On January 8, 2020, the winners of the 2019 Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI) Innovation Award were recognized during the international trade fair for home and contract textiles, Heimtextil, in Frankfurt/Germany.
The development of a biodegradable cotton-jute fabric with a waterproof coating that can substitute for non-biodegradable PVC-coated polyester was a collaboration between the 2 researchers, Dr. Debasish Das, University of Calcutta/India, and Dr. Subhas Ghosh, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI/USA.
The new cotton-jute fabric is suitable for use in outdoor fabrics such as tarps, awnings, canopies, or automobile hooding material. In addition to being biodegradable, the natural fiber material meets fire-retardancy standards and allows the transfer of moisture vapor to avoid the accumulation of humidity on the underside of fabrics, while remaining waterproof. Crucially, the natural fiber textile product contains no carcinogenic plasticizer, no toxic formaldehyde-based adhesion promoter, and no non-biodegradable fabric components.
This cost-effective natural fiber product was developed with support from the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, New Delhi/India.