Comparative Study of The Finishing Effects Imparted by Enzymatic Treatments Applied to Undyed and Dyed Wool Fabrics (Pages 53-62)

Riva, R. Prieto, I. Algaba and M. J. Lis

Instituto de Investigación Textil de Terrassa (INTEXTER), Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (UPC), Colón 15 08222 Terrassa, Spain


Abstract: The use of enzymes in the finishing of wool fabrics could be an alternative to the traditional finishing with chemicals. The main objective is to obtain some finishing processes that are more environment-friendly than the traditional ones. Recently, the research on the application of different types of enzymes has been intensified in order to achieve different finishing effects. Concretely, the proteases are one of the types of enzymes that have shown to be efficient to confer the wool a better behaviour regarding felting shrinkage. They also improve the handle and the drape of the fabrics. The effectiveness of the enzymatic treatment appreciably varies depending on the type of protease and the application conditions. The enzymatic treatment has shown to be effective to improve the softness, handle and drape of the fabrics, as well as to increase their pilling resistance when the treatment conditions are intense enough. However, these treatment conditions can produce excessive losses on mechanical properties. The effects caused by the enzymatic treatment present, in general, the same tendencies in undyed and dyed fabrics. Nevertheless, in some parameters, significant differences are observed. The enzymatic treatments may also produce small changes in the colour of the dyed fabrics. These changes in colour are mainly due to luminosity variations.

Keywords: Protease, Enzimatic treatment, Finishing, Wool.