My research activities in various areas are briefly discussed below:
A) Research on natural fibres extracted from agrowaste/biomass
The objective of this project is to identify and study indigenous agro waste and biowaste products that can be used as a source of cellulose fibres for value added industrial applications.
- Studies with Pearl Millet Straw
Cellulose fibre has been extracted from Pearl Millet straw (Pennisetum glaucum) and characterised. The potential of using the extracted fibre for production of sanitary napkins and as an adsorbent for textile dyes has been explored. Since there is a dearth of literature and standards on properties and performance requirements of sanitary napkins, a variety of commercially available sanitary napkins were tested and characterised in terms of physical properties as well as absorbancy characteristics. Method for testing and comparing the absorbancy of sanitary napkins has been standardised. Results show that PMS fibres can be used as an effective absorbent for sanitary napkins. The fibres can also be used as an adsorbant for removing textile dyes from waste waters.
Students: Manisha Yadav, Research Scholar, Kunwarjeet Singh, MTech. Student
- Studies with Himalayan Nettle fibre
Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) is abundant in habitats of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The fibre has high tenacity and several other properties. However, the technology for large scale extraction and processing of fibres is not available in the country. This project aims to develop scientific method of extraction and processing of Nettle fibre and develop value added products from the same.
Students: Vishwajeet, Research Scholar
B) Eco friendly finishing of textiles
- Surface functionalization and multifunctional finishes using natural materials
In general it’s a challenge to bind any chemical, particularly a natural polymer on textiles. Surface functionalization using physical methods such as irradiation with plasma or UV excimer lamp brings about physico chemical modifications in the textile at nano level, without affecting the bulk properties. A variety of finishes have been developed using natural materials which have been attached durably on cotton, wool, silk and polyester to create multifunctional effects.
- Sericin for finishing of textiles
The project is aimed at reducing heavy water pollution caused by discharging of silk degumming liquor containing large quantities of sericin, soap and alkali into the waste waters. Sericin- also a protein, has excellent oxygen permeability, cell protecting and antioxidant action, moisture regulating ability, protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and wound healing properties. Thus the product can be used to create value added multifunctional textiles. This will provide an additional source of income to the poor silk reelers and higher profits to silk processors. While conventional methods of sericin extraction make use of soap and alkali, in our lab., a greener and cleaner method was developed for extraction of sericin using Infra red laboratory dyeing machine and water. Higher yield of sericin was obtained at lower temperature and time of treatment. A protocol was proposed for characterization of extracted sericin in terms of physical and thermal properties, morphology, protein quality, structure and molecular weight. Polyester fabric could be imparted properties such as enhanced wicking, moisture regain, antistat, anti ultraviolet as well as anti oxidant ( anti ageing). Wool fabric was rendered shrink proof by imparting a sericin coating on UV irradiated fabric. Scaling up of the technology for commercialization is going on.
- Antimicrobial finishes using chitosan
Chitosan is another highly bioactive waste by product of the shell fish processing industry. Being polycationic in nature, chitosan exhibits strong antimicrobial properties. Application of a high molecular weight polymer on textiles poses several challenges. Studies were conducted to produce low molecular weight derivatives of chitosan and modification of chitosan was carried out to develop durable finish for cotton.
In situ coloration of wool in a range of durable shades was carried out using potato juice and catechol. Curcumin could be durably attached to polyester textiles that were pretreated with UV radiation of 172 nm to create medical fabrics. Natural dyes were extracted from various plant sources and shade optimization done on natural and synthetic fibres.
Mechanism of dyeing of textiles with plant dyes was established through theoretical studies. Technology for dyeing coir fibre with natural dyes was transferred to Coir Board. Series of workshops was conducted to train carpet weavers of India in the technology of dyeing carpet wool in deep and consistent shades.
C) Studies on Textile - Microbe interactions
Hospital textiles are known vectors of infections in a healthcare facility, yet very little is known about their role in spread of infections. In a series of studies, surveillance data for the number and nature of microbes present on nurses’ white coats has been generated and correlated with fabric properties. Understanding the mechanism of microbe- textile interactions can lead to design and selection of hospital fabrics which can minimise the adhesion, growth and transfer of microbes through textiles. This can work as an effective and affordable infection control strategy for India.
Student: Priyanka Gupta, PhD; Swati Varshney, Research scholar, Dewali Mallick, M.Tech.
