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Aloe Vera creating endless possibilities in the textile segment

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a native plant of Africa, also cultivated in regions like India, America, Mexico and other parts of the world. It is also known as lily of the desert and plant of immortality due to its medicinal effects. This plant has 96 percent of water content. The leaf of this plant contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds such as 20 minerals, 18 amino acids and 12 vitamins.

Aloe-Vera-textile
Figure 1: Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera is a very useful element of nature, which has been used from ancient times in various applications. Aloe Barbadensis Miller (Aloe Vera) plant is found to be more useful to humankind because of the medicinal properties it possesses. And following that path now in this modern generation, Aloe Vera is being used in textile industries also.

Alo Vera in textile sector

In the textile sector, applying methods based on Aloe Vera will be very much fruitful. Mainly microencapsulation technology helps to add Aloe Vera in the fabrics creating endless possibilities in the textile segment. Aloe Vera content is embedded into airtight and waterproof microcapsules.

These microcapsules are miniature containers, manufactured with a protective polymeric coating or melamine shell. These shells can protect its contents from evaporation, and contamination until it is released. The capsules are bonded with the fibers during the process when the fabric is manufactured.

The capsules open when the fabric is touched or rubbed. When the garment is tailored, these capsules remain as a part of the clothing. When the garment is worn, the Aloe Vera in the garment is applied to the skin regularly. This tolerates a temperature of 130C.

Aloe Vera enriched garments are in the initial stages of development. Not much is known about the textile applications of this wonder, medicinal plant. Dermatology tests regarding the textile applications of these fibers were conducted by a research university in Germany. A textile research center in Krefeld, Germany has successfully attempted to apply this substance on the surface of the material. Currently, these garments are manufactured in Barcelona, Spain.

The process of using Aloe Vera

In the present study, cotton fabric is treated with Aloe Vera extract at various concentrations. A new approach to make textiles antimicrobial is incorporating the active principle of aloe gel extract with fabric. Initially, plant extracts are screened by qualitative antimicrobial tests for the presence of active principles. The extracts are applied to fabrics by simple exhaustion.

The finished fabric samples have been tested for activity as per the AATCC (Agar Diffusion) method.

Many research centers have already tried to apply this method in textiles & their process is amazing as it is easy enough to work with Aloe Vera. In Bangladesh, it has not been used yet. So, the process of using aloe vera in textiles can be learned & used for our betterment in the textile sectors. Let us know-

Here the process used by some research centers –

A technique that might be used in the microencapsulation of essential oils is the concertation. In this case, starch was used as the wall polymer. Binary and tertiary commercial modified cornstarch blends were evaluated by Krishnan, Bhosale, and Singhal (2005) via bonding with octane succinate, gum Arabic and maltodextrin to encapsulate cardamom oil.

The blend containing gum Arabic, maltodextrin, and modified starch has offered better protection for the oil. Chattopadhyaya, Singhal, and Kulkarni (1998) used oxidized corn and amaranth starches to encapsulate vanillin, replacing the gum Arabic and amiogum 688.

The results have shown few differences between the encapsulating agents regarding the amount of encapsulated aroma; however, the oxidized starches have shown smaller hygroscopicity during the spray drying process. The microencapsulation guarantees the protection of the active principle, as well as its controlled release, hence the great interest of its application in textile materials (Aguiar et al., 2017).

For this reason, it is the objective of this paper to perform the microencapsulation of Aloe vera with cornstarch and apply the microcapsules to nonwoven bandages used in the treatment of burned skin. Perform the microencapsulation of Aloe Vera with cornstarch and apply the microcapsules to nonwoven bandages used in the treatment of burned skin.

Now we will know specifically about those necessary steps and elements which we should have to apply this new method in our textile:

Materials

Cornstarch (Sigma-Aldrich, Germany) was used as an encapsulating agent and Aloe Vera (Brasquim, Brazil) as an active principle. For the formation of the coacervate, a mechanical stirrer was used (Fisaton Mod. 710-Quimis Mod. G334M28). The analytical agents used were Acetic Acid (AcOH) 10% v/v, Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 1 mol/L for pH correction. Glutaraldehyde (C5H8O2) 10% v/v was used to stiffen the walls of the microcapsules.

