The Department of Textile Technology has had a rather interesting history as compared to other Departments of IIT Delhi. It has its roots in the pre-independence days, going back to the year 1942 when the Delhi Polytechnic (now the Delhi College of Engineering) was founded to provide diploma level education. The degree courses were instituted in 1952 by affiliation with the Delhi University. The fortunes of the Textile Department took a sudden turn in 1958 when a high power committee, appointed by the Central Government, decided to establish a new College of Engineering and Technology in Delhi, with British collaboration. This was later to become Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). It was decided to transfer Textile Technology Department lock, stock and barrel to the new college which started functioning in 1961. The first M.Tech course started in 1967 and the first Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1969, among the earliest at IIT Delhi.
The Department offers one UG program in Textile Technology and two PG programs in Textile Engineering and in Fiber Science & Technology, besides offering the Doctoral program. This department, being the only one of its kind in the IIT system, bears the additional responsibility of providing the road map for the growth of other Textile Institutes in India.
The activities are focused on niche and futuristic areas, such as Smart textiles, Nanotechnology applications, Biotextiles, Engineering of functional apparel, etc. The Global interaction of the department has been improving during the past few years. Close interaction also exists between this department and the University of Bolton, UK and the University of Liberec of Czech Republic, which benefits our students in terms of fellowships and internships as well as faculty members in their research through short term visits. The EU project involves interaction between our students & faculty members and those from EPFL of Switzerland, Uppsala of Sweden, RWTH of Aachen and UC of London in Tissue Engineering. The department also has strong interactions with a Polish Institute (Institute of Natural Fibers, Poznan), an Australian Institute (CSIRO Fibres and Textiles Technology, Melbourne), Italian Institutes (CNR-ISMAC, Biela and POLITECNICO DI MILANO) a Japanese University (Shinshu University, Japan), a Vietnamese Institute (Hanoi University of Technology) and NCSU of USA with whom we expect to develop mutually rewarding activities in the coming years.
The UG program in Textile Technology primarily covers development and characterization of the polymeric raw materials and methods of conversion of the same into textile materials followed by further value addition and appropriate engineering into niche products. Issues related to the management of the production facilities and marketing the products are also covered adequately.
During the first two semesters, the students take courses in basic sciences, engineering arts and sciences, and humanities and social sciences which are common to students of all disciplines. During the next two semesters, the students take a set of departmental core subjects in Textile Technology. From the fifth semester onwards they opt for departmental elective courses. In the new curriculum, there is increased emphasis on design, product and process development activities. In the final year, students are required to work on a project under the supervision of a faculty member. They also undergo practical training in an industrial establishment as part of their overall engineering education.
Two M.Tech. programmes, one in Textile Engineering and the other in Fibre Science & Technology are offered. The Textile Engineering students are trained for mechanical processing of textile materials, while the Fibre Science and Technology students are trained for the manmade fibre industry as also the chemical processing of textile materials. The students are especially suitable for technical services; research and development work in industry.
Current areas of Doctoral and post-doctoral research include study of structure and properties of fibres and fibrous materials, analysis and design of yarn and fabric formation systems, mechanics of production processes, comfort properties of textiles, optimization and mechanism of dyeing and preparatory processes, eco friendly processing, micro encapsulation, antimicrobial finishes, nanotechnology applications, plasma treatment, design of technical textiles, smart and innovative textiles, electroconductive textiles, medical textiles and tissue engineering, polymer composites and apparel engineering.
Fibre Science and Fibre Production Laboratory: This laboratory houses facilities starting from fiber Production to fiber Characterization. It hosts a complete range of characterization equipment such as DSC, TGA, and TMA, Brookfield Rheometer, FTIR, Wide angle X-ray diffractometer, sonic modulus analyzer, etc. It also houses facilities for polymerization from small to pilot scale. Recently bicomponent fibre production facility has also been installed.
Yarn Manufacturing Laboratory has equipment and machinery for producing yarns with different technologies at research as well as production scale. Staple fibre yarns using ring and friction spinning technologies and air texturized yarns can be produced. For small-scale sample production, Miniature spinning plant is also available. New additions include miniature spinning line and unit for twisting and wrapping.
Fabric Manufacturing Laboratory The Weaving section is equipped with modern preparatory machines and looms. Preparatory section includes latest Schlafhorst 332 model winding machine, Savio lab model Orion winding machine and sectional warping machine with all controls. In weaving section- projectile, rapier, and airjet looms as also a sample loom along with single end sizing and warping machine are installed. Apart from these, the lab is equipped with needle loom for tape and label, Staubly electronic dobby and Bonas electronic jacquard. Weaving section is also equipped with a CAD station system for both woven and printed design. Knitting section includes flat knitting machines. Nonwovens Research laboratory is part of this lab. Industrial sewing machines constitute the garment technology facility.
Textile Chemical Processing : Housed in this laboratory are lab-scale versatile equipment for chemical processing of textile fabrics, yarns and fibres. In addition, the laboratory contains relevant analytical / testing equipment for assessing performance of the treatments imparted to the textiles including computer colour matching systems, spectrophotometers, fastness testers, flame retardancy testers and a full fledged anti microbial testing facility. Textile Chemistry laboratories are equipped with a wide range of dyeing, printing and finishing machines including Rota dyer, HTHP dyeing machine, winch, pressure jig, and package dyeing machine. New additions include colour dispensing systems and vortex dyeing machine.
Textile Testing Laboratories of the department has modern instruments for testing various types of fibers, films, yarns, fabrics and carpets. Fibers can be tested for single fibre and bundle strengths, breaking extensions and yarn can be tested for mass irregularity (U% or C.V %) imperfections, spectrogram, hairiness, twist, yarn to yarn friction and abrasion resistance. Fabrics can be tested for practically all the normal specifications such as warp and weft count, fabric mass per unit area (gsm), tensile and tear strength, flat and flex abrasion resistance, crease recovery, compression recovery, creep, thermal insulation, pilling, air permeability, water permeability, bending rigidity, compressibility, thickness etc.
Computers and Microprocessors Lab: Facilities in these labs are used by students for course work, internet search, preparing reports, analyzing test data and preparing presentations. The microprocessor section of this lab is used to teach control and monitoring systems.
Resource Centre and Library: The resource centre is a repository of resources essential for investigators to further their research, for a student to continuously upgrade and ameliorate his knowledge database and for a teacher to keep abreast with the state of art in today’s world of textiles. The resource centre has a wide compilation of books, reports, theses (Ph.D., M.Tech., and B.Tech.) and journals. It also has a rich collection of samples of technical textiles for various applications.
New Facilities: The newly created facilities include SMITA (Smart and Innovative textile materials), Biotextile, Medical textile and Protective textile laboratories.
Industry interaction: The department maintains active linkages with the Textile and allied industries in India and abroad. Research and consultancy projects are undertaken frequently on behalf of, as well as in collaboration with industries.
Alumni Interaction: The department has a regular and active interaction with its alumni spread all over the world and has instituted a ‘Pride of the Department Award’ to be bestowed annually on the department alumni who have made a significant contribution in their chosen field of profession.
Other extension activities: Workshops, seminars, summer/ winter schools and symposia are organized from time to time for the benefit of industry and the academia under QIP and CEP Programmes. The Department is also actively involved in helping other Textile Colleges in India in training of faculty, setting up laboratories and updating their syllabi.