Naturally dyed cotton fabrics fight bacteria – DOST

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / November 20) – Cotton fabrics dyed with extracts from eight tropical plants have been found to combat pneumonia and abscess-causing bacteria, according to a study conducted by the Philippine Textile Research Institute at the Department of Science and Technology (PTRI-DOST).

The study showed that fabrics dyed with these extracts could actually reduce chances of infection of the Staphylococcus aurous, a type of bacteria that could cause abscess and boils and could infect the nose and skin. Reduction ranges from 69 to 99 percent.

“This means that naturally dyed fabrics could inhibit bacterial growth or destroy bacteria altogether,” the PTRI-DOST said.

Crude extracts of mayana (Coleus blumei) leaves, mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) bark, young coconut (Cocos nucifera) husks, talisay (Terminalia catappa) leaves, turmeric (Curcuma longga) rhizomes, annatto (Bixa orellana) seeds, tamarind (Tamarindus indica) bark, and indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) leaves were mixed together to form a dye solution and was applied to knitted cotton fabrics.

The fabrics were washed thoroughly and air dried before evaluating “using the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) Test Method 100-2004 or the Antibacterial Finishes on Textile Materials”.

The PTRI-DOST said that this process would “determine the naturally dyed fabrics’ activity against staphylococcus and AATCC Test Method 147-2004 or the Parallel Streak Method for Klebsiela pneumonia”.

Researchers at PTRI’s Chemicals, Dyes, Auxiliaries, and Byproduct Utilization Section conducted the study this year. The team was headed by Julius L. Leaño Jr., senior science research specialist at PTRI.

Meantime, another study to determine the “colorfastness of textiles” was conducted with a dye from young coconut husks and showed promising result.

PTRI researchers found that dyes from extracts of young coconut husks “are best absorbed by cotton and blends of cotton-polyester-pineapple fabrics”.

“When tested for colorfastness to laundering or the degree of change in color and staining when washed in soap and water, the naturally dyed fabrics got a 4 to 4.5 rating, which means that a slight change in color occurred without staining,” the research said. The highest rating possible is 5.

Colors produced from young coconut husks vary from pink to mauve pink.

PTRI is DOST’s lead agency in textile research and development. (MindaNews)