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Textiles: Operations
Table of Contents
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Preliminary Industry Characterization: Fabric Printing, Coating, and Dyeing
Topics discussed include: existing state and federal requirements, industry profile, applicability, ...

The Glossarist - Textile Glossaries and Textile Dictionaries
Provides glossaries for the common terminology used in the textile industry.

The Roger Milliken Textile Library
Provides access to literature related to textile goods and processing

The textile industry is comprised of a diverse, fragmented group of establishments that produce and/or process textile-related products (fiber, yarn, fabric) for further processing into apparel, home furnishings and industrial goods. Textile establishments receive and prepare fibers; transform fibers into yarn, thread or webbing; convert the yarn into fabric or related products; and dye and finish these materials at various stages of production.

The process of converting raw fibers into finished apparel and non-apparel textile products is complex; thus, most textile mills specialize. Little overlap occurs between knitting and weaving, or among production of manmade, cotton and wool fabrics. Textiles generally go through three to four stages of production that may include; yarn formation, fabric formation, wet processing, textile fabrication. The flow diagram below shows some of these general steps in which fibers are processed to manufacture textile goods.

Textile Flow Chart - Taken from EPA Office of Compliance Sector Notebook Project: Profile of the Textile Industry page 14. To print all flow charts and associated text descriptions of production steps go to this document.

The following table provides a listing of some of the waste streams that may be generated at each level of textile processing.


Air Emissions


Residual wastes

Fiber Preparation Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Fiber waste; packaging waste; hard waste
Yarn Spinning Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Packaging waste; sized yarn; fiber waste; cleaning and processing waste
Slashing/Sizing VOCs BOD; COD; metals; cleaning waste, size Fiber lint; yarn waste; packaging waste; unused starch-based sizes
Weaving Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Packaging waste; yarn and fabric scrapes; off-spec fabric; used oil
Knitting Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Packaging waste; yarn and fabric scrapes; off-spec fabric
Tufting Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Packaging waste; yarn and fabric scrapes; off-spec fabric
Desizing VOCs from glycol ethers BOD from water-soluble sizes; synthetic size; lubricants; biocides; anti-static compounds Packaging waste; fiber lint; yarn waste; cleaning materials, such as wipes, rags and filters; cleaning and maintenance wastes containing solvents
Scouring VOCs from glycol ethers and scouring solvents Disinfectants and insecticide residues; NaOH; detergents; fats; oils; pectin; wax; knitting lubricants; spin finishes; spent solvents Little or no residual waste generated
Bleaching Little or no air emissions generated Hydrogen peroxide, sodium silicate or organic stabilizer; high pH Little or no residual waste generated
Singeing Small amounts of exhaust gasses from the burners Little or no wastewater generated Little or no residual waste generated
Mercerizing Little or no air emissions generated High pH; NaOH Little or no residual waste generated
Heatsetting Volatilization of spin finish agents applied during synthetic fiber manufacture Little or no wastewater generated Little or no residual waste generated

Types of dyes


VOCs Metals; salt; surfactants; toxics; organic processing assistance; cationic materials; color; BOD; sulfide; acidity/alkalinity; spent solvents Little or no residual waste generated
Printing Solvents, acetic acid from dyeing and curing oven emissions; combustion gasses; particulate matter Suspended solids; urea; solvents; color; metals; heat; BOD; foam Little or no residual waste generated
Finishing VOCs; contaminants in purchased chemicals; formaldehyde vapors; combustion gasses; particulate matter BOD; COD; suspended solids; toxics; spent solvents Fabric scrapes and trimmings; packaging waste
Product Fabrication Little or no air emissions generated Little or no wastewater generated Fabric scrapes


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

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Hub Last Updated: 3/11/2008