Textile Related to Earth – Geotextile

As its name suggests Geotextiles refers to textiles related to earth or soil. When any permeable material used with rock, soil or earth it is termed as Geotextiles. The basic function of this technology is to prevent soil erosion to strengthening heavy concrete structures. This technology has not yet gained much attention in India, but is widely used in many countries for construction of bridges, roads, railway tracks to improve its strength. Many researchers have view that this technology is not newly developed but is in use from past thousands of years.

Formation of Geotextiles

Geotextiles can be formed of synthetic fibers, natural fibers or combination of the two. In past Geotextiles were made of natural plant fibers while today are usually formed of synthetic polymers such as polyester, polypropylene (PP), polyamides (PA) and polyamides (PA). Geotextiles made from natural fibers are less durable as they get decomposed with passage of time.

Choice of formation depends on the required properties and service life for which it is used. For example, natural fiber base Geotextiles is used for erosion control mats where durability is not a critical factor.

Natural Fiber Based Geotextiles

Natural fibers like Jute and coir have special applications. These different fibers degrade at different rates. Coir Geotextiles degrade in 2 to 3 years while jute degrades in 1 to 2 years. Because of this property coir is used in situations where vegetation takes longer to establish, and jute is used in low rainfall areas as it can absorb more moisture. Also used for rural unpaved roads.


1. Natural fiber-based Geotextiles are environmental friendly.
2. Its biodegradable nature has certain cost-effective applications in erosion control and re-vegetation.
3. It is helpful in quick establishment of vegetation.
4. It also helps in dust control, sand dune formation, wind erosion control and stabilization.

Synthetic Fiber Based Geotextiles

Synthetic polymers are not subject to any degradation due to any biological and chemical processes. But suffers from the main disadvantage in terms environmental friendliness as are formed from non-renewable resources as well as cause environmental pollution which may lead to health hazards.

Polypropylene is the most commonly used synthetic polymer. When high strength is desired polyester is preferred. When exceptional chemical resistance is required high density polyethylene.

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