Sustainable Antifungal and Antibacterial Textiles Using Natural Resources

  • Fatma Filiz Yıldırım
  • Ozan Avinc
  • Arzu YavasEmail author
  • Gökcin Sevgisunar
Part of the Sustainable Textiles: Production, Processing, Manufacturing & Chemistry book series (STPPMC)


The structure and use of textile products can provide necessary conditions for microorganism, which can easily live in many environments leading to proliferation. Bacteria and fungi are the most important microorganisms for textile industry. Body temperature is an important factor for the growth of fungi and bacteria in the body, but also the amount of sweat released from the sweat glands and the chemical content of the sweat are also important factors. These media conditions pave the way for easier growth of bacteria, especially in cellulose-based textile materials. While fungus causes staining and biodegradation on the textile material, bacteria also can result in undesirable bad odors. These organisms can cause color change, bad odors, and staining as well as lower the strength of textile products. In order to prevent these negative effects, antimicrobial property can be imparted to textile products through different methods. Although antimicrobial chemicals can provide protection benefits to textiles, chemical usage during textile production can cause potential problems to environment. Therefore, various sustainable alternatives to chemical usage were investigated to obtain antimicrobial effects on textiles. Prevention of microbial attack on textile material has become increasingly important for both consumers and textile manufacturers as well as for the textile material itself. By giving antimicrobial properties to textile products, negative effects caused by microorganisms can be prevented or eliminated. Antimicrobial agents prevent the development of fungi and/or bacteria. The majority of antimicrobial agents exhibit potent activity against both bacteria and fungi, but the number of substances that equally affect all microorganisms is quite small. Antimicrobial agents are used to eliminate or inhibit microorganisms by destroying the cell wall, inhibiting cell wall synthesis, inhibiting enzyme activity, or inhibiting protein and nucleic acid synthesis. It is more common that antimicrobial effect is achieved through antimicrobial finishing. Many chemical antimicrobial agents such as commercial triclosan, silver, polyhexamethylene biguanide-PHMB, and quaternary ammonium compounds are generally used in finishing processes. Besides, chitosan, N-halamine, and peroxyacid can also be used as noncommercial antimicrobial agents. However, antimicrobial agents, to be used in textile products, should not threaten human health. Moreover, obtained antimicrobial effects should be stable to repeated washing cycles and ironing conditions. These antimicrobial agents should be resistant to caring conditions and do not directly or indirectly create toxic effects on the environment and consumers. For these reasons, to provide antimicrobial effect to textile surfaces, several natural alternatives are investigated as an alternative for chemicals. For this reason, biological active components of plants have been utilized for imparting antimicrobial activity to textile materials. Several studies show the obtained antimicrobial effects on textile products that were imparted by ecologic, antiallergic, harmless to human and environment, sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable substances such as natural dyes and other natural substances. It is important to point out that the usage of sustainable natural resources in textile processing will add immensely to the efforts for protecting our planet for future generations. This chapter provides information in detail about antimicrobial activity (antifungal and antibacterial activities) on textile products imparted by natural dyes and natural resources and their application methods to textile materials. First, several plant extracts such as acacia, pomegranate, gallnut, neem tree, aloe vera, turmeric, walnut, barberry, basil, rhubarb, ratanjoti, gromwell, peony, Arnebia nobilis, ashoka, and Madhuca indica that impart antimicrobiality to textile fabrics and their application types to textile materials are discussed, and then animal extracts such as chitosan that provide antimicrobial effects to textile materials and their related applications are reviewed.


Antifungal textiles Antibacterial textiles Sustainable Renewable Biodegradable Turmeric Sourcing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatma Filiz Yıldırım
    • 1
  • Ozan Avinc
    • 2
  • Arzu Yavas
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gökcin Sevgisunar
    • 2
  1. 1.Research and Development Centre, Ozanteks Textile CompanyDenizliTurkey
  2. 2.Textile Engineering DepartmentEngineering Faculty, Pamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey

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