Encyclopedia of Textile Finishing

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Textile finishing includes various efforts to improve the properties of textile fabrics, whether for apparel, home, or other end uses.

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These processes are directed toward modifying either the fiber characteristics or the gross textile end properties. The advent of synthetic fibers possessing improved resiliency and dimensional stability has placed natural fibers, particularly cotton, at an ostensible disadvantage, putting pressure on cotton interests to focus on the perceived deficiencies of natural fibers. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.


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    Encyclopedia of Textile Finishing - Knovel

    Learn more Check out. Some finishing techniques such as bleaching and dyeing are applied to yarn before it is woven while others are applied to the grey cloth directly after it is woven or knitted. In order to impart the required functional properties to the fiber or fabric, it is customary to subject the material to different types of physical and chemical treatments.

    For example, wash and wear finish for a cotton fabric is necessary to make it crease -free or wrinkle -free. In a similar way, mercerising , singeing , flame retardant , water repellent, waterproof , anti-static and peach finishing achieve various fabric properties desired by consumers. The use of open weave has enabled production of lighter, breathable , fabrics to ensure better wearing comfort.

    Encyclopedia of Textile Finishing by H. K. Rouette (2002, Hardcover)

    Hence the sequence of finishing operations is likely to be different. While cellulosic fabrics require a resin finishing treatment to impart easy-care properties, synthetic fibers already exhibit these easy-care criteria and require only a heat setting operation.

    The grey cloth —woven cotton fabric in its loom-state—not only contains impurities, including warp size, but requires further treatment in order to develop its full textile potential. Furthermore, it may receive considerable added value by applying one or more finishing processes. Singeing is designed to burn off the surface fibres from the fabric to produce smoothness. The fabric passes over brushes to raise the fibres, then passes over a plate heated by gas flames. Depending on the size that has been used, the cloth may be steeped in a dilute acid and then rinsed, or enzymes may be used to break down the size.

    Scouring, is a chemical washing process carried out on cotton fabric to remove natural wax and non-fibrous impurities e. Scouring is usually carried in iron vessels called kiers.


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    • The fabric is boiled in an alkali , which forms a soap with free fatty acids saponification. A kier is usually enclosed, so the solution of sodium hydroxide can be boiled under pressure, excluding oxygen which would degrade the cellulose in the fibre. If the appropriate reagents are used, scouring will also remove size from the fabric although desizing often precedes scouring and is considered to be a separate process known as fabric preparation.

      Preparation and scouring are prerequisites to most of the other finishing processes. At this stage even the most naturally white cotton fibres are yellowish, and bleaching, the next process, is required. Bleaching improves whiteness by removing natural coloration and remaining trace impurities from the cotton; the degree of bleaching necessary is determined by the required whiteness and absorbency. Cotton being a vegetable fibre will be bleached using an oxidizing agent , such as dilute sodium hypochlorite or dilute hydrogen peroxide. If the fabric is to be dyed a deep shade, then lower levels of bleaching are acceptable, for example.

      Encyclopedia of Textile Finishing

      However, for white bed sheetings and medical applications, the highest levels of whiteness and absorbency are essential. A further possibility is mercerizing, during which the fabric is treated with caustic soda solution to cause swelling of the fibres. This results in improved lustre, strength and dye affinity. Cotton is mercerized under tension, and all alkali must be washed out before the tension is released or shrinkage will take place.

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      Mercerizing can take place directly on grey cloth, or after bleaching. Color is a sensation caused when white light from a source such as the sun is reflected off a pigment on the surface. The pigment selectively reflects certain wavelengths of light while absorbing others. A dye can be considered as a substance that can be fixed to a material that has these properties.

      The colour it reflects is defined by the structure of the molecule, and particular the parts of the chromogen molecule called the chromophore group.

      Cotton is an absorbent fibre which responds readily to colouration processes.

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