Popularity, oblivion and again close attention – this is how the whole history of amaranth can be described. Its use is also varied. This, of course, cooking, but not only. Even the ancient people knew about the healing properties of the plant and learned how to prepare from it ointments and decoctions for various diseases. Amaranth was also used during rites. After centuries, people also find various uses for this plant.
Deviation from tradition or a new look at amaranth?
On thematic resources you can see a lot of recommendations and recipes for the use of amaranth and products based on it in food. However, there are always people who strive to move away from what seems familiar to many, and offer something of their own, claiming to be unique.
As a result, paintings made in the technique of application appear, where amaranth is used as the main material – its flowers, stems, leaves, and grain. However, in this case, more often ornamental plants are used, in which the color palette is much richer. Interestingly, the authors working on such paintings, then talk about the state of mental equilibrium and good mood during and after work.
Amaranth is also used for dyeing yarn. As a result, the thread not only acquires an unusual color, but practically does not fade. Needlewomen often use these varieties of amaranth:
- paniculate or crimson;
- orange giant (according to many, it is also a plastic and comfortable floral material).
On thematic forums, it is argued that the color obtained by staining yarns with amaranth is stable, and things made from such yarn give a feeling of unusual warmth and comfort.
These examples can be classified as amateur experiences. However, recently serious projects on unconventional use of amaranth are being developed and implemented. This takes into account its medicinal properties.
Amaranth and textile industry
Yes, amaranth has become popular in the textile industry. We are talking about the unusual use of the most popular product of processing grain amaranth – the oil. In the Czech Republic developed technology of using amaranth oil in the textile industry. True, the developers of new items immediately noted that one of the main goals of this project is to increase the added value of textile materials. Products should also be an additional component in the prevention of various diseases.
Amaranth oil is selected due to its properties. It is proven that this product:
- strengthens the immune system (prevention of infections);
- increases resistance to ultraviolet (conversion to vitamin D1);
- slows the aging process of the skin;
- enhances physical and mental resistance;
- reduces fatigue and counteracts stress;
- helps regulate fat metabolism and cholesterol levels;
- reduces the impact of carcinogenic substances in places with high concentrations of exhaust gases and industrial emissions;
- stops the action of free radicals (gives anti-tumor effects).
The unique properties of amaranth oil provides a high content of the hydrocarbon compound squalene, which is the active ingredient of the product. The vegetable origin of squalene (from amaranth oil) provides it with a significant advantage of application in the market compared to sources of animal origin. On this basis, Czech scientists began to consider the possibility of using textile surfaces as carriers for fixing useful substances on surfaces in contact with human skin.
To ensure the longest contact of useful substances with human skin can clothing made of fabric made using a special technology. It uses environmentally friendly raw materials, which in itself significantly reduces the risk of allergic reactions.
On the technology of application of amaranth oil in the textile industry
Czech scientists conducted research on the use of products based on renewable sources for the food and pharmaceutical industries. The biotechnological processes involved by them made it possible to provide reproducible composition of products and harmless, safe final materials that can be used in other areas. Based on innovative technologies for the production of environmentally friendly fabrics, absolutely clean agricultural and food wastes were used using environmentally friendly methods. As a result of the research, the possibility of obtaining new functional effects and alternatives to chemicals has been proved. In addition, the negative impact on the environment is reduced.
For work on the project, a plant has been selected that not only has healing properties that can have a positive effect on human health. Amaranth, Amarantaceae, of which there are 70 species, is a cosmopolitan plant with a fast ability to renew, and the latter is almost independent of growing conditions. The positive practice of using this culture in the food and pharmaceutical industry (obtaining flour, starch, amaranth oil, food additives and cosmetic products) was also taken into account. Based on the experience of using amaranth products, Inotex has developed an innovative fabric finishing technology based on the use of amaranth oil as a natural renewable source of terpene carbohydrate squalene and other beneficial substances (vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids).
The development also took into account such a property of amaranth oil, as its inability to mix with water, so a completely new technology was required. As a result of its use during use of the fabric, the active ingredient of the main component gradually and evenly moves closer to the skin surface. In this case, the desired effect is maintained for a long time on the fabric after washing (such results were observed for at least ten wash cycles at 40 ° C). During the experiment, a new finishing of linen shirts weighing 100 g / m was carried out using a new technology.
The use of new technology regarding the use of amaranth oil in combination with nanoparticles attached to silver, when processing fabrics, has produced several effects. One of them is the removal of moisture (sweat). This is comparable to when squalene of animal origin was used, and therefore the use of renewable amaranth oil is a complete option of raw materials of animal origin. In addition, cotton and blended fabrics (cotton / polyester tested) treated with a special solution acquired an antimicrobial property. Interestingly, the fabrics treated with the mixture with amaranth oil did not shrink and did not hesitate.
According to the Center for Innovation and Technology (VUTS), the technology of using amaranth oil for processing fabrics is useful in the production of fabrics for working and leisure clothes, for medical textiles, bedding and furniture, as well as textiles for the elderly.