In an attempt to explore design and innovation opportunities in unconventional natural fibres such as banana, coir, bamboo and hemp, the National Institute of Design (NID) has set up a research chair in natural fibre.
What's more, the premier design institute is set to collaborate with textile firms like Arvind, RSWM and The Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO) as well as global technological institutes and laboratories for research and innovation along with conversion into finished products from unconventional natural fibres such as banana, coir, bamboo and hemp, among others.
NID has set up an 'Innovation Centre for Natural Fibre' at its Gandhinagar campus for this.
"Research and design have been on for conventional fibres such as cotton and wool. But there are many natural plant based and animal protein based fibres that are unconventional and need research and design. At the research chair and centre at NID, the idea is to find a synergy of design and technology for development of such natural fibres," said Pradyumnasinh Jhala, research advisor at the centre at NID.
Collaborative efforts are also on with noted laboratories and technical institutes from Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland, to name a few.
The initial project cost for running the centre is estimated at around Rs 2 crore.
"We are collaborating and networking with several global laboratories and institutes. A consortium is also being tried with industry and R&D representatives. Moreover, diploma projects would also be given out for research work in natural fibres," said Jhala.
Meanwhile, on its part, NID would work on research and innovation for creating finished products in terms of clothing and construction materials as well as technical textiles from the natural fibres.