Clothing of innovative finishes. Any operation (chemical or mechanical)

Clothing
considered to be the second skin, is responsible for a healthy and contagious
free living. Functionality of clothing depends on attributes such as wrinkle
resistance, soil release, water repellency, flame retardancy and resistance to
microbial invasion. Besides, textiles serve as excellent substrate for
bacterial growth and microbial proliferation under appropriate moisture, nutrients
and temperature conditions (Hooda et al., 2013). Therefore, the activity of
fabric to resist disease transmission is being considered to be an important
and inevitable parameter for garments which come in direct contact with human
body.

The rapid growth in technical textiles
and their end-uses has generated many opportunities for the application of
innovative finishes. Any operation (chemical or mechanical) for improving
the appearance or useful­ness of fabric is known as finishing. It can change a
fabric’s aesthetic and/or physical properties, as well as its texture and
surface characteristics (Khurshid et al., 2015). Novel finishes
of added value for apparel fabrics are also greatly appreciated by a more
discerning and demanding consumer market. Among various
chemical finishes, antimicrobial finish has got great importance due to its
rela­tion with healthcare and medical textiles. Antimicrobial
textiles with improved functionality find a variety of applications such as
health and hygiene products, specially the garments worn close to the skin and
several medical applications, such as infection control and barrier material.

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Antimicrobial
agents inhibit the growth or kill microbes to control their negative effect
e.g. odour, staining and deteriora­tion. Microbes are the tiniest of creatures,
which cannot be seen by the naked eye. They consist of a variety of micro-organ­isms
like bacteria, fungi, algae and virus­es etc.
There are various antimicro­bial agents used as textile finishes that can be
classified as synthetic and natural agents (Khurshid et al., 2015). Ap­plications
of natural antimicrobial agents have gained considerable attention in the field
of medical and health care tex­tiles due to properties such as being envi­ronment
friendly, skin friendly, safe and non-toxic as compared to synthetic anti­microbial
agents.

Plants possess a wide variety of
secondary metabolites which have been found in vitro to have antimicrobial
properties. Extracts from different parts of diverse species of plants like
roots, leaves, flowers and seeds exhibit antimicrobial properties
(Sathianarayanan et al., 2011). Eucalyptus globulus is a member of
Myrtaceae family, it is well known as medicinal plants because of their
biological and pharmacological properties. The essential oils from E. globulus
are having great demand in the market, because of their anesthetic,
antiseptic, astringent, disinfectant properties. They are also used as a folk
remedy for arthritis, asthma, burns, diabetes, leprosy, skin rashes (Vastrad et
al., 2016).

Tinospora
cordifolia, known
as Amrutballi is, a climber plant which belongs to the family
Menispermaceae. Extracts of this plant has been shown to possess many therapeutic
properties including general tonic, antiinflammatory, anti-arthritic,
anti-malarial, aphrodisiac, anti-allergic, anti-diabetic, anti-hepatotoxic and
antipyretic (Vastrad et al., 2015). Although, the active components responsible
for therapeutic effects of T. cordifolia are not well defined; phenylpropanoid
glycosides such as cordifolioside A, cordifolioside B and syringin, have been
reported to be main immunomodulatory active components (Cho et al., 2001).

Tridax
procumbens
Linn., commonly known as coat buttons or tridax daisy, is widely distributed
weed found everywhere in India, America, Tropical Africa, Asia, and Australia.
All plant parts have noble pharmacological activities like hepatoprotective
effect, immunomodulating property, promising wound healing activity,
antidiabetic, hypotensive effect, antimicrobial, insect repellent activity,
anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, bronchial catarrh, dysentery, diarrhoea
(Kale and Deshmukh, 2014).

The use of natural products for
antimicrobial finishing of textiles has opened up new avenues in the field of
technical textiles. Although there are many natural sources rich in
antimicrobial agents, the study on their use in textiles is very limited and
not documented. The major challenges in application of natural sources for
textile application are that majority of the sources are complex mixtures of
several compounds and also the composition varies in different species of the
same plant (Gupta and Laha, 2007). However, because of their eco-friendly
nature and non-toxic properties, they are still considered as novel means for
niche applications such as medical and health care textiles. Hence the present
study was designed with the objectives to characterize the plant extracts for
antimicrobial activity, standardize a protocol for application of antimicrobial
finish and to assess the performance of treated