It is generally assumed that the production of plant fibre textiles in ancient Europe, especially woven textiles for clothing, was closely linked to the development of agriculture through the use of cultivated textile plants (flax, hemp). Here we present a new investigation of the 2800 year old Lusehøj Bronze Age Textile from Voldtofte, Denmark, which challenges this assumption. We show that the textile is made of imported nettle, most probably from the Kärnten-Steiermark region, an area which at the time had an otherwise established flax production. Our results thus suggest that the production of woven plant fibre textiles in Bronze Age Europe was based not only on cultivated textile plants but also on the targeted exploitation of wild plants. The Lusehøj find points to a hitherto unrecognized role of nettle as an important textile plant and suggests the need for a re-evaluation of textile production resource management in prehistoric Europe.
Transparent and flexible electrodes are widely used on a variety of substrates such as plastics and glass. Yet, to date, transparent electrodes on a textile substrate have not been explored. The exceptional electrical, mechanical and optical properties of monolayer graphene make it highly attractive as a transparent electrode for applications in wearable electronics. Here, we report the transfer of monolayer graphene, grown by chemical vapor deposition on copper foil, to fibers commonly used by the textile industry. The graphene-coated fibers have a sheet resistance as low as ~1 kΩ per square, an equivalent value to the one obtained by the same transfer process onto a Si substrate, with a reduction of only 2.3 per cent in optical transparency while keeping high stability under mechanical stress. With this approach, we successfully achieved the first example of a textile electrode, flexible and truly embedded in a yarn.
Nanoparticles are very interesting because of their surface properties, different from bulk materials. Such properties make possible to endow ordinary products with new functionalities. Their relatively low cost with respect to other nano-additives make them a promising choice for industrial mass-production systems. Nanoparticles of different kind of materials such as silver, titania, and zinc oxide have been used in the functionalization of fibers and fabrics achieving significantly improved products with new macroscopic properties. This article reviews the most relevant approaches for incorporating such nanoparticles into synthetic fibers used traditionally in the textile industry allowing to give a solution to traditional problems for textiles such as the microorganism growth onto fibers, flammability, robustness against ultraviolet radiation, and many others. In addition, the incorporation of such nanoparticles into special ultrathin fibers is also analyzed. In this field, electrospinning is a very promising technique that allows the fabrication of ultrathin fiber mats with an extraordinary control of their structure and properties, being an ideal alternative for applications such as wound healing or even functional membranes.
The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology.
Conducting fibres are essential to the development of e-textiles. We demonstrate a method to make common insulating textile fibres conductive, by coating them with graphene. The resulting fibres display sheet resistance values as low as 600 Ωsq(-1), demonstrating that the high conductivity of graphene is not lost when transferred to textile fibres. An extensive microscopic study of the surface of graphene-coated fibres is presented. We show that this method can be employed to textile fibres of different materials, sizes and shapes, and to different types of graphene. These graphene-based conductive fibres can be used as a platform to build integrated electronic devices directly in textiles.
Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., is a plant fibre of significant economic importance, with seeds providing an additional source of protein in human and animal nutrition. Flavonoids play a vital role in maintaining plant health and function and much research has investigated the role of flavonoids in plant defence and plant vigour and the influence these have on cotton production. As part of ongoing research into host plant/invertebrate pest interactions, we investigated the flavonoid profile of cotton reported in published, peer-reviewed literature. Here we report 52 flavonoids representing seven classes and their reported distribution within the cotton plant. We briefly discuss the historical research of flavonoids in cotton production and propose research areas that warrant further investigation.
A need exists for artificial muscles that are silent, soft, and compliant, with performance characteristics similar to those of skeletal muscle, enabling natural interaction of assistive devices with humans. By combining one of humankind’s oldest technologies, textile processing, with electroactive polymers, we demonstrate here the feasibility of wearable, soft artificial muscles made by weaving and knitting, with tunable force and strain. These textile actuators were produced from cellulose yarns assembled into fabrics and coated with conducting polymers using a metal-free deposition. To increase the output force, we assembled yarns in parallel by weaving. The force scaled linearly with the number of yarns in the woven fabric. To amplify the strain, we knitted a stretchable fabric, exhibiting a 53-fold increase in strain. In addition, the textile construction added mechanical stability to the actuators. Textile processing permits scalable and rational production of wearable artificial muscles, and enables novel ways to design assistive devices.
Indian Biotech opponents have attributed the increase of suicides to the monopolization of GM seeds, centering on patent control, application of terminator technology, marketing strategy, and increased production costs. The contentions of the biotech opponents, however, have been criticized for a lack of transparency in their modus operandi i.e. the use of methodology in their argumentation. The fact is, however, that with the intention of getting the attention of those capable of determining the future of GM cotton in India, opponents resorted to generating controversies. Therefore, this article will review and evaluate the multifaceted contentions of both opponents and defenders. Although the association between seed monopolization and farmer-suicide is debatable, we will show that there is a link between the economic factors associated with Bt. cultivation and farmer suicide. The underlying thesis of biotech opponents becomes all the more significant when analysed vis-à-vis the contention of the globalization critics that there has been a political and economic marginalization of the Indian farmers. Their accusation assumes significance in the context of a fragile democracy like India where market forces are accorded precedence over farmers' needs until election time.
Cotton is a promising basis for wearable smart textiles. Current approaches that rely on fiber coatings suffer from function loss during wear. We present an approach that allows biological incorporation of exogenous molecules into cotton fibers to tailor the material’s functionality. In vitro model cultures of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) are incubated with 6-carboxyfluorescein-glucose and dysprosium-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid-glucose, where the glucose moiety acts as a carrier capable of traveling from the vascular connection to the outermost cell layer of the ovule epidermis, becoming incorporated into the cellulose fibers. This yields fibers with unnatural properties such as fluorescence or magnetism. Combining biological systems with the appropriate molecular design offers numerous possibilities to grow functional composite materials and implements a material-farming concept.
Polyploidy often confers emergent properties, such as the higher fibre productivity and quality of tetraploid cottons than diploid cottons bred for the same environments. Here we show that an abrupt five- to sixfold ploidy increase approximately 60 million years (Myr) ago, and allopolyploidy reuniting divergent Gossypium genomes approximately 1-2 Myr ago, conferred about 30-36-fold duplication of ancestral angiosperm (flowering plant) genes in elite cottons (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), genetic complexity equalled only by Brassica among sequenced angiosperms. Nascent fibre evolution, before allopolyploidy, is elucidated by comparison of spinnable-fibred Gossypium herbaceum A and non-spinnable Gossypium longicalyx F genomes to one another and the outgroup D genome of non-spinnable Gossypium raimondii. The sequence of a G. hirsutum A(t)D(t) (in which ’t' indicates tetraploid) cultivar reveals many non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between subgenomes that may have contributed to phenotypic innovation and/or other emergent properties such as ecological adaptation by polyploids. Most DNA-level novelty in G. hirsutum recombines alleles from the D-genome progenitor native to its New World habitat and the Old World A-genome progenitor in which spinnable fibre evolved. Coordinated expression changes in proximal groups of functionally distinct genes, including a nuclear mitochondrial DNA block, may account for clusters of cotton-fibre quantitative trait loci affecting diverse traits. Opportunities abound for dissecting emergent properties of other polyploids, particularly angiosperms, by comparison to diploid progenitors and outgroups.