What is "Coating" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 29-May-2024 ( ago)
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Coating: Enhancing Textile Functionality and Versatility

The Intricacies of Textile Coating: A Comprehensive Analysis

Textile coating, a significant enhancement in the evolution of fabrics, has been vital in bolstering the performance and application of textiles. This technique, which involves the application of a layer of substances on a textile substrate's surface, helps improve or alter the textile's physical properties or aesthetics. Through the years, textile coatings have advanced, becoming more sophisticated and more adaptable to specific applications.

Brief History and Origin of Textile Coating

The origin of textile coatings dates back to early civilization. People used animal fats and plant-based oils to increase textile functionality. Over time, with the advent of chemical processes, synthetic coatings were introduced. These coatings made it possible to create textiles with specific properties like fire resistance, water repellency, and anti-bacterial characteristics. The industrial revolution further propelled advancements, and today, textile coatings are an essential part of diverse industries from healthcare to aerospace.

Types of Textile Coating

There are several types of textile coatings, each with distinct characteristics and applications. Some of the prevalent ones include:

  • PVC Coatings: Polyvinyl Chloride coatings are commonly used in textiles due to their high flexibility and durability.
  • PU Coatings: Polyurethane coatings are lightweight and highly resistant to abrasion and weather conditions, making them ideal for outdoor fabrics.
  • Acrylic Coatings: These are utilized for their excellent color retention and resistance to soiling.
  • Latex Coatings: They offer good elasticity and are typically used for textile reinforcement.
  • Silicone Coatings: Known for their water and UV resistance, they are often used for protective clothing and outdoor fabrics.

Tips for Handling Textile Coatings

While handling coated textiles, it is essential to consider the following:

  • Understand the properties and the nature of the coating substance before use.
  • Consider the end-use of the textile. Different applications require different types of coatings.
  • Ensure the coating process does not damage the textile's inherent properties.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for care and maintenance of coated textiles.
  • Prioritize safety when handling chemical-based coatings. Use protective equipment and work in well-ventilated spaces.

Profiles of Major Manufacturers and Users

  • 3M: 3M is a global corporation that has consistently made significant strides in coated textiles. They provide coated textiles for a range of applications including healthcare, electronics, and safety gear.
  • Milliken & Company: Milliken & Company has a rich history of innovative textile solutions. They excel in producing coated textiles for flame-resistant clothing, protective garments, and military applications.
  • Dow Inc.: Dow Inc., a renowned chemical company, has been instrumental in developing textile coatings. They produce an array of coatings that cater to diverse applications like home textiles, sportswear, and technical textiles.
  • Huntsman Corporation: Huntsman Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. They produce high-quality, resilient textile coatings used in a variety of industries.
  • Lubrizol: Lubrizol offers advanced textile coating solutions. Their technologies help in enhancing the functionality and durability of textiles across several industries including automotive, industrial, and apparel.

Applications of Textile Coating

Textile coatings have found use in an array of applications. Here are some notable ones:

  • Medical Textiles: Coated textiles are widely used in the medical field for surgical gowns, wound dressings, and hospital bedding. These coatings offer anti-bacterial, fluid-resistant, and breathable properties.
  • Sportswear: Coatings provide essential attributes like water and wind resistance, thermal insulation, and durability to sportswear. They enhance the comfort and performance of athletes.
  • Protective Clothing: Workers in various industries require protective clothing. Coated textiles offer properties such as flame retardance, chemical resistance, and high visibility.
  • Home Textiles: Coatings in home textiles such as upholstery, curtains, and beddings enhance aesthetic appeal, provide stain resistance, and improve durability.
  • Automotive Textiles: In the automotive industry, coated textiles are used for airbags, seat covers, and interiors. These coatings offer UV resistance, durability, and comfort.


In the light of the above discussion, it is clear that textile coating is a transformative process that greatly expands the versatility and utility of textiles. With the advent of advanced materials and innovative technologies, the potential for coated textiles is rapidly expanding. This is evident in the diversity of its applications, from healthcare and sportswear to automotive and home textiles.

The intersection of textiles and material science is creating new opportunities for coated textiles that are both functional and sustainable. As we move towards a future where performance and sustainability are paramount, the role of coated textiles will become increasingly significant. Hence, a profound understanding of textile coatings is not just essential for those involved in the textile industry, but for anyone interested in the future of materials and design.

A finishing process in which a substance - like rubber, resin or synthetic compounds - covers the fabric on one or both sides. Polyurethane is a common coating for outerwear. Coating typically aids water-resistance.

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