

Handle modification/abrasion resistance

Applied by padding with silicone or polyurethane compounds onto the fabrics to achieve soft, supple and smooth surface. Ciba(r) ULTRATEX(r) and DICRYLAN(r) ranges offer wide variety of handles and abrasion resistance.

Dimensional stability

Treating of cellulosic with resins offer these fabrics good dimensional stability. control and shape retention of protective clothing is maintained even after several washes by using Ciba(r) KNITTEX resins.


Technical textiles are value-added products which are produced out of either high techno- conventional polymers which enhance specific properties or else special high tech finished conventional fibers or a combination of both.

Technical textiles are likely to play an important role in infrastructure development, agriculture, medical, hygiene and specialized sports and apparel wear as major applications. Alternatively, developments in functional finishes could shape the future of the textile industry on to the path of growth in quantum leaps and bounds.

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