Businesses across the textile care sector, and manufacturers and suppliers of clothing and sector equipment, will all benefit from SATRA research, Mr Battle said.

SATRA was, he stated, a leading edge research organisation, conducting world class work. Research of this standard could examine the interaction of a number of factors—including processing equipment, process chemistry, fabrics and energy use—to ensure that applied science was right.

If the correct textile care science was in place then optimum cleaning performance would be achievable, allowing greater utilisation of reusable textiles.

Mr Battle made it clear that reusable textiles should be, generally, the preferred option in the health sector.

The government, pledged to underpinning the basic sciences, was now set on linking science areas with commerce. SATRA was a notable in how it projected its activities to industry and commerce and ensured best use was made of them.

SATRA invested more than £100 000 last year in facilities specifically for fabric care, and a further £60 000 has been spent on additional equipment. Included in the facilities is a 1200 sq ft conditioning room for specialist fabric care and textile testing. This room is controlled round the clock to exact temperature and humidity conditions to meet stringent UK and international testing requirements.

The venture represents another area of expansion for the organisation, following recent developments relating to the areas of apparel, safety products and furniture.

More than 100 companies have signed up for the services of SATRA’s Fabric Care Technology Centre—including launderers, drycleaners, chemical and machinery manufacturers, garment and fabric suppliers, and retailers.

Specialist research programmes covering such areas as interlining adhesion and stain removal from certain types of fabric have already begun, and other fabric care projects are in the planning stages.

Services available at the new centre include garment analysis, textile evaluation, test piece examination, product development, and laundering and drycleaning advice.

SATRA has also gained a special United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation for all its drycleaning, laundering and associated fabric care testing activities.