An Eastern Michigan University graduate hopes to make a powerful mark on the textile industry with her groundbreaking research on wrinkle resistant chemicals for cotton and linens.
Preeti Arya’s research, done at Eastern as part of her doctoral program, combines cost-efficient chemicals to create a sustainable, healthy formula for wrinkle resistant cottons and linens. In addition to her chemical formulation, Arya was able to create a process-ready procedure to be implemented in industry for commercial use.
Arya worked closely with professor Subhas Ghosh, program coordinator of EMU’s Textiles program, on the research. Prior to coming to Eastern, Ghosh worked in the textile industry, where he held various technical management positions, capitalizing on his academic training in textile and fiber science.
“Research like this has been done before in cottons and very little in linens, yet nothing has been implemented due to the cost of chemicals,” Arya says. “My research is different because I use a cheaper combination of less complex acids, which allows for a new process that is cheaper in production.”
In addition to cost effectiveness, Arya’s chemical solution uses such mild pH levels that her formula is less acidic than other products. The solution will not harm textile materials in its application and is safe for workers who apply the product to textiles in an industry environment.
Arya’s research was made possible by the Graduate Research Support Fund at Eastern Michigan. The fund helps graduate students purchase supplies, materials, or essential equipment to perform research work for their thesis or dissertation.
Arya earned her Ph.D. from Eastern in December 2017. Her dissertation was entitled, “Development of Non-Formaldehyde Wrinkle Resistance Finishes for Cotton and Linen Using Carboxylic Acids."
She cites classes such as Smart and Technical Textiles ATM 644, Fiber Morphology 681, Non-Woven Textiles, Textile Testing, Fiber Mechanics and Polymer and Coating Tech Lab 520 as extremely helpful in her education at Eastern.
Prior to attending Eastern, Arya earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India.
Arya is now an assistant professor with the Textile Development and Marketing Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.
There, she teaches full-time, overseeing classes on textile finishing, performance textiles, textiles for apparel production and textiles for fashion designers as well as her work on research and publications.
“FIT is a great place to work, in part because of its wonderful textile testing and dyeing labs, which encourage future research and development,” Arya says.