Research in textile is a ridiculously funny idea! What can you possibly explore in a unit or so inch long simple cellulosic material?!
Generally speaking, yes, research is exciting, challenging and we all find ourselves discussing about that Hydron machinery that sought to replicate Big Bang. We all remember Dolly, the cloned sheep too well. Deep down, we wonder in awe about how anyone can so radically change our concepts about space-time being intertwined, and how the heck was modern logic discovered which gradually progressed into modern digital computing.
…but textile research? What can it possibly discover? Fine, we can have a fabric more finer, more stronger. We can do a tad bit of this and a tad bit of that to increase production, decrease energy consumption. But somehow these news only find space in a boring editorial of a rendezvous magazine. That’s it.
And well, there is some research in textile taking place in some western countries, and gradually it will trickle down to us. So what is the fuss about this textile research centre in Pakistan and that also right at the top of our heads?? Who cares? Seriously??!
The thing is that, though we do humbly accept that a textile strand is so sweetly simpler when compared with a DNA strand, yet the wonders that it can accomplish both technically and economically are no less important.
Egyptian mummies, and hence the great legends associated with them would not have existed had there not been textile materials wrapped around them. Surgeries involving stitching would not have been possible. Dams would be more susceptible to leakage and failure. Property and people would burn as fire fighters would have tried to keep a safe distance without their protective clothing. There would have been no Palm Islands in Dubai and no safe ventures for space scientist to float around without their special suiting. Our prime ministers and presidents could not have walked around in bullet proof jackets and you would not have been able to smoke …unless of course you are into pipes.
That’s the thing with textiles. There is an immense potential to which a unit or so inch long fiber can be put into, in almost every field of your life!
Sad though it is that we in Pakistan have never really realized the potential and wonders of research (more so in the filed of textiles considering the fact that ours is a textile based economy), yet it is heartening that something is now being done in the form of ‘Textile Research and Innovation Centre‘.
And that’s probably because textile research in Pakistan is no longer a matter of wonder and discovery; it’s now a matter of survival. In recent times, it has become advisable for countries like China, Pakistan and India to diversify their product lines and develop more valued added goods. It is because of this that Pakistan’s regional competitors, India and China, are already seeking to expand their product portfolio with value added high quality products. Hence, technical textiles is the new buzz word in Asia.
And though China is already in the market readily exporting technical textiles to different countries and India has been doing some serious work for two decades now, it is nevertheless encouraging that we, here in Pakistan have awaken to this glaring change in textile markets and economy.
Textile Research and Innovation Centre is a small organization of about five to six people. But that it would grow tremendously in terms of scope and recognition in not very far-away future is a guaranteed thing.