Dr Ela Dedhia, Head Department of Textiles & Fashion Technology, College of Home Science Nirmala Niketan, Affiliated to University of Mumbai.

A National Webinar on MEDICAL AND PROTECTIVE TEXTILES AND APPARELS IN THE PANDEMIC ERA was hosted on 29th April, 2020 by, the Department of Textile and Fashion Technology of College Home Science, Nirmala Niketan, Affiliated to University of Mumbai, NAAC Accredited A Grade. Delegates included students, teachers, professionals, and others related to this field at National and International level.

The webinar was inaugurated by Dr Geeta Ibrahim, Principal of the college where she appreciated the advancement of medical textiles from sultchers last 4000 years to wound dressing to skin draft, gowns and said this is the right time and opportunity for this theme during Covid 19.

Dr Ela Dedhia, Head Department of Textile and Fashion Technology, gave an overview of the theme, emphasizing the vast opportunities that this Pandemic has given to the Textile and Apparel Industry.  She said that during this tough period of pandemic the medical and protective textiles are used for medical treatment and protection by not only medical professionals but also by common people for self protection and specially by the care takers of Corona positive patients which are growing by leaps and bounds each day in India specially Maharashtra and  there is lot of research being done in this area all over the world. In India due to huge population there is an immense need for various medical treatments and medical and protective textiles. Due to this there is high scope of development in this field specially in the usage of masks, gloves, PPEs, coveralls and many others including textile fabrics and finishes, which would be discussed to understand the opportunities and challenges.

Dr Dedhia moderated the panel discussion including the questions raised by participants on Youtube.

Along with her on the organizing committee included Dr Pratima Goyal who presented a brief introduction of the panelist and Dr Anjali Srivastav who proposed the vote of thanks. Edfly was the Technical partner and Textile Value Chain was the Media Partner. There were three esteemed panellists during the webinar.

First panellist was Mr. Avinash Mayekar, CEO and MD of “Suvin Advisories Pvt Ltd” with 32 years of rich experience in consultancy firms and esteemed Textile Industries, his core areas are in management studies, project management, modernization studies, bench marking studies and market surveys. He is an expert in Technical textiles and promotes it in India. He also specialised in strategic building and business processes. Has a vast global exposure and has more than 50 published papers in national and international conferences. He gave a quick overview of all the 12 different segments of textile technologies such as mobiltech, buildtech, meditech, agrotech, clothtech, packtech, geotech, oekotech, hometech, protech, indutech, sportech. He spoke about global and Indian technical market scenario, the share of major countries in global technical textiles. Increase awareness in health and hygiene in India will lead to higher demand in medical textile products. There would be great demand for protective clothing worldwide. Indian garment and other manufacturers have proven their capabilities by changing their product mix from non technical to technical textiles. He explained various processes and technologies, and highlighted the medical textile market scenario which is changed due to this pandemic era of covid-19. There is an increased demand for coveralls, PPE kits, protective suits masks etc. according to him and he also explained which categories India should be focusing post covid scenario, keeping in mind, the strength of India in textile technologies and the various opportunities for India in the field of medical textile technologies.

The second panellist Mrs. Manjiri Paranjape, Vice President in R&D of “Rossari Biotech Ltd”, with almost 20 years of experience in textile processing, and has presented at various conferences and esteemed Institutes. She said this is a crisis situation and always crisis have two sides one is danger and to come out of that danger the other side is solution and solution always leads to further opportunities. Post this crisis, future focus should be on health and wellbeing of persons and nation. Textile industries should also start focusing on these issues which will increase production. She spoke about many finishes in detail and that the aspiration of gen x finish where one finish is combined with another finish such as antimicrobial + UV protection, Antiviral + Blood stain repellent, Antimicrobial + water repellent, Antimicrobial+ moisture management finish, Antimicrobial + Antistatic, Aloevera + moisture management

The third panellist was Dr. Suranjana Gangopadhyay, Head of Textile Manufacturers Department of “VJTI COLLEGE” in Mumbai. She is the first Women Head of Textile Manufacturing Department in the history of 133 years of VJTI. Her specialization include electrically conducted textiles, smart textiles, application of smart textiles in wearable apparel for people with disabilities, etc. She said that this webinar title has given her good insights and new food for thought. Earlier technical textiles did not focus on apparel, while apparel industry did not focus on technical aspects in apparel and therefore she found this title itself has triggered new thoughts.  This is the correct time where garment manufacturers and textile technologists should think and innovate new ideas to fulfil the new market demands from the consumers. Multifunctional textiles, strict technical norms and aesthic and comfort all important together to create original products and not to copy.

The webinar ended with a vote of thanks to Panelist, viewers, technical supporters, media supporters and to everyone in the Institute.