The Textile Research Institute, founded in September 1945 is the oldest scientific-research institution of textile industry in Poland.
In the course of one's long term history, the Institute underwent four major phases that reflect the current development and modernization, as well as the scientific, engineering and technological progress in the textile industry.
The history of the Institute may be divided into the following periods:
1945 - 1955; 1956 - 1970; 1971 - 1990; 1991 – up to now.
1945 – 1955 - a period of reconstruction and partial modernization of the textile plants destroyed during World War II. The research of the Institute carried out in that time referred to short-term needs, mainly organizing and improving technological regulations, as well as organizing inter-operational control including plant laboratories organization. A lot of effort was devoted to the research aimed at improving the national resources of natural fibres, mainly linen, hemp and wool. At that time, the first uncoordinated research concerning assessment and conditions of chemical fibres processing was made
1956 - 1970 – important structural changes in the textile raw materials resources in Poland. Large-scale introduction of new types of synthetic fibres brought about significant changes in textile products manufacturing and finishing technology. Complex research included all technological stages of textile manufacturing, studies of utility properties, maintenance instructions and clothing manufacturing technologies. The foregoing research activities proved successful due to significant commitment on the part of other research and development (R&D) centres representing all textile industry branches. With the large-scale introduction of chemical fibres, the issue of waste utilization was identified as one of the major problems. Numerous R&D studies focused on new machines, new technologies and product assortments. Together with the new chemical fibres, new engineering and technologies have been developed that facilitates studies on brand new applications of fibres. The introduction of non-wovens or the texturing of chemical multifilaments required thorough theoretical research, laboratory and industrial experiments, as well as constructional works. It was a significant period in research activity of the Textile Research Institute.
The next period are the years 1971 - 1990 characterized by innovative ideas and subjects of scientific and research activity. The tendencies to deal with original topics and studies that were yet to be explored on a broader international scale promoted the Polish technical thought. The technology of air vortex spinning hedged with many home and foreign patents is a perfect example of such research. Isotopic engineering, pneumothermal non-wovens, electrically conducting fibres, low temperature plasma, water- and energy-saving finishes or short flax fibres spinning technology with the use of cotton system are only few selected examples of the innovative research carried out in the Textile Research Institute.
1991 up to now.
The 90-ties is a period when free market economy was introduced to Poland, accompanied with the collapse of the textile industry. It influenced to a large extent the profile and needs of companies in the scope of research and technological experiments. The tasks that the Institute used to deal with served mainly the purpose of assisting the companies in solving short-term needs (designated projects) and concerned mainly the production conditions of specific plants.
Similar tendencies were observed in all textile R&D units at that time. R&D units operating in the late 80-ties and in the early 90-ties as major R&D centres or research laboratories of specific textile industry branches began searching their own ways to develop and operate in the field of scientific research for the textile industry. Branch associations in the textile industry have been abolished, and the scientific research in Poland underwent major changes, which made particular R&D units considerably independent, also in terms scientific research they were preoccupied with. Due to organizational and legal changes the former COBRs (Research and Development Centres) and research laboratories were transformed into scientific institutes.
Hence, in accordance with the decision of the Minister of Industry and Trade, the Sericulture and Decorative Industry Research and Development Centre was transformed into the Institute of Textile Materials Engineering in 1992, the Knitting Industry Research and Development Centre was transformed into the Institute of Knitting Techniques and Technologies “TRICOTEXTIL” in 1995, and the Cotton Industry Research and Development Centre into the Institute of Textiles Architecture in 1996.
As a result, in 1996 onwards, four scientific institutes dealing with the textile industry were operating in Lodz, not to mention other institutes engaged indirectly in the textile industry, and the Technical University of Lodz.
Despite the fact that these institutions have been highly specialized due to their background and history, and were thus dealing with complementing fields of scientific and development activity, some research units were investigating similar topics, which lead to pointless internal competition, particularly in commercial research studies and research services for companies.
Successive ministers of economy since 2000 have been devoting much attention to this problem in the context of the entire R&D restructuring in the textile industry.
Since this point of time, negotiations have been held on a regular basis in both, the Ministry of Economy and in Lodz, aimed at consolidating R&D units of the textile industry.
Finally, having considered many concepts, the Committee set up by the Minister of Economy on 7 October 2006 came up with a consolidation plan approved by the Minister of the Economy, who decided to incorporate The Institute of Textile Materials Engineering, The Institute of Knitting Techniques and Technologies “TRICOTEXTIL” and The Institute of Textiles Architecture to the Textile Research Institute (Ordinance of the Minister of Economy of 20 June 2007 on incorporating The Institute of Textile Materials Engineering, The Institute of Knitting Techniques and Technologies “TRICOTEXTIL” and The Institute of Textiles Architecture to the Textile Research Institute, Journal of Laws No. 115, item 799).
1 July 2007 is the initial date of a new stage in the history of the Textile Research Institute. Incorporation of three R&D units into the Institute made the Management of the Institute face the task of building completely different organizational structure.
In the period between the middle of 2007 and the end of 2008, some serious conceptual, organizational and investment works were underway concerning the establishment of new scientific departments and research laboratories.
Five new scientific centres were established out of the existing research departments and laboratories, dealing with interdisciplinary research on material engineering, environmental engineering, micro- and nanotechnologies, textile chemistry and textile technologies. Comprehensive reorganization was also carried out in research and analytical laboratories.
At present, the Textile Research Institute incorporates six laboratories, five of them being accredited by PCA (Polish Centre for Accreditation). The laboratories carry out a wide range of research studies, in particular, chemical and instrumental analyses, ecological studies, tests of physical and chemical properties as well as utility and physiological properties of textile raw materials and products intended for standard and special applications.
The Institute employs highly-qualified staff and is equipped with modern research and analytical equipment, and therefore provides perfect conditions for research and development activities implemented according to the latest research standards in the textile industry and related fields of knowledge.
In early 2009, the former Experimental Production Departments were being integrated into a single research unit. The consolidation process finished on June 30th.
At present, the Textile Research Institute in Lodz has got two independent locations – at ul. Brzezińska 5/15, and at ul. Gdańska 118.