Threads, labels and fabrics made by Yorkshire-based companies are to be marked with botanical DNA as part of a project to authenticate textiles at all points of the supply chain.

The three-year collaboration with Stony Brook, New York based Applied DNA Sciences Inc will tag products with its SigNature DNA to validate them as being 100% genuine.

The GBP50,000 (US$87,900) project, funded through the Yorkshire Forward regional development agency, will run from August through December 2008, with the potential for more significant financial support after then.

The first phase of the collaboration will focus on using SigNature DNA to authenticate textiles at all points of the supply chain through to the end user.

The second phase will include APDN's BioMaterial Genotyping programme for raw fibres such as wool, cashmere, and silk.

"Yorkshire Forward - by working with the Textile Centre of Excellence - wants to ensure that the region's experience in this field can be combined with its cutting edge expertise to develop products and processes fit for the 21st century," said Jim Farmery, assisted director for business, Yorkshire Forward.

The use of botanical DNA will forensically authenticate Yorkshire made products and is seen as key to tackling the growing problem of counterfeit textile and apparel items.