The humble crab is now doing its bit for the textile trade via the activities of Be Be Cotton Knitting. At the recent Lyon Mode City trade fair it launched to the European market the latest Maytech branded fibre containing ChitoSante, a biomaterial extracted from a deep sea crab native to the north Pacific.

The inclusion of this substance, which can be introduced into knitted fabrics either at the dyeing or during the finishing process, is claimed to provide protection against a wide variety of micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and mould as well as preventing the development of odour in garments destined for intimate or for active wear.

Be Be Cotton Knitting also suggests that it will reduce the risk of static build- up and that all these properties will be undiminished by laundering for at least 50 washes. In support of these claims, Be Be Cotton Knitting is prepared to release to the trade for use in the production of garment labels the results of its own extensive wash testing research.

Iniitally it expects the strongest take-up of the process to be in the knitwear, sportswear and lingerie industries.

"The ultimate market, however, could be any type of clothing since the ChitoSante treatment is applicable for use on any natural fibre from cotton to cashmere, on viscose and on most forms of manmade fibre fabrics including those with a spandex content," says Be Be.

It adds that interest in the product to date has been from garment manufacturers worldwide, but that there has been particular interest from the more ecology conscious nations, and especially from Germany.

"In such markets the fact that ours is an intrinsically environmentally friendly process with the basic ChitoSante compound also declared safe for use in food production and in medicine is proving an enormous sales plus," says Be Be Cotton Knitting.

By Sonia Roberts.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

World Textile Fibers to 2003

World Textile Chemicals to 2004