What is textile chemistry

Textile chemistry is a highly specialized field that applies the principles of chemistry to the production of textiles, such as those used in clothing, furniture, protective wear, transportation, tire, air bags, and much more. Textile chemists may create new products to meet specific market needs or modify existing products to become more generally marketable.

Textile chemistry can be divided into three overlapping areas:

  • dyeing and finishing chemistry
  • fiber and polymer chemistry
  • materials chemistry

In the textile industry, chemists are working in research and development, process development, process modification, technical services, environmental testing, and dyeing and finishing operations.
The study of textile chemistry begins with the knowledge of fibers, natural, artificial and synthetic.
Today polymeric synthetic fibers are such an important part of the production of textile industry, the field includes many chemists who are trained in polymer chemistry.
The dyeing and finishing aspects of textile chemistry require an understanding of both organic chemistry and surface chemistry requestd by synthesis and fomulation of dyestuff and chemical products used during the dyeing processes.
The knowledge of regulatory and safety processes are also important in textile as the requirement become more stringent as also attention to the environment. Interaction between textile chemistry and materials science is becoming more and more important. Textile chemistry includes the application of the principles of surface chemistry to the fabrics to improve theire performances to fullfill requirement of the market and consumers.
It also encompasses organic chemistry in the synthesis and formulation of the products used in textile enobbling processes.

Where a chemist works

Chemists may work in the R&D laboratory as also in Quality Control laboratory, in the production plant giving assistance to the fabric production or with customers to understand needs, developing new effects on fabrics or giving technical support to them.
Textile production today is on a global scale so technicians in this field are requested to travel meeting different culture, environment, ideas, knowledge, markets.

Chemists and Colourists can be employed by chemical companies that manufacture the polymers from which synthetic fibers are made as also they are employed to research for new dyes and chemical products.

Textile chemists are people interested not only in textile; it has to be considered an intersection of different industries who are starting from Chemical supplyer to machinery producer, fiber producers, authorities, regulatory, health and safety, customer assistance, fashion brands.

Even if textile can be considered a traditional industry today it become really innovative: textile is around us and is influencing our life.

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