India is the second most populous country in the world with a huge requirement for healthcare services. The growth in the healthcare market is driven by the higher income of the patients who also have greater healthcare awareness, especially with the increase in communicable and non-communicable diseases. The market is still open and has ample space for the new comers in the allied area. Cotton is the king of fiber but the only drawback is attack by the fungus and the bacteria in the wet condition or otherwise leading to poor shelf life. Hence cotton fabrics with antimicrobial properties had attracted considerable attention for both hygiene and durability in humid conditions. This is due to their potential applications in healthcare and medical sector. In the present review various methods researched and reported the cotton fabric finish with antimicrobial agents to be effective against various kinds of viruses and bacteria and also fungus. The chemicals used namely organic biocides, quaternary ammonium compounds, organ silicones are not eco-friendly and sometimes toxic in nature and there has been immense research to replace these chemicals with sustainable and biodegradable products.
In recent years innovative approach namely green aspects are seen as an alternative for the above chemicals. Thus herbal extracts can be used for treating and finishing the cotton fabric to achieve antimicrobial effect and which is sustainable. Moreover, the growing demand for herbal products has led to the idea of developing healthcare textile products. The present examination aims at developing an eco-friendly antibacterial finishing agents from plant extracts. Some plants were identified, selective and screened for their antibacterial activities. Thus eco-friendly clothing is created from resources that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The present paper evaluates the overall reports on herbal extracts and plants extracts used for imparting a finish or a coating on cotton fabrics.