DOST-PTRI’s Ready-to-buy (RTB) natural yarns and dyes kits
The Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) produces natural textile fiber-based (NTF) yarns namely, cotton blends of abaca and pineapple, greige fabrics, and dye kits available for use by weavers, designers, social entrepreneurs, apparel manufacturers, and the other sub-sectors of the textile industry.
The DOST-PTRI is selling cotton/pineapple yarns and natural dye kits among others, through the project funded by DOST-PCIEERD, which aims to promote the increased use of Philippine natural textile and dyes and provide textile stakeholders with alternative materials attuned to the global trend of going natural.
Philippine textile industry
The Philippines, for the past years, has been challenged in competing with the global market of natural textiles due to the supply gap particularly of processed textile fibers which will be used to produce yarns, then fabrics. It has long been since the country has produced textiles such as yarns and fabrics of single-origin and thus it relies heavily on imported materials.
The Philippines has been working to boost local production and use of textiles made using abaca, pineapple, and other natural textile fibers because these fibers sources are abundant in the country.
The RA 9242 or Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law mandates the use of Philippines tropical fabrics — classified as those containing natural fibers produced, spun, woven, or knitted and finished in the Philippines — in the uniforms of government officials and employees. Although it has plenty of raw materials, the Philippines lacks manufacturers able to process the plant fibers into textiles. Thus, DOST-PTRI has been finding ways to close the gap through the establishment of the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles located in Bicutan, Taguig that primarily produces yarns and fabrics under the RTB project. Another effort to close the gap is the establishment of the first Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center that is located in Miag ao, Iloilo. Both these Centers are capable of producing high-value NTF yarns for use of the local market.
Natural dyes industry
The global natural dyes market is expected to generate revenues of about $ 5 Billion by 2024 growing at a CAGR of around 11% according to market research. This is mainly due to the recent trends of increasing preference for natural, organic, and sustainable products driving the demand for the products which use natural materials. (source: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zdhzms/the_global_market?w=4)
The high demand of consumers for colored products brought about the prevalence of synthetic dyes which are easier to use, lower cost, and readily available compared to natural dyes. But with stringent government regulations on pollutions and awareness on the need for environmental protection, there comes the resurgence of natural dyes in the market.
DOST-PTRI’s NatDyes R&D Program has generated the technologies, such as standardized extraction of dyes from plant materials and its application on to textiles; conversion of crude extracts to powder form to improve the shelf life of dyes and easy handling, and production and application of silkscreen printing pastes and textile paints using crude extracts or dye powders.
Through the RTB project, the natural dyes industry stakeholders will now be able to explore dyeing with the use of natural dye powders, auxiliaries, and swatch fabric all contained in the dye kits without the need to extract dyes from plant sources.
The DOST-PTRI supports the Philippine textile and natural dye industries with the goal of making them locally-dominant, globally competitive, and self-sustaining by catalyzing the supply and catering to the demand for locally produced textiles and dyes.