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Debasish Das and Subhas Ghosh bag innovation award

Debasish Das, Professor, University of Calcutta, Department of Jute and Fibre Technology, and Subhas Ghosh, Professor, Eastern Michigan University, School of Visual Built Environments, College of Engineering and Technology, have won the 2019 Discover Natural Fibers Initiative Innovation Award.

The two researchers were awarded for their development of a biodegradable cotton-jute fabric with a waterproof coating that can substitute for non-biodegradable PVC-coated polyester. 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 developed by Das and Ghosh contains no carcinogenic plasticiser, no toxic formaldehyde-based adhesion promoter, and no non-biodegradable fabric components.

This cost-effective natural fiber product was developed within the Department of Jute and Fiber Technology, University of Calcutta, with support from the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. The product will be produced on a commercial scale by Ajanta Textiles, India.