Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021 - 46

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES

 The pandemic has
highlighted the importance of
natural products like cotton.
As cotton farmers look for
new market opportunities,
natural fibers such as hemp
(at right), flax, coir and jute
offer advantages for certain
high-performance applications.
Photo: ©Leekaomeng,
dreamstime.com.

Hemp on
the horizon
Natural materials can help
achieve sustainability goals.

by Seshadri Ramkumar

C

OVID-19 has upended a way of life that we may have
taken for granted. With the economy suffering as a result,
and with the need to create growth and employment, the
manufacturing sector has its work cut out for it. Effective use of
resources, reviving the manufacturing sector and enabling selfsufficiency in advanced textile products are priority action items for
the industrial fabrics sector in the U.S.
The pandemic has also made us think about the value of
sustainability, as well as its cost. In fact, the present pandemic has
highlighted the importance of natural products, from cellulosic
fibers or natural chemicals, to how we develop lifesaving materials.
These interests can strengthen the sustainability industry, provided
a balance between costs and benefits can be achieved.

Starting with the materials
By April 2020, promoting the positive attributes of cotton in
destabilizing some viruses appeared to be a good thing to take on.
This was based on research conducted by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) as far back as the late 1960s. The advanced
textiles sector could take clues from such early research activities
and look for new opportunities.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently working
to standardize masks, considering filtration capability and
breathability. Given the influence of these performance attributes,
new standardization efforts should pay attention to material types
and the structure of substrates.
44 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / March 2021


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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021

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Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review March 2021 - 2
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