Moisture control management in the ready-made garment industry is essential to prevent mold from products. Posh Garments Ltd always follows a standard operating procedure for mold prevention that helps their personnel to carry out these routine processes. We aim to achieve efficiency, quality, output, and uniformity of performance while reducing ineffectiveness and hazardous environment to comply with industry regulations. Though mold is categorized as a fungus and seemingly harmless, it can cause serious health issues for children, pregnant women, and the elderly as well as can lead to legal issues.
Posh Garments always takes preventive measures for products fully made of high-risk and risk materials. If the product has decorative or functional trims made of high-risk and risk materials, a risk assessment is done and mold preventive measures applied whenever applicable. High-risk articles such as real leather and suede, straw, packed/folded shirts, tailored suits, jackets, and outwear require mold preventive packing all year around. Risk articles such as imitation leather and suede in PU/Poly Urethane, coated fabrics (PU, Wax, Oil coating), jute, grass, paper, wood, natural rubber, natural down/feather, and satin fabrics are subject to mold preventive packing during wet seasons only. Countries where the climate is considered a risk factor have a tropical climate and/or a wet season where the monthly average temperature is 28C or above and the RH is 70% or above. The table below shows the countries including Bangladesh that require mold preventive packing for risky materials and the months in red represent the wet seasons.
Before we move to the prevention strategies for mold let’s have a look at the environmental factors that support mold growth. Humid and damp conditions are ideal breeding grounds for mold. It has been observed that areas where there is stored water or any leakage, can create a moist environment that is ideal for Mold growth. Another important feature required for Mold growth is the temperate environment. In the finishing section of a ready-made garment facility such as the one at Posh Garments Ltd, all the items are inspected by a special handheld machine before export which measures the relative humidity.
This specific factor makes warehouses, factories, and storage facilities the ideal places for mold growth as the temperature is not harsh. The general condition of the production unit must be dry and clean, and no signs of mildew are allowed. The storage and production environment must be controlled and maintained through the whole process from raw materials to finished products. All kinds of equipment and especially dryers and extractors must be well maintained and cleaned on regular basis to provide full efficiency. Desiccants can be placed into an enclosed environment of a defined package (polybag, box, cartons). It is shown in the images below and the general suggested dosage is mentioned afterward in the following table.
Some of the following measures play a key role in preventing mold growth. One of the first
measures is controlling the humidity at your production and storage facilities. If the humidity of the product can be kept below 65% then the growth rate for mold spores will decrease substantially. Proper ventilation is vital and also creating a factory audit checklist that includes a survey of the facility to point out design mistakes is vital. Another way to avoid mold growth in the facility is by keeping the cartons or products away from floors and walls. This is because mold usually creeps in from the floor or walls that have substantial moisture and a suitable temperature to support it. Silica Gel is most effective in reducing humidity inside the products and packaging. Dehumidifiers can be used in storage areas and storage moisture content should be checked and recorded on all incoming materials, components and cartons. Stored materials, components, and cartons must be placed on pallets/shelves and not directly on the floor. Metal and/or plastic pallets should be used instead of wooden pallets. Minimum distance from walls, windows, and doors must be a minimum of 1.5 meters and all storage activities adhere to the principles of ‘First In First Out.’ The next images portray clearly how the separate processes are carried out.
During production, special measures must be taken to avoid spills of fluids or any form of liquid products in the facility. Initiatives must be taken by all personnel to keep the work environment clean from any food leftovers. Another major reason for mold growth in garment factories to avoid the left-over moisture that stays in the facility after steam pressing. To avoid mold growth it is recommended to let the cloth naturally dry before you pack it into the polybag. Wet and warm merchandise must not be packed directly after ironing or tumble drying. sufficient time of approximately 2 hours must be allowed for goods to cool before packing.
The next image consists of the dosage of dissidents for shoes and accessories and how they are packed.
While Mold can also affect your products during the transportation phase, Cargo Dry is a great way of protecting your products during transportation. The following images show how the
shipment is made for the products that require mold prevention, the approximate dosage required, and respective handling methods.
For all manufacturers of ready-made garments in Bangladesh and especially veteran exporters such as Posh Garments Ltd, Mold is a very serious issue. It not only affects the production or storage facility but also it can affect the finished goods while it is being shipped to the respective clients. Therefore, it is imperative that we protect our products from mold growth at all costs and ensure a mold-free delivery to our clients.