The Functionalization of Cotton Fabric Using Urtica dioica Microcapsules to Develop UV Protective Textiles

Deepti Pargai, Shahnaz Jahan

2024 / Volume 7 / Pages 720-737
Received 1 February 2024; Accepted 13 April 2024; Published 14 May 2024

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have highlighted the increased risk of skin cancer due to exposure to UV radiation. This emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the skin. Although sunscreens are commonly used for protection their high cost, the need for frequent reapplication, and pollution in coastal areas necessitate alternative solutions. Clothing also offers protection but requires additional application of dyes and finishes for prolonged effectiveness. The application of synthetic or natural dyes can enhance the UV protection properties of the fabric but Synthetic dyes contribute to pollution, while natural dyes lack durability. Addressing these challenges, this study focuses on providing a durable and sustainable solution for enhancing the UV protective properties of cotton fabric using Urtica dioica microcapsules based on RSM design. Urtica dioica plant extract serves as the core material for the microcapsules. Design Expert software 10 has been used for the study. It was observed through software that at 4.116% concentration of microcapsules, 3% concentration of binder and a curing temperature of 113.258 °C an optimum UPF with sufficient fabric properties can be achieved. On conducting the experiments on these optimum conditions UPF, tensile strength and bending length value were found to be 277.60, 14.89 N/cm2 and 2.00 cm respectively. Results indicate that cotton fabric demonstrates excellent UV protection properties even after the 20th wash cycle. This research contributes to the ongoing quest for fabric with UV protection, emphasizing both efficacy and sustainability compared to current synthetic alternatives available in the market.

cotton fabric, Urtica dioica, microencapsulation, UV protection