Effect of enzyme treatment on wool fabric properties and dimensional stability
In this study, the merino wool woven fabric has been treated with commercially available enzymes, i.e. transglutaminase, lipase, laccase and protease, at various concentrations (0.5–2.0% over the weight of fabric) to impart desirable shrink resistance without deterioration of the fabric properties. Protease enzyme treated wool fabric shows least area shrinkage (3.0%) followed by laccase enzyme (4.3%), lipase enzyme (4.9%) and transglutaminase enzyme (7.9%) treated fabrics, as compared to 13.3% of the untreated (blank) fabric. The specific reaction mechanism of various enzymes that cause a structural change and dimensional stability are also discussed. The tensile strength, extension-at-break, yellowness and whiteness indices of the enzyme treated fabrics are found comparable with the blank fabric, while frictional and handle properties are significantly improved. The enzyme process to impart shrink resistance to wool fabric is found sustainable, easy to scale up and due to comparable mechanical, frictional, handle, whiteness and yellowness properties, there is a potential of an industrial adaption.
Anti-shrink property;Cuticle scales;Dimensional stability;Enzyme treatment;Surface modification;Wool fabric
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