Mercerizing to enhance luster effects cellulosic fi

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Mercerizing To enhance luster effects, cellulosic fi bers (e.g., cotton, hemp, and linen) can be mercerized after weaving or spinning processes (Oecotextiles 2012c ). In addition to luster, mercerization also allows fabrics to experience multiple bene fi ts such as improved moisture absorption (by 7.5 8.5 %), wet resistance, lint reduction, and dyeing methods capable of creating brighter and deeper colors (Beaudet N.D.; Theballofyarn N.D.). In particular, dyeing capabilities can be enhanced by 25 % and dyed colors stay longer after a fabric is mercerized (Beaudet N.D.). Despite these bene fi ts, the textile mercerization creates negative environmental impacts, the results of the use of toxic chemical sodium hydroxide (salts) (Beaudet N.D.). Most cotton fabric production wastewater contains 2,000 3,000 ppm of salt concentra- tions that signi fi cantly exceed the federal limit of 230 ppm; hence, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restricts textile mills from draining mercerization water waste that includes sodium hydroxide into water sources (Aqua fi t4news 2011 ; Radha et al. 2009 ). Environmental Sustainability in the Textile Industry 33
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Assembly Assembly process refers to gathering each garment component into a fi nished garment in a workstation setting, and is a designed task performed according to the protocols (Chan et al. 1998 ). One of the most labor- and material-intensive parts of assembly is the sewing process that involves connecting components together; thus, in order to save unnecessary material wastes and decrease mistakes, entire work assembly processes should be simulated to prioritize work orders before executing the actual sewing process. Advanced planning of assembly helps to enhance the overall production quality (Cooklin 1991 ). The garment assembly process requires fl uent knowledge and skills of garment production, as well as many collaborative processes and schedule arrangements (Cooklin 1991 ). Due to this complicated structure, garment assembly is dif fi cult to automate with computer technology (Chan et al. 1998 ). In addition, during the assembly process, a signi fi cant amount of electricity is consumed for running equipment, such as sewing machines and pressers, in which it will later become the cause of greenhouse gas emissions (Palamutcu 2010 ). Therefore, to reduce the potential environmental impacts from the assembly process, designers and manufacturers must consider using alternative assembly approaches that allow saving labor, material, and energy usage. Packaging Packaging is a process that integrates wrapping around a product for multiple purposes such as containing, protection, identi fi cation, and promotion, assisting in making the product more marketable (Entrepreneur N.D.). There are several requirements for product packaging: fi rst, it should be durable with consideration to shipping and stocking in the warehouse as well as displaying in retail stores; second, as the face of the product, packaging must illustrate speci fi c information about the product (e.g., instructions about how to handle or use); and third, it should
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