The Evolution: A complete way from Textile Science to Textile Engineering?

The Evolution: A complete way from Textile Science to Textile Engineering?

Shohag Chandra Das

Department of  wet processing engineering, 

Bangladesh University of textiles(BUTEX), Dhaka.


It has been long time when science admitted into our life and still spreading itself to all parts of life. Gradually ,it is continuing to create different aspects and different applications to us which helps us to lead our life more easily. However, textile is an inseparable part of science and textile science is the key by which we can make textile more versatile and more enjoyable. It is thought that about 70,000 years ago , first cloth was worn to protect human being from averse environment. Although textile means to weave but it is no longer captive into this meaning. Now it expresses more constructive meaning and belongs to those .However, a little bit confusion can be created among textile science ,textile technology and textile engineering but key factor is textile ,the main common part.

Figure-1: Illustration of silk coloration in china(courtesy: textile history)

What is textile science:

Before knowing textile science we must keep a concept about science. Science is a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws. Generally science means knowledge. However, textile science denotes the application of scientific and mathematical principles to the development ,acquisition ,distribution and utilization of textiles .It enlarges the whole area of studying of basic science and technologies, application of management principles, the perspective of history.

In short, textile science in the first step of its huge attachment or it is the theoretical knowledge about the application of textile for better comfort, safety and asthetic property which paves the way for practical applications. Moreover all the discoveries related to textile science or the predictions ,which may predict for future better application ,are the part of textile science. For better understanding, we can compare textile science with all the pre-thoughts and designs to make a building.

What is textile technology:

When textile science results in the practical application then it is called textile technology. In other word, the whole theoretical knowledge of textile science which turns into practical knowledge to create new products that solves problems and improve human life is the textile technology. To say, the aim of textile technology is to make work more easier by combining basic knowledge to practical and functional applications. Here a point to be remembered that technical textile contains 4% global growth rate.Now,we can compare textile technology with the whole building which is made from designs(textile science).

Here Some widely application of textile technologies are:

Sportech: application of textile technology in sport instruments(sports  textiles) such as shoes, special dressup, sport bags, climbing, angling, cycling etc.                                            

Protech: Application of textile technology in protective fabric(protective textiles) for increasing work safety ,normally said as PPE(Personal protective equipment).these are used in:

  • Firefighting and insulating from high temperature
  • Welding from metal sparks
  • Founding from molten metal
  • Military and security from bullet and bomb
  • Gloves in glass industry from cutting
  • Electric companies from electric arc flash discharge
  • Photochemical refineries from acid environment

 Figure-2: Application of textile technology(

Geotech: Application of textile technology in construction work(geo textiles) such as road construction,dam construction,soil sealing,drainage system etc.sometimes it is thought as buildtech or construction textiles.

Oekotech or ecotech: Application of textile in environmental protection application(ecological protection textile) such as preventing soil erosion ,water pollution,waste recycling etc

Mobiltech: Application of textile technology in automobile ,spacecraft ,ships etc construction.

Hometech: Application of textile technology in domestic environment such as carpeting ,decoration, wall coverings etc.

Clothtech: Application of textile technology in clothing applications mainly for finishing process which is very sensitive section where fabric is treated under pressure and high temperature.

Indutech: Application of textile technology in chemical and electrical applications(industrial textiles)such as filtration, seals, plasma screes, melting process etc.

Meditech: Application of textile technology in medical life(medical textiles) such as bandages, operation yarn etc.

Moreover, Packtech (packaging textiles),lifting textiles, smartech(smart textiles) etc are also part of wide range of textile technology.

Textile (Science vs technology):

A comparative discussion can be brought here for better understanding. Although science and technology can be used by alternatively but a littile bit difference can not be neglected in their goals. The main purpose of science is to chase knowledge for its own means where the purpose of technology is to the creation of new product for making human life easier and simple. In other words, when we apply the knowledge of science in practical life then it is called technology.

Figure -3: Relation between science and technology(

Moreover , science is the system of understanding the physical world where technology is the system of attempering ourselves to the physical world. Science is a way of asking questions and finding answers where technology is the finding solutions of human problems. Science focuses on understanding natural phenomena and technology focuses on understanding the made environment. In addition, science is limited by the capacity to collect relevant facts where technology is limited by financial costs and safety.

What is textile engineering:

When some specific parts of textile technology are designed and controlled including research and development, manufacturing and merchandising of fiber, textile and process, products and machinery then it is counted as textile engineering. In other words, some deep sectors and knowledge of textile equipment and process which are combined by the principles of engineering is textile engineering. However, in some institutions, it is done some textile field of specialization including spinning, weaving, processing ,garments or knitting etc. From raw material to finished product or fiber to garment which is done by different complex processes to the production of wide range of products including Technical products.

However, textile engineering is the combination of huge engineering area mainly including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering , materials engineering ,economics and marketing etc.

Comparing it(Textile engineering) with the building (textile technology)which is made from design(textile science), textile engineering is some specific parts of the building. However, the subjects or area with which textile engineering deals with are:

The evolution of Textile (science to technology to engineering):

A good difference between textile technology and engineering is that technology includes the application of all parts of human made system where textile  engineering is the attachment in a systematic design practice to achive solutions to particular human problems. Although they are different ,but a common thing between them is they anticipate to apply science and they have existed science long.In short words,engineering deals with a particular area deeply where technology works huge range of area. however engineering is regarded as more specific and more goal oriented than technology and  technology is more reliable than engineering something new.

For example, clothtech (cloth technology) means technological application of textile whole area of cloth production where WPE(wet processing engineering) means only some specific functions in whole production.

Now it is the time for the comparison and relation among them (textile science, textile technology and textile engineering).although they(Science ,technology and engineering) seem different on first sight, but they are conneted crosswise with each other with mathematical issue. Technology can not be thought without science and engineering can not be made without technology. It is clearly seen from the chart below.

Figure- 4:Relationships among science ,technology and engineering (courtesy:

A flow chart can be shown here for better understanding which expounds the creation of technology from science and engineering from technology below.

 Figure 5: flow chart of science to engineering(

The future textile:

It is no longer late when textile will involve itself with every sector of science and will make something  more eminent and something more adoptable. From the stone age till now it is prolonging and will prolong . Specially the application of textile engineering in biology and medicine which will be know as tex medical engineering (a term thought by me). Already textile has been used in artificial body organs and different medicines and surgeries. Moreover,3D printed clothing,self healing clothing,NFC(near field clothing) interactive cloyhing,VR models,color changing fabrics,self healing fabrics etc will occupy future market.

Figure 6: Yarn made from human cell could be used in producing artificial organs(human textile)(

Whether it is textile science or textile technology or textile engineering, the key factor is the textile which is entering into all orifices of our life. In this modern era of civilization ,without textiles ,we can not think our existence with a civilized way. And It must be remembered that we can go outside without food but not without textile.


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