D) Design of Functional Clothing
- Design of Protective Gear for Indian motorcyclists
Motorcycling as a sport as well as a means of commuting is growing at a rapid pace in India. With the growing use of motorcycles, the number of accidents involving the same is also increasing at an alarming rate. Protective clothing use worldwide has been shown to reduce the incidence of injuries in motorcyclists. Indian weather and use conditions pose a unique challenge for clothing designers. Very little data is available on the ergonomic, physiological and social needs of Indian motorcyclists. This study addresses the subject in a holistic manner and adopts the “user oriented approach” for design of motorcyclists’ clothing. A detail survey of motorcycle riders across the country has been conducted to assess their habits, preferences and requirements from clothing. Kinematic analysis was employed to study the typical body postures of a motorcycle rider. It is well established that a static 2D anthropometry fails to accurately capture the dimensions of complex 3D human form and conventional patterns produced by 2D flat pattern methods fail to factor in the change in body shape and size during extreme postures. Hence patterns designed by these methods yield poorly fitting garments. Therefore in this study, virtual, 3D human body models were developed in selected dynamic poses using 3D body scanners. Kinematic patterns for jacket and trousers were designed and fit assessment was also carried on the 3D form using 3D softwares. Garment prototypes will be developed and evaluated by users for comfort, performance and aesthetics. Finally, the study will propose a step-by-step protocol that meets the triad of requirements namely protection, comfort and aesthetics for design of motorcyclists’ clothing using advanced technologies. The proposed approach can subsequently be applied to design any type of functional clothing for specific requirements.
This work is being carried out in collaboration with Prof Sybille Kryzwinski of TU Dresden.
Student:Kanika Jolly, Research Scholar
E) Design of Assistive clothing
There is a huge unmet need in the form of therapeutic clothing, designed especially for the Indian population. Products that are suitable for hot weather conditions, are comfortable and affordable are generally not available. I have been working in this area for the past four years mainly through design projects given to B.Tech. students. Some projects have been awarded under SURA or DISA grants. Several products have been developed and are in various stages of development- trials, prototyping or commercialization.
Assistive device for Kangaroo mother care jacket for low birth weight babies. Indian Patent filed -3948/DEL/2015. Technology Transferred for commercialisation to M/s Vista Furnishing Pvt. Ltd., Noida in November, 2018.
- Wearables for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The project amalgamates design and technology to provide innovative solutions for children suffering with Autism Spectrum Disorder through wearable products. It explores the various possibilities in the areas of textiles, medicine and technology with design interventions that can provide future directions with regard to autism in the Indian context. Some of the products developed are as follows: Weighted compression vest
The vest provides controlled proprioceptive input (body awareness) to the kid with deep pressure and balanced weight. Clinical trials show that the effect helps to calm and reassure the oversensitive child and decreases their hyper-responsiveness and has a therapeutic effect. Clinical trials completed by AIIMS.
Student- Nishtha Gupta, B.Tech.
An electronic Glove for rehabilitative compliance of autistic kids was designed. It was aimed to improve the motor coordination in kids aged 7-14 years suffering from cerebral palsy and similar conditions. We developed touch sensors using conductive silver fabric, which detected the finger pinching exercise. Later connected the glove as a controller to a self-developed game and embedded a seamless flexible waterproof circuit inside the glove by using e-textiles and Arduino Lilypad. The Project was awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Award (SURA), 2017 by Industrial Research and Development Unit, IIT Delhi.
Student: Sahil Kargwal, B.Tech.
F) Design of functional fabrics
- Fabrics for Indian Army Uniforms
Under the project, fabrics have been developed for summer wear uniforms of Indian Army soldiers. By selective yarn and weave combinations, it has been possible to achieve an improved balance between mechanical and comfort properties required for army uniforms. Project carried out in collaboration with Shingora Industries Ludhiana.
Student: Shivam Gupta , MTech. (2017-2019)
- Fabrics for Athleisure Apparel
Investigation of fibre, yarn and fabric structural parameters for development of fabrics having high-wicking property, moisture management property, thermal conductivity and insulation.
Student: Shashank Chauhan, MTech. (2017-2019)
• Studies on elastic knitted fabrics for pressure garments
Pressure garments generate pressure on human limb. The amount of exerted pressure ranges in between 10-46 mmHg. The present study includes, the effect of different parameters affecting pressure generation behavior of the pressure garment on body. Single jersey circular knitted fabrics with inlay elastic yarn were prepared in varying input tension and linear density of inlay yarn. The effect of both the parameters on pressure generation was reported. The garment fit was varied at different levels and pressure generation on body was reported. The effect of body curvature and compressibility was also studied. The comfort characteristics of the fabrics at relaxed as well as extended state were investigated. A model has been proposed considering all the parameters to predict the pressure generation on human limb. The study is useful in engineering pressure garments.
Student : Moumita Bera, Phd.
- Studies on plated knit fabrics for sportswear
Student: Yamini Jhanji, PhD
G) Anthropometry and garment sizing
The problem of quantifying and classifying human body shape, for size chart development, in a country as large as India, is highly complex. The group has been researching the problem of body size chart development for Indian ready made garment industry. A large data base of body measurements of Indian men, women and children has been generated and analysed using various mathematical methods to understand the dimensions of Indian men and women.
Sizing Up India project is currently being conducted to collect data of Indian men in the age group of 25-45 years using the Mirrorsize App. Size charts for this group of population are being prepared.