The utilisation of Himalayan Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) plant for development of UV protective textiles: A new perspective of a traditionally used plant
The Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) plant has been traditionally used to make various fibre-based products such as sack, rope etc. but with this fast-moving technological era, new developments and researches are required to meet the demand of present so that it could also be made commercially viable. Presently UV radiation causes various skin problems including skin cancer. The present study explores the fabric properties of woven fabrics made of Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) fibre for new end uses to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. Nettle Yarn was procured from Kraftloom Overseas Private Limited, Dehradun. Twill and crepe weave fabric were prepared using handloom at Kumaon woollens, Haldwani. Physical properties and Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of the developed woven fabric were studied at textile testing lab of G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand. Based on results it was found that properties of nettle woven fabric like thickness, weight, thread count and cover factor affected the UPF of the nettle fabric. It was also found that ultraviolet protection properties of nettle woven fabric could be enhanced through weave variation. Ultraviolet protection properties of fabric made of nettle fibre were explored and reported for the first time which could be utilised for different UV protection products such as curtains, blinds and jackets. Further natural dyeing of developed fabric was also done in another part of the study to maximise the UV protective properties of the fabric.
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