Preparation of the microcapsules with aloe vera essential oil

The microcapsules containing Aloe vera were prepared using the simple coacervation method, in an aqueous medium, as proposed by Irani, Ranjbar, Moradian, and Jannesari (2017) and adapted according to the purposes of this work. The procedure is schematized in Figure 1.

The dispersion was given by the insertion of starch (10 g) in 100 mL of deionized water, with a temperature of 46 C, constant stirring of 500 rpm, for 10 minutes. With the produced emulsion, 2 g of Aloe vera oil were added keeping constant the stirring (500 rpm) for 10 minutes.

In sequence, AcOH was added (10%) to adjust the pH (4.0 ± 0.1) with a digital pH meter. Afterward, the system was immersed in an ice bath with constant stirring for slow cooling until it reached 10 ± 2 C. After 1 hour of stirring, the temperature was adjusted to 25 C (room temperature), and, the pH was adjusted using the titration of NaOH (1 mol/L) until it reached 8.5–9. Subsequently, 25 mL of formaldehyde (CH2O) 10% was added with constant stirring for 12 hours (Bezerra et al., 2016). After these steps, the microcapsules in solution were obtained.

Optical-Microscopy-microcapsules
Figure 2: Optical Microscopy of the microcapsules formed via simple coacervation.

Morphologic evaluation

The morphology of the microcapsules was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), JEOL-JSM 5610. Scanning was performed upon the microcapsules and complexes with and without their application onto the fabric. The optical microscopy was executed to verify the regularity and the geometry of the microcapsules and the complexes, to verify the homogeneity of the solutions as well as the regularity of the walls of the microcapsules. For his purpose, the equipment BX43-OLYMPUS was used. The magnification order was of 500.

Thermogravimetric analysis

The thermogravimetric analysis was used to evaluate the thermal stability and properties of the polymers. The equipment used for the analysis was the thermogravimeterMetler, Software STAR (Version SW 9.01), with a heating rate of 10 C/min, within the temperature range of 30–600 C, in a nitrogen atmosphere.

So, using of Aloe Vera in the textile sector can be approved by doing the above steps & using those elements.

Now we come to the point that what is our benefit by applying this new method? We are human beings and try to be aware of our benefits!

The Importance of using Aloe Vera in textile

  • The main advantage of Aloe Vera Microfiber Fabric-Fabric ™ is a finishing touch of Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera concentration in the fabric is very nourishing for the body, mainly for human skin.
  • The fabric repels moisture and cold from the outside, a large number of pores allow easy evaporation of sweat.
  • The fabric cools during the warm nights, and if you are cold on the contrary it warms. It features excellent antibacterial and anti-allergenic properties.
  • Microfiber fabric ALOE VERA-Fabric ™ is equipped with the final finish, which delivers exceptional fabric properties. The fabric contains a 3% extract of the medicinal Aloe Vera plant. The Aloe Vera extract acts as a natural purifier, as an anesthetic. Relieves pain, such as muscles, joints, etc. It is bactericidal when applied in high concentrations for several hours in direct contact with the bacteria.
  • The microencapsulation of essential oils and its application in textile articles allows the aggregation of different functionalities to the substrates, imparting those antimicrobial properties, cosmetic effects, UV protection, and application of drugs among others. The coacervation technique allows good results using starch to prepare the microcapsules.

Conclusion

The world is developing day by day and always trying to introduce new methods in our life. Textile is a very important part of our life and applying Aloe Vera in the textile sector is one of the latest technology. It is a matter of pride that it has already been introduced but this technique should be applied in all countries as fast as possible.

Bangladesh’s textile and apparel sector can be beneficial enough to use Aloe Vera. Also, it can be expected that the process of using Aloe Vera will be modified to give people more comfort and will be in a better position comparing with the present situation.

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318482816_Aloe_Vera_Leaf_Gel_Extract_for_Antibacterial_and_Softness_Properties_of_Cotton
  2. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Antimicrobial+activity+of+cotton+fabric+treated+with+Aloevera+extract.-a0323258114

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