Textile dyeing industries are the most highly water consuming sectors of the world. Almost 17-20% of today’s industrial pollution are caused by the chemicals used by the textile industries for coloring, bleaching and other treatments. More than 72 toxic chemicals can be mixed to the water bodies through textile dyeing. These chemicals just don’t pollute water, but also damage the whole ecosystem and can harm people’s lives and health.
Is there anything we can do about that?
A new technology has been developed to reduce water application and contamination in textile dyeing sector named “Air-Dye”. This system uses 95% less water than conventional dyeing system and ultimately saves 86% energy in the process. This technology is still developing. However only synthetic fiber like polyester can be dyed in this process. Air dyeing technology can also be used in cotton fiber by applying some modification.
Mainly this technology is based on transfer printing theory. Dyes are first applied on a paper carrier. Then heat is applied to transfer the dye from paper to the fiber. After removing heat, the fiber gets cold and the bond is reunited, as a result of which dye particles get stuck inside of the polyester and dye it. As we know, thermoplastic behavior is only showed by the synthetic fibers. Natural fibers like cotton do not show this thermal property and that’s the reason air dye technology is not still available for cotton fiber.
But what about cotton?
The main principle of air dyeing is to opening up the structure, pass the dye in gaseous form in the structure and then close the structure. So to make cotton dye-able in this process, we have to open up the structure of cotton, and then return it into its original state, which may cause a problem.
If we want to solve the problem, we have to know where to solve. By knowing the complete genome sequence we can bring change in the structure and produce modified version for our own purpose. It is possible to change structure by modifying the DNA – it can be possible to bring change in the molecular structure of cotton.
The main challenge in modifying cotton by applying genome sequencing is to maintain the fundamental properties of cotton fiber. Very cautious steps must be taken to maintain the certain quality that normal cotton fiber possess. Another challenge is the available technology. Modern technology required for tracking down DNA map is very costly and rare. So this process will require large fund and backup from proper division.