Metal Organic Framework for Fabric Surface Modification


Metal organic framework offers a mordant-free and salt-free natural dyeing method for fabric. It modifies the fabric surface to enhance the uptake of natural dyes, thus promoting the use of natural dyes over the polluting and toxic synthetic dyes.

  • Metal Organic Framework for Fabric Surface Modification
Technical name of innovation
Fabric Surface Modification Method for Natural Coloration Application based on Metal Organic Framework (MOF)
Research completion
Commercialisation opportunities
Technology licensing
Problem addressed

With the growing concern of the environmental impact generated from the fashion and textile industry, there is a shift from using synthetic dyes to natural dyes. However, natural dyes have poor colour affinities with fibres and fabrics. Mordants with harmful and heavy metal and industrial salt is required to fix the colour. This project develops a mordant-free and salt-free approach for effective natural coloration.

  • The application of metal organic framework to modify fabrics is an innovative, mordant-free, and salt-free approach to encourage the use of natural dyes over harmful synthetic dyes.
  • The metal organic framework are made of specially found combination of metal and ligand. Various types of metal organic framework are tested and verified to select the optimal combination to boost colour uptake.
Key impact
  • Adding metal organic framework to fabrics can enhance natural dye uptake by at least 50% than conventional natural dyeing method. The test results have passed AATCC standards in colourfastness.
  • Fabrics with metal organic framework applied have anti-bacterial efficacy to prevent skin irritation, skin infection, and damage to human lungs.
  • Gold Medal in the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2023)
  • Enhancing colour uptake of natural dyes
  • Mordant-free and salt-free approach to aid natural dyeing
  • Offering anti-bacterial functions to fabrics against skin and lungs infection


  • 22023068521.0 (Hong Kong)
  • PCT/CN2023/089362 (PCT)
The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)

Established in 2006, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) is funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR government, and hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

HKRITA has achieved research deliverables over the years around our research clusters targeting in sustainability, industry advancement and social benefits through our centre-owned research teams and laboratories as well as collaborations with industry partners and institutions.