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Combating menace of microbes attack on finished textile print pastes formulation


Microbes or microorganisms are not only pathogenic (i.e. diseases causing agents) in nature, they are also destructive, waste time and money invested. As a result, there is a need to prevent any opportunity that might be favorable to their growth in any process of textile print paste production. It is preferable to disinfect, decontaminate or even sterilize equipment and the materials that likely to be regarded as host or vectors for their survival. Doing all these, will no doubt forestall any form of embarrassment that might emanate from the microbes war.

Moreso, recent experience from microbes attack on textile print pastes prepared for artists consumption at the Aventex International Limited’s laboratory suggested that they could cause serious deteriorating effects on the finished products. The figures below show different forms of appearance of the attacked textile print pastes. The type of microorganisms present in different colored paste has a distinguished pattern that depends on the pigment. For instance, red, blue, green and white differ in the colony formation on the surfaces. The microbes coagulated the components of the print paste to form solid particles on the surface with a different appearance.

The textile print pastes attacked by the microorganisms

textile print pastes attacked by microorganisms

However, all the print paste formulations above, i.e. from the same base, contained formaldehyde as preservative agents. The pastes were still attacked even in the presence of this preservative agent. After this incidence, the contaminated surfaces were removed and additional concentration of formalin was added; which twice the initial concentration. This was intended to inhibit their growth but after two weeks, they resurfaced, though less in the areas of the surface of attack.

In addition, to combat this menace, the subsequent formulations were made to undergo disinfection of the containers, materials and other items using isopropyl alcohol. Addition of isopropyl alcohol as a preservative agent was shown to have significant inhibition of microorganisms for the same periods. Also, pine oil had significant prevention of microbes in the print paste prepared over two years. It indicated a high potential for a preservative agent in textile print past besides isopropyl alcohol and formaldehyde.

Lastly, microbiology laboratory investigation of the samples revealed that microorganisms responsible for the attack. The cultural media employed for identification are:

microbes attack finished textile print pastes

GROUP A: result after incubation in the media.

GROUP B: before incubation.

Methodology: Systematic bacteriological and mycological examination of the attacked print pastes   

Media Used

  1. Blood Agar 5%
  2. Chocolate agar 5%
  3. Mac Conkey Agar
  4. Sabrourd dextrose Agar

The above media were prepared following the manufacturer instructions.

The blood agar and the chocolate agar used is to cover the recovery (isolation) of both fastidious and non-fastidious isolate that may be present in the samples.

Mac conkey agar is for the recovery of only gram-negative bacilli since it is a selective medium.

Saboraud dextrose agar is for mycology aspect of the study.

Inoculation method: Streaking method was used for the inoculation of the samples. This was carefully done in order to have a district colony of the isolate for identification purpose.

Identification of isolate

  1. Colonial morphology was noted down and this was followed by gram staining technique.
  2. After gram staining, which was used to divide the bacteria growth into two major groups gram positive and gram negative respectively. The biochemical reaction was performed for identification up to species level. The biochemical tests are: Oxidase test, Citrate utilization test, Triple sugar iron monitor motility test, Indole test.
  • For fungi study (mycology) lactose phenol cotton blue was used for the microscopy before atlas and colonia microscopy appearance was combined to name the isolated fungi.


The isolate identified on the red print paste was candida tropicalis and Aspergillus fumigatus.

The green print paste formulation was attached by pseudomonas geroginosa


Conclusively, to combat microbes war against prepared textile print paste, the formulations should put in consideration total disinfection of the containers, materials, items and apply appropriate preservative agents of high efficacy other than formaldehyde or formalin. The alternative preservative agents that have potential attributes and still compactible with the textile print paste include; isopropyl alcohol, pine oil, neem oil etc. may be added.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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