Finding propolis used outside of the body in an unorthodox manner as a "green solution" is innovative. The first study of its kind, discovered Propolis enables antibacterial, UV and water repellency in cotton textiles. Of course, Stradivari also used an innovative approach in protecting his precious violins with a coating of propolis...
Propolis Induced Antibacterial Activity and Other Technical Properties of Cotton Textiles
Int J BiolMacromol, 2013 May 8
Propolis is a gum gathered by honey bees from various plants; the honey bees use propolis to seal holes in their honey combs, smooth out the internal wall and protect the entrance against intruders. It is composed of 50% resin (flavonoids and related phenolic acid), 30% wax, 10% essential oils., 5% pollen and 5% various organic components. As a natural mixture, propolis is widely used in medicine and cosmetics and food. So far no attempts have been yet made to make use of propolis in the realm of textile finishing .
Current work presents the first systemic study targeted to build up a scientific basis for production of cotton textiles having antibacterial activity and other useful properties by making use of propolis as eco-friendly finish within the scope of green strategy.
Propolis extract solution (70/30 ethanol/water) of 10% concentration was prepared as the stock. Different amounts of the latter were used along with a crosslinking agent and catalyst for treatment of cotton fabrics as per pad-dry-cure technique. Antibacterial activity of the so treated fabrics was obtained through monitoring the efficiency of the interaction of propolis with cotton cellulose. This interaction was expressed as inhibition zone diameter after the treated fabrics were exposed to (G +ve) and (G-ve) bacteria .
Other properties include crease recovery, tensile strength and elongation at break. Factors affecting these properties such as type, nature and concentration of the crosslinking agent, concentration, of propolis, and conditions of curing were investigated. In addition characterization of the propolis containing modified cotton fabrics including demonstration of the antibacterial activity, SEM, FTIR, durability to washing, UV protection and water repellency were performed.
Based on results obtained, it is concluded that application of propolis along with glyoxal and Al2(SO4)3 catalyst using pad-dry (3min./80°C), cure(5/140°C) bring about cotton textile with superior antibacterial activity, water repellent and ease of care characteristics as well as UV Protection. Tentative mechanism of the reaction of propolis with cotton in presence of glyoxal was also reported.